Don’t let a train turn your wedding into a funeral

Wedding season is upon us. Whether you’re a guest, a member of the wedding party or the bride or groom, you want to be there on time to celebrate and enjoy the day. But don’t let your eagerness to arrive impair your common sense around train tracks. If you rush to get there, a beautiful day could end abruptly and tragically. A joyous celebration quickly becomes anything but when someone gets hit by a train. Even if you’re not headed to a wedding, summer roads are busier and more drivers—including you—may be in a rush to get to their destination. This wedding season and all summer long, remember that nothing is more important than being safe around the tracks—not even being on time for your big day. It’s better to be late than dead. In this video, Operation Lifesaver Inc. shares an important reminder that there’s never a good reason to race a train. [vimeo][/vimeo] Here are some tips to help ensure that distraction and poor choices don’t keep you from getting where you need to go, permanently:
  • Obey the signals. Even if you can’t see a train coming, stop and wait when crossing lights are active and never, ever drive around lowered gates.
  • Never race a train to a crossing—even in a tie you lose! An approaching train is always closer and moving faster than you think.
  • Trains have the right of way 100% of the time. Just because you’re in a hurry, doesn’t mean you get to go first.
  • It’s only safe to cross when the signals have ceased, the gates are fully raised, and you have looked and listened to ensure there are no other trains approaching.
  • If your vehicle stalls on the tracks, get everyone out and at least 30 metres away from the track immediately (if possible, towards the direction of the oncoming train). This will reduce the chances of being struck by flying debris if a train hits the stalled vehicle.
  • At night or during poor weather, be especially alert for railway crossing signs and drive slowly enough that you could stop within the distance illuminated by your headlights. You want a clear view of the road ahead of you. Hitting the side of a train can be just as deadly as being hit by one.
One more lifesaving rail safety tip for wedding season: many couples and their photographers are tempted to use train tracks as a backdrop for photos. Don’t. Any time is train time, even on tracks that might appear to be abandoned or inactive. Instead of a camera lens, you could find yourself staring down a barreling train that can’t swerve to avoid you. A wedding is an occasion to be remembered – make sure those memories don’t revolve around a train-related death or injury. Share this message with your loved ones so that everyone gets there safely.