A tragic month for trespassing incidents
April 2023 was a tragic month for Canada’s railways. Eight Canadians were killed while trespassing on railway property or tracks—more than any month in the past year.
Operation Lifesaver’s goal is to prevent these tragedies from happening through education and public awareness campaigns like #STOPTrackTragedies
. But despite our best efforts, Canadians continue to lose their lives.
“It’s incredibly disheartening to see statistics like these, especially since we know that almost every one of these deaths could have been prevented,” says Sarah Mayes, National Director of Operation Lifesaver Canada. “Canadians of all ages need to understand that railway tracks shouldn’t be used as walking, running, or recreational paths—or as shortcuts. Trains can arrive at any time, from either direction, and can be incredibly quiet—you won’t necessarily hear one before it’s too late.”
Help stop tragedies from happening
Operation Lifesaver encourages Canadians to stay alert around tracks and trains—and to follow these simple rail-safety rules to prevent tragedies:
- Stay off railway tracks, trestles, yards, and equipment. You could be seriously injured or killed by trespassing on railway property.
- Only use designated railway crossings. Never take a shortcut across tracks—saving time isn’t worth your life.
- Never cross the tracks immediately after a train passes. Look for other oncoming trains, and wait until you can see clearly in both directions before crossing.
- Keep your distance. Trains overhang tracks by at least 1 metre on each side and can carry loads that extend even further. If you're next to the tracks, you can be hit.
- Keep one ear out near railway crossings. If you’re wearing headphones on both ears, you won’t hear a train coming.
- Never assume a rail line is abandoned. Often, tracks can be deactivated and reactivated, so a train could appear on once-quiet tracks at any time.
Help #STOPTrackTragedies by sharing these tips and our other rail-safety resources
with the people you love.