Happy New Year! Whether or not you’re in the habit of making New Year’s resolutions, now’s the perfect time to make a commitment to making rail safety a priority in 2013. So to make sure you’re alive to ring in 2014, resolve to make the following 10 rail safety commitments this year:
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1. I will stay off railway property. I will respect that it’s private property and that being there is trespassing and could kill me. This means I won’t:
- Go for runs, walks or bike rides along the tracks
- Use the tracks for winter sport activities like snowmobiling or cross-country skiing
- Fish or play on railway bridges
- Use the tracks for a shortcut or as a place to hang out with friends
- Climb on a train or any other railway equipment
2. I will only use designated crossings to cross train tracks.
3. I’ll learn to recognize the various signs and devices surrounding railway property and become familiar with what they mean.
4. I will not wear headphones or use my smartphone around railway tracks. If I can’t hear a train approaching or I’m distracted, I could be hit by a train and killed.
5. I will never drive around the gates at a level crossing or try to race a train. A vehicle being hit by a train is like a vehicle running over a pop can. And I’m more than 40 times more likely to die in a crash involving a train than in a collision involving another motor vehicle.
6. I’ll make sure to never get caught on a level crossing. If there isn’t enough room for my vehicle on the other side, I’ll wait on the approach until traffic clears.
7. I’ll remember that when there are two sets of tracks, there could be two trains. After one train goes by, there could be another one coming from the same or opposite direction. I won’t proceed immediately after the last car of a train passes. Instead, I’ll look both ways and listen to make sure that a second train isn’t coming.
8. If I see a train approaching, I’ll be prepared to stop. Period. Thanks to an optical illusion, trains often appear slower moving than they actually are. And trains CANNOT stop quickly. An average freight train travelling at 100 km/h requires about 2 km to stop. A passenger train travelling at 160 km/h requires about the same distance to stop. Compare that to an automobile travelling at 90 km/h, which requires about 60 metres to stop.
9. Every time I encounter railway tracks I will expect there to be a train. Any time is train time and trains do not run according to set schedules.
10. I will make rail safety a priority and share my rail safety knowledge with my friends and family. Look, listen, live!
For more tips on how to be rail safe this year, check out our Public-Rail Safety Guide.