Canadian Pacific (CP) and the Canadian Pacific Police Service (CPPS) will be educating the public during Rail Safety Week about safety in and around railway property and how to stay safe for the balance of the year.
From April 27 through May 3, CP and CPPS will conduct rail safety blitzes in communities across our network – from Montreal to Vancouver – with participation from other police agencies and schools to educate motorists, pedestrians, and the public about the role we each play in staying safe.
“When people use railway property or tracks as walking paths, they are risking their lives,” said Laird Pitz, Vice President and Chief Risk Officer. “Rail safety requires vigilance 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. We are asking everyone to consider their own safety around railroad property. The impact of an incident can have tragic consequences for all concerned, including family, friends and community.”
Despite the decline in incidents, one accident is one too many since they are all preventable.
Crossing accidents in Canada declined in 2014 from the five-year average but trespassing accidents did not improve, totaling 58 last year, unchanged from 2013. While crossing and trespassing fatalities declined from the five-year average, more work remains to be done.
Operation Lifesaver (OL), a not-for-profit organisation sponsored by Canada’s railway industry and Transport Canada, has organised Rail Safety Week for 12 years. This year, OL has planned over 500 activities during the week, including presentations in schools, mock collisions and crossing blitzes.
“When people see tracks, we want them to think ‘danger’,” said Mike Regimbal, National Director of OL. “Ignorance around railway property can result in a serious injury or death, and could have a serious impact on you, your friends and family, your community and railway employees.”
Operation Lifesaver spreads its motto of “Look, Listen and Live” through its many year-long initiatives that complement RSW, including interactive websites, online new and professional driver education modules, and social media outreach. Additionally, OL’s network of volunteers conducts more than 500 rail safety presentations and activities across Canada each year.
“Last year, we saw year-over-year improvements in certain areas, including reductions in crossing and trespassing fatalities,” said Regimbal. “The rise of serious injuries is concerning. The statistics involving British Columbia and trespassing incidents in Alberta are also troubling. The worst part is that all incidents are preventable.”