Operation Lifesaver Launches Rail Safety Contest

OTTAWA, September 6, 2011 - Operation Lifesaver, Canada’s dedicated not-for-profit organization focused on preventing impacts associated with train collisions with motor vehicles and trespassing on rail property, today launched “OFF THE RAILS” a nation-wide rail safety contest designed for 11-14year olds.

“Youngsters do not always assess risk well, sometimes going as far as engaging in unsafe activities,” said Operation Lifesaver National Director Dan Di Tota. “The “OFF THE RAILS” contest challenges youngsters to put on their creative caps and design a rail-safety message in print or using multi-media that reaches their peers and may save lives.”

Since 1980 the number of crossing collisions (where a train and motor vehicle collide) in Canada has fallen dramatically from over 800 annually to approximately 200 in 2010. While this reduction speaks to the success of safety efforts undertaken in that time, there still remains unnecessary loss of life and injury with 79 fatalities and 47 serious injuries occurring in 2010 as a result of crossing collisions and trespassing on rail property.

About the “OFF THE RAILS” contest

Teachers, parents, coaches, team leaders and guardians, are encouraged to promote this contest.  The more creative the message encouraging youth to stay off rail tracks the better.  Submissions can be in the form of a short video, a poster, a song or even a comic strip.  There are four grand prizes of $2,000 and eight secondary prizes of $500 totaling more than $10,000 to be awarded to winning students, classrooms, clubs, teams or schools.   The prize money is to be used to promote literacy, numeracy, technology or physical and well-being of students.  The deadline for submissions is December 31, 2011.

For more information please refer to the contest website: www.offtherailscontest.ca

About Operation Lifesaver

Established in Canada in 1981, Operation Lifesaver is a national public-rail safety program sponsored by Transport Canada and the Railway Association of Canada. Through partnerships with provincial safety councils, police, railways, the trucking industry and community groups, Operation Lifesaver is dedicated to saving lives by educating Canadians about the hazards surrounding highway/railway crossings and trespassing on railway property.

For more information please visit www.operationlifesaver.ca or contact:

Dan Di Tota
613-564-8094 / dand@railcan.ca

Leila Mivechi
613-564-8100/ admin@operationlifesaver.ca