Don't let inexperience get in the way of safety
OTTAWA, May 4 /CNW/ - With high school proms in full force and summer
soon approaching Operation Lifesaver, the nation's dedicated non-profit
organization focused on preventing accidents associated with train
collisions with motor vehicles and trespassing on rail property, is
reaching out to new drivers and particularly the 14-24 age groups
across Canada to make sure inexperience doesn't get in the way of
"Train to Drive," an online safety education site for new drivers
available at www.traintodrive.net, makes it easy for newly-licensed Canadians to learn the best way to
approach highway/railway crossings and rail safety in just a matter of
minutes. The interactive and informative program complements current
driver training and takes just minutes to complete.
"Canada has over 37,000 rail crossings and over more than 1,100 active
trains every day which transport over 70-million passengers and 75 per
cent of all surface freight in the country annually," says Dan Di, Tota
National Director of Operation Lifesaver in Canada. "Newly licensed
drivers are faced with many distractions and stresses as they build
their experience at the wheel. Learning to the heed warning signs at
the approach of highway/railway crossings is crucial and Operation
Lifesaver makes it easy to learn how with Train to Drive."
There were nearly 200 highway/railway crossing collisions in Canada in
2010 causing unnecessary loss of life and injury with 24 fatalities and
28 serious injuries. As Canada's population grows and rail transport
increases to accommodate both freight and commuter needs it is
essential that public awareness of rail safety increase as well to
reduce future fatality and injury incidents.
"While we have had a good amount of success in attracting young drivers
to the Train to Drive site, the great majority of these have been from
Ontario where, perhaps not surprisingly, a province which has a lower
percentage rate of crossing accidents than its population and large
numbers of rail crossings would warrant," continued Di Tota. "Other
provinces must step up their efforts to educate their newly-licensed
drivers on highway/railway crossing safety."
Since its inception in Canada in 1981, Operation Lifesaver has helped
reduce highway/railway crossing collisions by 75 per cent, and recorded
54 per cent declines in trespassing incidents. It is co-sponsored by
Transport Canada and the Railway Association of Canada, in cooperation
with other safety organizations, police and public service groups. The
Government of Canada has pledged over $900 million of investment
towards strengthening Canada's national passenger rail service in 2007
and in 2010 invested an additional $11 million to upgrade 155
high-priority, rail-grade crossings across the country.
Operation Lifesaver developed Train to Drive in consultation with the
transportation industries, and those involved in new-driver training.
The program that complements current driver training through video
clips, sound, and railway safety information specifically targeted at
the newly-licensed driver. Once students have gone through the
information, they can take a railway safety quiz. If they score 80 per
cent or more, students can print a Certificate of Completion for their
driver training instructors. The entire program is available on the
"Train to Drive" website, at www.traintodrive.net. Rail Safety Week from May 2 through May 8.
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.
SOURCE Operation Lifesaver
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