Railway Safety Contest Winners Announced

OTTAWA - Craig Washburn, a Grade Six student from Tilbury Area Public School in Ontario, and Grade Eight student Kimberley Carter of Eagleview School in Onion Lake, Saskatchewan were first place winners in this year’s First Nations’ Direction 2006 railway safety poster contest.

Sgt. Bill Law, contest coordinator who also directs the CPR Police community services unit, said the contest is one of several initiatives helping to reduce the number of motorists and pedestrians killed and injured along Canada’s railways.

The poster contest was initiated in 2002 with the assistance of First Nations Police Services, and was open to all young people in Grades Four to Nine who participate in youth groups and school classes in these communities.

In the Grades Four to Six category, Annabelle Caissie from Red Bank, N.B. (Grade Six, Metepenagiag School) placed second, and Shelby Jessica Scherbey of Ituna, SK (Grade Five, Ituna School), was third.

In the Grades Seven to Nine category, Dexter Moise, a Grade Nine student at the Clearwater River Dene School in Clearwater, SK was the second place winner. Third prize went to his classmate, Aldan Janvier.

Police, safety and community groups, and partners' websites were used to distribute contest information. First place prizes are for $300, second place, $200, and third, $100. As well, there are awards of $200 for the school whose student submitted the winning poster, and $100 for the teacher of the first place student, in each age category. Members of the Direction 2006 and Operation Lifesaver Education Committee judged the entries.

Operation Lifesaver, a national public safety program sponsored by Transport Canada and the Railway Association of Canada, works in partnership with provincial safety councils, police, unions, railways and community groups.

The program already has an excellent track record, and has helped to reduce crossing collisions and trespasser incidents by 62 per cent since OL’s inception some 20 years ago. Direction 2006 has broadened the partnership, conducted research, introduced new educational and public information resources, such as CDs, videos, public service announcements, billboards and is using advanced technology to cut crossing collisions and trespassing incidents in half by the end of 2006.

Last year, 95 people were killed and 62 seriously injured along the tracks in Canada.

Contact Information:

William J. Law
CPR Police Service
Direction 2006
First Nations Railway Safety Poster Contest
(416) 696-6596 or bill_law@cpr.ca

Dan Di Tota
National Director
Operation Lifesaver
613-564-8094 or dand@railcan.ca

Madalina Carlea
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada,
(819) 997-8402 or carleam@inac.gc.ca

Roger Cameron
Direction 2006, Communications
Railway Association of Canada
(613) 564-8097 or rogerc@railcan.ca