Get behind the “wheel” to test your rail-safety knowledge

Picture this: your vehicle is stuck on the tracks in the middle of a railway crossing. You watch as the crossing gates lower around you. You can hear the warning bells and see the lights from an approaching train. What do you do?
Knowing the answer to that question could mean the difference between life and death.

Whether you’re a new driver or a seasoned one, keeping yourself safe around railway tracks is all about staying alert and knowing the rules. That’s why Operation Lifesaver (OL) has launched a new program to ensure that all drivers know the rail-safety basics.

OL’s Train to Drive program features virtual-reality (VR) videos that test whether drivers know how to safely approach railway crossings and respond in life-or-death situations involving a train.

“Collisions at railway crossings can happen in a split second. Train to Drive allows drivers to make choices in real time around virtual railway tracks and trains, and to see the results—both good and tragic—in the safety of an VR environment,” says Sarah Mayes, National Director of Operation Lifesaver Canada. 

Testing drivers’ knowledge in the hopes of saving lives

Collisions at road-rail crossings are all too common in Canada—and the results can be tragic. In 2018, there were 167 such incidents which killed 19 people and seriously injured another 42.

“Our aim is for individuals, driver training companies, school boards and even governments to use this program. We hope OL’s "Look. Listen. Live." rail safety message will resonate with drivers,” says Mayes. “Ultimately, it is all about saving lives.”

Experience Train to Drive for yourself by visiting on your computer and clicking the video link. The website also provides instructions on how to view the videos on other devices such as mobile phones or tethered headsets. It also offers rail safety tips to use next time you’re behind a real wheel.

So get in the driver's seat and put your rail safety knowledge to the test!