Train safety is common sense

Trains are big, powerful and slow to stop. If you get hit by one, chances are good that you’ll be seriously injured or killed. Seems obvious, right? For the more than 170 people who are involved in an incident with a train every year, it wasn’t so obvious.

Most rail-safe behaviour is just common sense. It’s also similar to the common sense most of us use on  and near roadways:

  • You look both ways before you cross the street. Look both ways at train tracks, too.
  • You cross the street at designated crosswalks. Cross the tracks only at designated crossings.
  • You don’t cross the street unless it’s safe to get all the way across. Whether on foot or in a vehicle, be sure you can clear the tracks before you start across.
  • You know you shouldn’t text while you cross the street. Don’t text around train tracks either.
  • You wouldn’t step into the path of a car. Don’t step into the path of a train, even if it seems to be far enough away.
  • You wouldn’t walk down the middle of a deserted highway—you never know when a car might come along. The same is true for train tracks—anytime is train time.

This video from Operation Lifesaver in the United States has some additional common-sense thoughts.


Think you know how to behave around trains? Take the Operation Lifesaver quiz and see if you have the sense to survive. (Want to be sure to pass? Read the Public-Rail Safety Guide (PDF) first.)

Operation Lifesaver and its partners are dedicated to saving lives by sharing the important message of rail safety. Even one person who is injured or killed by a train is one too many. You can help us save lives, too. Use common sense around trains and train tracks and tell your friends to do the same. With a little bit of common sense, everyone can arrive home alive.