Don't die this winter - drive safe at level crossings
Another Canadian winter is just around the corner. With freezing temperatures and snowy roads on the way, now's a good time to prepare for winter driving. Highway-railway crossings are always dangerous for drivers, and even more so during the winter. So here's a refresher of the steps to follow to stay alive at level crossings this winter:
Rail safe winter driving tips
- Always drive at a speed that allows you to stop within the distance of your headlights – so you have a clear view of the road ahead of you. This is especially important when road conditions are slippery and when driving at night. Always slow down well in advance of a level crossing.
- Turn off the radio and heating fans so that you can listen for a train. Roll down the window if it's frosty or foggy and your vision is impaired. Look both ways and listen for a train.
- Be especially alert for advance warning signs and be prepared to stop. Snow may make train tracks look like the road - be alert to where the tracks are so you avoid making a deadly turn. Look for the retro-reflectorized crossing signs as well as elements on railway equipment.
- If you must stop, stop no closer than five metres from the nearest rail.
- Remember, when there are two sets of tracks, there could be two trains. And any time is train time. Always look both ways before proceeding across the tracks. At an active highway-railway crossing, remain stopped until the gates are fully raised and the lights stop flashing.