A New Year’s Wish from Operation Lifesaver

For some, the new year is a chance to start new routines and healthier habits. Many of us have vowed to eat better, exercise regularly or get more sleep in 2019. But Operation Lifesaver is asking Canadians from coast to coast to add another New Year’s resolution to their list this year: to be rail safe.

Over the last 10 years, close to 1,200 Canadians have been killed or seriously injured because they engaged in unsafe behaviour around railway tracks and trains. Sadly, almost every one of these incidents was preventable.

Working together to save lives

At Operation Lifesaver, our mission is to stop rail tragedies from happening. But it isn’t a job we can do alone. Reducing the number of crossing and trespassing incidents across the country is a team effort. That’s why we’re asking every single Canadian to commit to changing their behaviour around tracks and trains. We also need their help ensuring others get the rail safety message.

So, let’s work together to make 2019 a rail safe year. Read the following rules, obey them, and share them with your friends and family. It could make the difference between life and death for hundreds of Canadians in the coming year. 
  • Stay Off the Tracks: Never walk, cycle or drive along railway tracks—and never use them as a shortcut.
  • Keep Off All Railway Property: Railway yards, tunnels and bridges are all private property. If you are caught trespassing on them, you could be fined up to $50,000.
  • Put Your Phone Down:  Whether you’re driving or walking near railway tracks, being distracted can keep you from seeing a train from coming.
  • Keep One Ear Out: You can’t avoid getting hit by a train if you don’t hear it coming. When wearing headphones, keep one ear out near railway crossings.
  • Use Only Designated Railway Crossings: Trying to cross tracks anywhere else could be deadly.
  • Obey All Railway Signs and Signals:  Warning signals and signs are there for a reason, to save lives. So, obey them!
  • Keep a Safe Distance from Tracks: Trains can overhang the tracks by as much as 1 metre on each side. So, stay clear.
Please follow these rules, and have a happy, healthy and rail safe 2019.

Sarah Mayes
National Director, Operation Lifesaver Canada