Bringing the rail-safety message to farmers at Agribition 2019

This week, 125,000 farmers from across Canada—and participants from more than 86 other countries—will gather in Regina, Saskatchewan, for Canadian Western Agribition 2019, the largest livestock show in Canada. The show offers a blend of agriculture, Indigenous culture, and festive entertainment. It also provides the perfect chance for Operation Lifesaver (OL) to get the rail-safety message out to farmers.

“There are more than 200,000 farms across Canada, and many are next to or near railway tracks. So, it’s important that farmers understand and follow the rail-safety rules when working and driving machinery near tracks and over railway crossings,” says Sarah Mayes, National Director of Operation Lifesaver Canada.  

It’s the second year representatives from OL’s Saskatchewan committee are taking part in Agribition. They’ll work with CP, CN and Regina Police Service to provide attendees of all ages with rail safety messaging through interactive displays and OL’s virtual reality videos—so they can experience firsthand the dangers of engaging in unsafe behaviour around railway crossings, tracks and trains. This year, they’ll also have a “Prize Wheel” that offers participants the chance to win prizes by answering rail safety questions. 

Making sure famers know how to be rail-safe
Railway tracks can be particularly dangerous for farmers, as many rural roads and farm crossings were not built to accommodate the larger machines being used today. Those driving farm machinery, such as tractors and combines, should take the time to stop at all crossings and keep the following rail-safety tips in mind to stay safe: 
  • Because of their size, trains appear to be much farther away and travelling much more slowly than they actually are.
  • When approaching a crossing, stop at least 5 metres from the nearest tracks. Allow extra distance for front-mounted buckets and chemical tanks on farm tractors.
  • While stopped, look carefully in both directions for approaching trains. Before crossing, make sure there is enough room on the other side to fully clear the tracks.
  • Make sure any towed equipment doesn’t become unhitched while crossing. Watch that no loaded materials become dislodged and fall onto the tracks.
  • Before attempting to proceed through a farm crossing for the first time, make sure heavier and wider equipment can be safely moved over the crossing.
For more rail safety tips, check out Operation Lifesaver’s website. Read them. Share them. Learn them. They could save your life.