VICTORIA, April 23 /CNW Telbec/ - In celebration of Rail Safety Week, the
Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister
for the Canadian Wheat Board, on behalf of the Honourable Lawrence Cannon,
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, today announced that
Canada's New Government will provide more than $837,500 for two safety
improvement projects at a railway crossing in British Columbia.
The federal government will be contributing $222,080 for the first
project, which is to install flashing lights, bells, gates and a constant
warning time device, and $615,500 for the second project, which is to
interconnect the grade crossing to traffic signals. Both projects will be
implemented at the Langley railway crossing on Smith Crescent.
"British Columbia's extensive rail network makes rail safety a key
concern for local communities," said Minister Strahl. "These upgrades at
strategic locations in the province will go a long way to help improve railway
Under Transport Canada's Grade Crossing Improvement Program, eligible
railway crossings are either upgraded, relocated or closed. Improvements may
include installing flashing lights and gates, adding gates or extra lights to
existing systems, linking crossing signals to nearby traffic lights, modifying
operating circuits, or adding new circuits or timing devices. The department
finances up to 80 per cent of the total cost of the improvements, with the
balance provided by the railways, municipalities or provinces and territories.
"Although accident rates and crossing fatalities have reached their
lowest levels in 10 years, improving safety at crossings is a priority for
Canada's New Government," said Minister Cannon. "This funding will allow us to
continue to work with rail companies and communities to improve the safety of
rail crossings for motorists and pedestrians throughout Canada."
Transport Canada supports other initiatives to improve safety at railway
crossings, such as Operation Lifesaver, a public education program of the
Railway Association of Canada that has promoted safety at railway crossings
A backgrounder on railway crossing facts is attached.
RAILWAY CROSSING FACTS AND TIPS
- There are approximately 55,000 public, private and pedestrian
highway/railway crossings in Canada.
- In 2006, 28 people were seriously injured in 248 highway/railway
- Approximately 50 per cent of vehicle/train collisions occur at
crossings with active warning devices (gates, lights, bells).
- Trains cannot stop quickly. An average freight train travelling at 100
km/h requires about 1.1 kilometres to stop. A passenger train
travelling at 120 km/h requires about 1.6 kilometres to stop. That's 14
- Look for the crossbuck symbol of a highway/railway crossing. Some more-
travelled highway/railway crossings have lights and bells or gates.
- Listen for warning bells and whistles. Turn off, or turn down,
distracting fans, heaters and radios until the crossing is safely
cleared. Opening the window helps you to hear better.
- Never drive around lowered gates - it's illegal and deadly. If you
suspect a signal is malfunctioning, call the 1-800 number posted on or
near the crossing signal or your local law enforcement agency.
- Never race a train to the crossing - even in a tie, you lose.
- Do not get trapped on the tracks. Only proceed through a
highway/railway crossing if you are sure you can completely clear the
crossing without stopping. Remember, the train is three feet wider than
the tracks on both sides.
- If your vehicle stalls on the tracks at a crossing, immediately get
everyone out and far away from the tracks. Move in the direction that
the train is approaching from to avoid being hit by debris, because the
momentum of the train will sweep your vehicle forward.
- At a multiple-track crossing waiting for a train to pass, watch out for
a second train on the other tracks, approaching in either direction.
- Railway tracks, trestles, yards and equipment are private property.
Walking or playing on them is illegal - trespassers are subject to
arrest and fines. Too often the penalty is death.
- In 2006, at least 59 people were killed while trespassing on railway
- Do not walk, run, cycle or operate all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) on
railway tracks or rights-of-way or through tunnels.
- Cross tracks only at designated pedestrian or railway crossings.
Observe and obey all warning signs and signals.
- Do not attempt to hop aboard railway equipment at any time. A slip of
the foot can cost you a limb, or your life.
For further information:
For further information: Natalie Sarafian, Press Secretary, Office of
the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa, (613)
991-0700; Rod Nelson, Communications, Transport Canada, Vancouver, (604)
666-1675; Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to news
releases and speeches at www.tc.gc.ca/listserv/ and keep up-to-date on the
latest from Transport Canada. This news release may be made available in
alternative formats for persons with visual disabilities.