It’s a new year—and with it comes the opportunity for a fresh start. For many of us, it’s a chance to start new routines and build healthier habits—whether it’s vowing to eat better, exercise more, read more books, or get more sleep. But at Operation Lifesaver, we want every Canadian to add another New Year’s resolution to their list this year: a commitment to practising rail safety in their day-to-day lives.
More than 1,700 Canadians have been killed or seriously injured over the past decade because they engaged in unsafe behaviour around railway tracks and trains. Whether these incidents happened as a result of trespassing on railway property or collisions at railway crossings, the biggest tragedy is that each and every one could have been prevented.
Working to reach Canadians in new ways
Over the past year, Operation Lifesaver has continued to look for new ways to get its rail safety message across to Canadians. To reach a younger audience, we partnered with Mattel Canada, Canadian Pacific, and Metrolinx to publish two Thomas & FriendsTM rail-safety books
: the Stand Back!
activity book and the Stay Safe with Thomas
storybook. Since September, more than 39,000 hard copies of the books have been distributed to parents, schools, and community groups.
During Rail Safety Week 2022, we also unveiled 89 “Look. Listen. Live.” decals near railway crossings in 16 communities across the country as part of our “Look. Listen. Live.” Community Safety Partnership Program
. The bright yellow and black pavement decals remind drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists that they need to be extra vigilant before crossing railway tracks.
We also launched four new and heartbreaking #STOPTrackTragedies
videos. Each one includes the voice of someone personally affected by a railway crossing or trespassing incident—including victims, friends and family members, and railway personnel.
Making safety a priority this year
As we start this new year, we’re determined to ensure that Canadians of all ages understand the risks around railway crossings and property—and what is at stake if they don’t abide by the rail safety rules. We’ll continue to launch new initiatives and look for new approaches to help keep Canadians safe, and ultimately, save lives.
But we need each and every Canadian to help us spread our rail safety message and to personally take up our challenge to learn—and follow—the railway safety rules. It could make the difference between life and death for hundreds of Canadians in the coming year.
Wishing you all a happy, healthy, and safe New Year.
The Operation Lifesaver Canada Team