A how-to guide to being rail safe while enjoying the outdoors

June marks the start of Canada’s much longed for summer—it’s the perfect time to get outside and make the most of Canada’s great outdoors. Encountering railway tracks is bound to happen when you embark on outdoor adventures—the key is to ensure you and those around you act safely at all times near the tracks and NEVER trespass. Remember: railways tracks are private property!

Quick-hitting rail safety tips

You can never be too careful. Operation Lifesaver makes it easy for you to be rail safe by offering some handy and free downloadable rail safety resources—perfect for packing in your daypack for quick reference if you’re ever unsure how to proceed when approaching a highway-railway crossing.
  • Whether on foot or in a vehicle, the only place you should ever cross railway tracks is at an authorized and properly marked crossing. When you approach or cross a railway track, BE CAREFUL!
  • Stay well back and do not cross while the bell is ringing and the lights are flashing.
  • Pedestrians must obey crossing laws just as drivers do and must yield the right-of-way at highway- railway crossings. Whether on foot or in a vehicle, the only place you should ever cross railway tracks is at an authorized and properly marked crossing
  • Never try to beat a train to a crossing or cross the tracks in front of a train. Trains cannot stop quickly and cannot swerve to avoid hitting you.

Back pocket rail safety tips when approaching a railway crossing

Don’t make a foolish split-second decision that could forever change you or someone you love’s life. Be smart and act safely around the tracks. You can do this by taking the time to act responsibly near the tracks. Get started by simply remembering these tips and more and sharing them with your friends and family of all ages.
  • Stop no closer than five metres from the nearest rail of the railway track.
  • Teach children that the safety rules for a railway crossing are similar to those for crossing the street.
  • Look both ways along the railway track for an oncoming train.
  • If a train is approaching, wait for the train to pass.
  • Pedestrians must obey crossing laws just as drivers do.

Remind teens to be rail safe when they hit the open road

The summer months offer young drivers the promise of road and camping trips with friends. Before they hit the open road, make sure they’re armed with the rail safety knowledge that will bring them home alive. If you can only get the attention of those hard-to-reach teenagers in your household for a minute, be sure to upload this video on their iPad or smartphone. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTXImMgh74E[/youtube] The message will pack a punch sure to resonate with your teen. While you want them to enjoy their spring and summer fun with friends, you can feel better knowing that you’re doing your part as a parent by sharing with them a hard-hitting rail safety message. Let’s make this month and the rest of summer as rail safe as possible while enjoying the warm weather and good times with our family and friends. You’re never too old to act responsibly around the tracks. Remember to ALWAYS: LOOK! LISTEN! LIVE.