Operation Lifesaver wants you to think danger when you see railway tracks

Rail Safety Week starts April 27. When you #SeeTracksThink danger

OTTAWA, April 27, 2015 /CNW/ - Too many Canadians die or get injured each year on railway tracks where they have no business being.

"When people see tracks, we want them to think 'danger'," says Mike Regimbal, National Director of Operation Lifesaver (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, a not-for-profit organization sponsored by Canada's railway industry and Transport Canada, has organized Rail Safety Week (RSW) for 12 years. This year, OL has planned some 500 activities during the week, including presentations in schools, mock collisions and crossing blitzes.

OL's aim is to raise Canadian awareness of the dangers surrounding railway property through its campaign theme (and hashtags) #SeeTracksThink #RSW2015.

With almost no exceptions, staying off railway property and taking a few simple precautions at crossings can prevent death or injury. Last year's statistics do reveal some bright spots, and also some areas of concern.

"Last year, we saw year-over-year improvements in certain areas, including reductions in crossing and trespassing fatalities," says 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."

2014 rail safety statistics (trespassing and level crossings)







Type

2014

2013

2009-2013

average

Year-over-year % change

Crossing accidents

180

185

183

-2.8

Trespassing accidents

58

58

70

0

Crossing fatalities

21

31

26

-32.3

Trespassing fatalities

36

44

49

-18

 

  • In 2014, crossing accidents in Canada declined from both the previous year and the five-year average.
  • Trespassing accidents totalled 58 in 2014, the same amount as the previous year and versus the five-year average of 70.
  • Last year, crossing fatalities fell by approximately one third from the previous year.
  • In 2014, both crossing and trespassing fatalities dropped, compared to the previous year and the five-year average.
  • There are approximately 23,000 federally-regulated grade crossings across Canada (14,000 public crossings) along more than 40,000 km of federally-regulated railway tracks.

 

Operation Lifesaver spreads its motto of "Look, Listen and Live" through its many year-long initiatives that complement RSW, including: interactive websitesonline 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.

Learn more by following the hashtags #RSW2015 and #SeeTracksThink and by joining the discussion on the channels below:

Facebook.com/oplifesaver

Twitter.com/oplifesaver

Instagram.com/oplifesaver

Rail safety week multimedia content and resources available here:

http://www.multivu.com/players/English/7503751-operation-lifesaver-rail-safety-week/

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

Video with caption: "Video: Teen hops train, loses arm and leg.". Video available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y97jO1I-ahE

Image with caption: "Car hits train in mock collision to simulate the wreckage from a real incident. (CNW Group/Operation Lifesaver)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150427_C4371_PHOTO_EN_15755.jpg

For further information: Mike Regimbal, National Director, Operation Lifesaver, 613-564-8100, miker@railcan.ca; Francophone media: Jean-Guy DuSablon, Eastern Coordinator, Operation Lifesaver, 514-688-7600


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