ATVs and trains can be a deadly combination

Fall is the perfect time to get out on an ATV and explore—before the snow falls. But whether you’re riding an off-road vehicle on farmland, in the backwoods, or on designated trails, staying safe is all about following certain safety rules, especially around railway tracks and property.

At Operation Lifesaver (OL) Canada, we want to prevent tragic incidents between trains and off-road vehicles. One of the ways we’re trying to do that is through our Look. Listen. Live. ATV virtual-reality video. The video immerses viewers in a 3D environment that demonstrates just how quickly and silently a train can approach— and how deadly train-ATV collisions can be.
Sticking to the rules is the only safe choice
Whether you’re new to the sport, or a seasoned ATV rider, following these simple rail safety rules — in addition to wearing a helmet—can ensure you stay safe:
  • Always use approved trails—riding an ATV on or beside railway tracks is both illegal and extremely dangerous.
  • Only cross tracks at designated rail crossings. When approaching a crossing, slow down, look both ways and listen for approaching trains; proceed only if you’re sure it’s safe to do so.
  • Always cross tracks at a 90-degree angle, or as close to it as possible.
  • Abandon your ATV if breaks down on railway tracks and move at least 30 metres away. Contact the railway company immediately and let them know there’s vehicle on the tracks.

Check out OL’s tip sheet for off-road vehicle operators to learn more about how to stay safe around railway tracks and trains.