It’s safe to say that very few things have been “normal” over the past six months—and Rail Safety Week 2020 was no exception. Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s event had to be a virtual one.
Although this year’s event may have been a little different than originally planned, it still offered a valuable opportunity to remind Canadians about the need to stay safe around tracks and trains. Sadly, tragedies do happen. 2,100 North Americans are killed or seriously injured each year in railway crossing and trespassing incidents. Rail Safety Week is a way to help prevent these tragedies across the country—and this year was no different.
Showcasing the stories of those affected by rail tragedies
As part Rail Safety Week 2020 (September 21-27, 2020), Operation Lifesaver (OL) Canada launched four new #STOPTrackTragedies
videos. These poignant videos feature the stories of people personally affected by rail crossing or trespassing incidents—including victims, and their friends and family. They share their thoughts about what they would do differently to prevent these incidents, if only they were given a second chance. These four latest #STOPTrackTragedies videos have already been viewed more than 170,000 times since they were unveiled just a few days ago. Throughout the week, #STOPTrackTragedies ads have also aired on radio stations in 14 markets across the country and have been seen by viewers on Bell’s Connected TV platform as well as across Bell’s websites.
“By showcasing the stories of people directing impacted by rail crossing and trespass incidents, we hope to save more lives in 2020. While these stories may be heartbreaking, we believe they encourage people to change their behaviour so that they stay safe around tracks and trains,” says Sarah Mayes, National Director of Operation Lifesaver Canada.
Working together to prevent rail tragedies
We couldn’t have made Rail Safety Week 2020 a success without partners such as CN, CP, VIA, Metrolinx, TransLink, Genesee & Wyoming, West Coast Express, BNSF, NB Southern, exo, Rocky Mountaineer, as well as the members of OL’s Board and Provincial Committees.
And though Rail Safety Week may only happen once a year, we hope Canadians will think about rail safety all year round. Because almost every incident can be prevented—and we all share a responsibility when it comes to rail safety.