Educating Canadians about the hazards surrounding railway property and trains is a team effort. It takes the rail industry, governments, law enforcement, labour groups, the media, and communities from coast to coast working together to prevent incidents and save lives. Hundreds of people across the country work with Operation Lifesaver to promote rail safety through community-based problem solving. The Roger Cyr Award for Rail Safety is our chance to highlight the important work of these partners.
Constable Bidulka became an RCMP officer in 2005, serving three different communities with the service before joining CP’s Police Service in 2015. In 2017, he worked to establish and chair a new OL provincial committee in Saskatchewan, to help coordinate rail safety education and outreach efforts in the province. Since that time, Constable Bidulka has built up the committee’s membership and secured the support of more than a dozen key organizations in the region.
He leveraged those connections in planning a successful snowmobile-train mock collision, followed by two days of coordinated rail safety enforcement in Yorkton, Sask. in February 2018, to support the launch of OL’s new snowmobile safety virtual reality video.
Constable Bidulka is passionate about preventing railway crossing and trespassing incidents before they occur. He regularly liaises with Mosaic Stadium in Regina – located next to CP’s mainline – to ensure that the 35,000 people who come and go from Saskatchewan Roughrider games and concerts at the stadium do so safely. He and his team achieve this by communicating train schedules to stadium staff, by airing rail safety PSAs during stadium events, and by working with CP crews to avoid rail traffic at peak event times.
Constable Bidulka also understands the value of one-on-one rail safety conversations. After footage recently surfaced on social media of some Regina children climbing under a stopped train at a crossing, he identified the community and reached out to its local association. Along with parent discussions, school presentations and a rail safety open house at the community centre, Constable Bidulka and his team knocked on doors throughout the community to spread the rail safety message. He still visits the area weekly to speak with community members, and he oversaw the installation of 12 new “no trespassing” signs along rail lines in the area.
Operation Lifesaver wishes to extend its congratulations and thanks to Constable Bidulka for his outstanding efforts in promoting rail safety in Canada. OL looks forward to awarding him the Roger Cyr Award in person at a ceremony in Ottawa in early October.