That’s a wrap for Rail Safety Week 2023 (held September 18th
)! This year’s event was a very special one, as it marked the 20th
anniversary of the first Rail Safety Week held by Operation Lifesaver (OL) Canada back in 2003.
Over the years, Rail Safety Week has both changed and grown; it’s now observed in September rather than in April, and partners in the U.S. and Mexico have joined the campaign, making it a truly North American effort. But the basic aim of Rail Safety Week has remained the same: to save lives by encouraging safety-conscious attitudes around tracks and trains.
Promoting rail safety from coast to coast
Over the past week, rail safety events were held across Canada. For instance, more than 18 municipalities unveiled new “Look. Listen. Live.” decals and signs as part of our Community Safety Partnership Program
. More than 640 law enforcement agencies also held rail safety events and blitzes as part of Operation Clear Track
. We also announced the winners of our individual and community 2022 Roger Cyr Awards
OL also launched two new #STOPTrackTragedies
videos as part of this year’s event. These poignant videos feature the stories of people personally affected by rail crossing and trespassing incidents. The two mothers featured in this year’s videos share the impact that rail incidents have had on their lives, and what they would do differently to prevent these tragedies—if only they could turn back the clock. Since the videos were unveiled earlier this week, they’ve already been viewed more than 38,000 times.
“While these videos are heartbreaking to watch, we believe they’ll encourage Canadians to think differently about taking risks around tracks and trains,” says Sarah Mayes, National Director of Operation Lifesaver Canada. “This year, as we mark the 20th
anniversary of Rail Safety Week, we hope Canadians will share these stories, will talk about rail safety with their loved ones, and will model rail-safe behaviours, so that we all do our part to #STOPTrackTragedies
Working with our partners to save lives
OL may spearhead Rail Safety Week, but we couldn’t do it without partners such as CN, CPKC, VIA, Metrolinx, TransLink, Genesee & Wyoming, BNSF, NB Southern, exo, Rocky Mountaineer, as well as the members of OL’s Board and Provincial Committees. It’s because of their support that Rail Safety Week 2023 was such a success—helping OL to reach people from coast to coast with the rail-safety message.
And although Rail Safety Week only happens once a year, we hope it will have a lasting impact on Canadians, by changing the way they behave around tracks and trains every day.