Meet André LeBreux, OL’s 2019 Roger Cyr Award winner

You could say rail safety is in André LeBreux’s blood. Although the CN Police Constable has only been working for the railway since 2008, he’s been thinking about rail safety as long as he can remember.
 
Constable LeBreux is a second-generation railway police officer. His father, Marc, was with the CN Police for 33 years and sparked his interest in rail safety. In fact, Constable LeBreux started volunteering with Operation Lifesaver as a teenager almost 20 years ago.
 
As part of Rail Safety Week 2020, we’re delighted to recognize the important contribution that Constable LeBreux has made to rail safety by naming him the 2019 recipient of Operation Lifesaver’s prestigious Roger Cyr Award. The award is our way of acknowledging the critical work that Rail Safety Ambassadors like Constable LeBreux do to help save lives. Named after the founder of Operation Lifesaver Canada, the award is given to an OL partner or volunteer who goes above and beyond in promoting railway safety.
 
OL spoke with Constable LeBreux about receiving the award and why he’s so passionate about spreading the rail safety message to Canadians. Here’s part of that conversation:
 
When you were growing up, how much did you hear about real safety from your father?
 
It was a subject every day. It was the main topic at our supper table. My dad always made rail safety a priority in his life. It was about protecting people. Even now that my dad's retired, if I have a quick chat with him, he is going to talk about something regarding railway safety.
 
My dad has been a big influence on me, always pushing me to do my best by sharing the rail safety message. And I think having him as an example makes me a better person and a better Constable today.
 
As a CN Constable, what are some of the more dangerous things that you've seen pedestrians or drivers do around tracks and trains?
 
Trespassing is the worst thing. It is not only dangerous, but it's illegal and you could be fined if you are on CN property. That’s why we teach “train time is any time.” People need to always expect trains. Trains can be very dangerous because they can pass at any moment. But people think they know the schedule or that there are no trains... it's always the same story. “We're going to hear the train” a lot of people say, or “It always happens to others, it won't happen to me.”
 
Is there a particular age group that you think is the most important to reach with the rail-safety message?
 
Every age group is very important. Just because you're old doesn’t mean that you know everything. But we need to get the proper wording for each group when we do our presentations to make sure that we share a strong rail-safety message to those people. We have to adjust our message. If we can teach all people that it can be dangerous to take a shortcut using railway tracks or property, I strongly believe that we can save lives.