Hit the open road this summer, but be rail safe.
There’s nothing quite like heading out on the open road on a little adventure. But the annual summer road trip can also end in tragedy—if you don’t follow the rail-safety rules.
Across the country, there are more than 1 million kilometres of roads and almost 43,000 kilometres of railway tracks. If drivers don’t know and follow the rail-safety rules, this can be a deadly combination.
Brush up on rail-safety basics before hitting the road
Make sure every encounter you have with tracks and trains this summer is a safe one. Keep these tips in mind when you hit the road:
Get to know your railway signs and signals
Knowing your railway signs and signals
- Always drive at a speed that allows you to stop within the distance of your headlights so you have a clear view of the road — and any crossings — ahead.
- Obey all crossing signs and warning devices, such as lights, bells and gates. Never drive around lowered gates—not only is it illegal, but it could be deadly.
- Never try to race a train to the crossing. Even in a tie, you will lose.
- Look and listen for trains when you’re approaching tracks, and slow down so you can stop safely, if necessary.
- Don’t text or talk on your phone, or eat or drink, while driving.
- Always expect a train. Even seemingly abandoned tracks could come back into service.
- Don’t get trapped on tracks. Be aware of the traffic in front of you, and only cross tracks if you’re sure you can completely clear them without stopping.
- If your vehicle stalls in a crossing, get out and move a safe distance away from the tracks. Contact the railway company and let them know there is a vehicle on the tracks or call 911. (Most railways post their emergency numbers at crossings, either behind the crossbuck or on the signal house.)
is one way to ensure you stay safe on the road. And if your adventure takes you south of the border, be aware that U.S. railway signs are different
. It could save your life.
Ensure your summer road trip is one you will remember for all the right reasons. If you need to cross tracks, always approach them expecting a train, only cross when it’s safe, and “Look. Listen. Live.”