Jumping off a rail bridge isn’t worth the thrill

Every summer, people across the country are injured—or even killed—jumping off bridges into lakes, rivers, and streams. That’s why Operation Lifesaver wants to remind Canadians—especially young Canadians—that jumping off railway bridges isn’t a safe way too cool off during the hot summer months.  
“It’s become an all-too-frequent practice for young people to engage in risk-taking behaviours on the railways—including climbing up rail bridges over bodies of water. This is not only against the law, but it’s extremely dangerous and potentially deadly,” says Sue Milos, Manager, Customer Protection Services, for Metrolinx—the company that runs GO, the commuter railway in Southern Ontario and the Greater Toronto Area.
Putting a stop to dangerous behaviour
In Mississauga, Ont., police and GO Transit officials have stepped up efforts in recent years to prevent young people from using a railway overpass over the Credit River as a diving platform. Unfortunately, many youth don’t understand the consequences of this behaviour.
“Trespassing on railway property—and that includes railway bridges—can result in a fine of up to $5,000 on Metrolinx properties,” explains Milos.
In fact, under the Railway Safety Act, trespassing on railway bridges could lead to fines of up to $10,000 (although actual fines vary by province). But, more importantly, trespassers risk being:
  • hit by a passing train;
  • electrocuted by the rails;
  • seriously injured by rocks or rebar in shallow water; or
  • injuring boaters who are travelling below bridges.
So, find a safe way to beat the heat this summer. If you want to take the plunge, stay off railway bridges. For other life-saving tips, check out our website.