Operation Clear Track: joining forces with police to prevent tragedies

Everyone has a role to play when it comes to promoting rail-safety, and police play a particularly important one. But Operation Clear Track is one of the ways Operation Lifesaver (OL) Canada is bringing together law enforcement agencies across Canada and the U.S. to help prevent incidents on railway tracks—and save lives.

Operation Clear Track is the single largest rail-safety law-enforcement initiative in North America. Coordinated by OL, Amtrak, and Operation Lifesaver Inc., the event is held annually during Rail Safety Week (September 21-27, 2020) with the aim of reducing the number of railway crossing and trespassing incidents.
“A split-second decision to try to beat a train at a crossing, or to use tracks as a shortcut or a recreational path, can have tragic consequences,” says Sarah Mayes, National Director of Operation Lifesaver Canada. “Operation Clear Track’s goal is to encourage people to think twice before engaging in unsafe behaviours, and to learn how to keep themselves safe around tracks and trains.”
Promoting rail-safety virtually for Rail Safety Week 2020
During Operation Clear Track, police usually visit hundreds of railway crossings at high incident locations, writing citations, issuing warnings and distributing cards with rail-safety tips to the public. But this year’s event is a little different.
“Because of the ongoing pandemic, Operation Clear Track will be a virtual one this year,” explains Mayes. “But we hope it will still help us spread the rail-safety message to people across Canada and the U.S.—and ultimately, save lives.”
Hundreds of police and sheriff departments across North America have signed up for the initiative again this year. But instead of speaking face-to-face with drivers, cyclists and pedestrians, they’ll be promoting rail safety through social media messages. Participating police departments will also be sharing Operation Lifesaver’s three new #STOPTrackTragedies videos, and posting other rail-safety content to their websites.
You can find out more information about Operation Clear Track, Rail Safety Week and all OL’s other rail-safety initiatives and tips on our website. Help us stop needless tragedies from happening—because we all have a part to play when it comes to rail safety!