All Aboard for Railway Safety Week



    OTTAWA, April 18 /CNW/ - Operation Lifesaver, in cooperation with
Transport Canada and the Railway Association of Canada, will begin the 2007
Railway Safety Week on April 23, a national and annual effort to promote safe
decisions around highway-railway crossings and operations.
    "We are very excited to be kicking off the annual Railway Safety Week,"
said Dan Di Tota, Operation Lifesaver national director. "Railway safety is a
very important message to bring to Canadians and we have seen first-hand how
Canadians can make a difference."
    In 2006, crossing collisions decreased from 269 in 2005 to 249, said
Mr. Di Tota. Since 1981, railway crossing collisions have decreased 64 per
cent. However, trespassing incidents increased by 9.6 per cent from 2005 to
2006.
    "With the exception of the increase in trespassing incidents year over
year, we have seen significant strides made over time to prevent these
accidents," Mr. Di Tota said. "But our work is not done, and almost all of
these incidents can be avoided with the right education and caution."
    More than 180 communities will be involved with this year's Railway
Safety Week, reflecting the importance of the railways and municipalities
working together to address safety issues. As railway operations and community
expansion get closer together, it has become increasingly more important to
cooperate and assist one another in safety initiatives.
    "The involvement with so many communities highlights the strong
commitment in Canada to work towards a safe railway industry," said
Hon. Lawrence Cannon, federal minister of transport, infrastructure and
communities. "The railway industry has a strong history of positive work with
Canadian communities, and there is no more important cause than railway
safety. If the railway industry and Canadian communities continue to work
together on these initiatives, there is no telling what we can achieve."
    Railway Safety Week will include a number of different events, including
mock collisions, the official unveiling of Operation Lifesaver interactive
kiosks, and the playing of railway safety public service announcements across
Canada. The Cape Breton Screaming Eagles of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey
League will be participating in railway safety announcements throughout the
week, and several announcements will be made by politicians across Canada
about the importance of railway safety. Crossing blitzes and trespass
enforcement will take place at several locations across Canada, as well as
dangerous goods training for emergency responders and railway open houses.




For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Dan Di Tota, Operation
Lifesaver, (613) 564-8094, dand@railcan.ca; Roger Cameron, Railway Association
of Canada, (613) 564-8097, rogerc@railcan.ca; Fiona MacLeod, Transport Canada,
(613) 990-6182

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Railway Association of Canada

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