Operation Lifesaver Canada salutes International Level Crossing Awareness Day

Completes successful cross-Canada Public-Rail Safety Week

OTTAWA, May 6, 2013 /CNW/ - Operation Lifesaver joins more than 40 countries around the world for the fifth International Level Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD). ILCAD focuses on educational measures and the promotion of safe behaviour at and around level crossings under the common message of "Act safely at level crossings!"

ILCAD 2013 is being held concurrently with the Second United Nations Global Road Safety Week, May 6-12, 2013. Requested by the UN General Assembly, the week is dedicated to pedestrian safety and will draw attention to the urgent need to better protect pedestrians worldwide, generate action on the measures needed to do so, and contribute to achieving the goal of the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 to save five million lives.

Now in its eleventh year, Operation Lifesaver's Public-Rail Safety Week (PRSW) completed a successful outreach to Canadians through community-level events and local activities including school presentations, crossing blitzes and mock collisions that were held from Newfoundland to British Columbia.

"All efforts to raise awareness of the shared responsibility citizens, motorists, communities and rail have in respecting safety at rail crossings should be taken with the seriousness of the consequences of not doing so," said Operation Lifesaver National Director Mike Regimbal. "Operation Lifesaver, its partners and hundreds of volunteers across Canada salute the ILCAD initiative."

Operation Lifesaver began operating in Canada as a public education program, jointly funded by The Railway Association of Canada and Transport Canada in 1981 when there were more than 800 crossing and trespassing accidents. In 2012, there were 261 railway crossing and trespasser accidents, including 78 fatalities and 53 serious injuries. Year-over-year, accidents increased by 10 per cent, fatalities by 11 per cent and serious injuries by 23 per cent. Moreover, the rates of fatalities and serious injuries were both higher than the five-year average from 2007 to 2011.

Canada's railways run an average of 1,100 passenger and goods trains every day, often over some of the world's most rugged terrain and in some of the world's worst weather conditions. Canada's railways have the best safety record in North America and provide by far the safest means of ground transportation in Canada.

About Operation Lifesaver
Established in Canada in 1981, Operation Lifesaver is a national public-rail safety program sponsored by Transport Canada and the Railway Association of Canada. Through partnerships with provincial safety councils, police, railways, the trucking industry and community groups, Operation Lifesaver is dedicated to saving lives by educating Canadians about the hazards surrounding highway/railway crossings and trespassing on railway property.

www.operationlifesaver.ca

Facebook: www.facebook.com/operationlifesaver

Twitter: @oplifesaver

SOURCE: Operation Lifesaver

For further information:

Alex Paterson
Railway Association of Canada
613-564-8111
alexp@railcan.ca 

Mike Regimbal
National Director
Operation Lifesaver
613-564-8100
miker@railcan.ca 

Paul Goyette
Railway Association of Canada
613-564-8097
paulg@railcan.ca


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