Rail safety tips to remember as you pedal your way to work

More and more of us are getting behind the handlebars as an alternate mode of transportation to and from our day-to-day activities. Next week is Bike to Work Week (May 26 - June 1). Before you start pedalling feverishly with the wind blowing your hair back, take some time to remind yourself of the rules of the road as they pertain to rail safety.

Rail safety tips for cyclists

Operation Lifesaver has a wide variety of rail safety resources available with a simple click of a button—perfect for sharing with your cyclist friends and members of your family, young and old. [caption id="" align="alignright" width="205"] Photo credit: mto.gov.on.ca[/caption] Here are some key rail safety tips to remember when you’re cycling:
  • When you see a railway crossing, always expect a train—on any track, in any direction, at any time!
  •  Watch for warning signs and pavement markings as you approach the crossing.
  •  Plan your crossing well ahead of time, establishing your lane position early to make the crossing at the proper right angle. This lane position will depend on the angle of the tracks. Shoulder check and signal your intentions to fellow road users, including the fact that you may be slowing down.
  • LOOK in both directions along the tracks. LISTEN for a train. PROCEED across the tracks ONLY after making sure that no trains are coming and that no warning devices are activated.

Safe cycling practices

Bikehub.ca is a great resource to bookmark for all the cyclists in your network. While being a cyclist is great for your health and the environment, doing so in a safe manner and adhering to the rules of the road and the railway should also be a priority.
  • You might want to escalate your education on two wheels by checking out some informative courses, such as the Streetwise Cycling Course.
  • You can even take your cycling education to work, by looking into some Workplace Cycling Workshops.
  • And don’t forget to print out this handy Operation Lifesaver Rail Safety Tips for Cyclists handout (PDF). It’s free, downloadable, pocket-size—and perfect for you to reference if you’re ever unsure what to do when approaching a railway crossing.
Remember: an authorized railway crossing is the only place where it’s legal for cyclists, pedestrians or vehicle drivers to cross railway tracks. Gravel service roads and green space beside railway tracks are usually railway property. It’s illegal—and dangerous— to trespass on railway property!

Look! Listen! Live!