Safe Crossing Week 2007 shifts into high gear as thousands of elementary school students learn about safety at railway crossings



    TORONTO, Oct. 22 /CNW/ - Building on the outstanding success of last
year's campaign, Safe Kids Canada and CN today launched Safe Crossing Week
2007, from October 22 to 28, to encourage educators, parents and caregivers to
remind children how to cross train tracks safely and stay away from railway
property. Each year, in Canada, close to 100 people are killed and another 75
injured in incidents with trains. According to the two safety partners,
education is key to preventing these injuries.
    In 2007, more than 300 elementary schools are participating in Safe
Crossing Week, which is expected to reach more than 58,000 children in
communities across Canada. CN Police officers will also teach children how to
cross train tracks safely at trackside classrooms and in school assembles.
This year, Safe Crossing Week is also extended into the United States with the
collaboration of Safe Kids USA.
    Safe Kids Canada and CN created the Safe Crossing Program as a one-day
event in 2005 and by 2006 it became Safe Crossing Week, involving hundreds of
elementary schools across the country and reaching millions of people through
the media.
    "Education plays a key role in preventing injuries, and the work we do
now with young children will have a positive impact on their behaviour when
they grow older. Once they learn the rules, they have the tools to be safe
when they are around railway tracks or railway property," said Allyson Hewitt,
executive director of Safe Kids Canada.
    Serge Meloche, Chief of CN Police, said: "What is unique about Safe
Crossing Week is that it encourages teachers to easily incorporate rail safety
lessons into their everyday curriculum, from math and science to physical
education classes. The fact that so many schools are coming on board shows
that educators are committed to the safety issue, and we are pleased to see
that."
    Participating schools received a Safe Crossing Week package, which
includes: a Safe Crossing school certificate; lesson plans incorporating rail
safety into language, math, social sciences and physical education classes for
kindergarten to Grade 6 students; Safe Crossing Week posters; student activity
booklets; parent letters and fact sheets; and interactive web-based teaching
tools. Children and parents are also invited to visit Obie's website, a
fun-filled and interactive site featuring an animation of CN's safety train,
Obie, which encourages kids to get on board online at www.cn.ca/obie.
    To stay safe near railway tracks, parents and children need to know the
following:

    
    -  Always cross at a railway crossing with lights, gates and/or the
       crossbuck sign;
    -  Listen for the warning bell and train whistles;
    -  Look both ways before crossing the tracks;
    -  If one train passes, make sure that a second train is not approaching
       on the same or another track; and
    -  Walking or playing on or near tracks is dangerous and illegal.
    

    To learn more about Safe Crossing Week 2007, visit www.safekidscanada.ca
or call 1-888-SAFE-TIPS (723-3847).

    The Safe Crossing Program is a part of CN's All Aboard for Safety
community education program through which CN Police officers have been
promoting railway safety for more than 25 years. Part of the strength of the
All Aboard for Safety program is the collaborative relationship CN shares with
major community safety organizations: Operation Lifesaver, Mothers Against
Drunk Driving (MADD), Safe Kids USA, Safe Communities Canada, SMARTRISK and
Safe Kids Canada. Every year, CN Police officers make All Aboard for Safety
presentations to more than 300,000 students and adults in schools and at
community events in Canada and the United States.

    Safe Kids Canada is the national injury prevention program of The
Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto and it conducts a rail safety
program funded by CN.

    CN - Canadian National Railway Company and its operating railway
subsidiaries - spans Canada and mid-America, from the Atlantic and Pacific
oceans to the Gulf of Mexico, serving the ports of Vancouver, Prince Rupert,
B.C., Montreal, Halifax, New Orleans, and Mobile, Ala., and the key
metropolitan areas of Toronto, Buffalo, Chicago, Detroit, Duluth,
Minn./Superior, Wis., Green Bay, Wis., Minneapolis/St. Paul, Memphis, St.
Louis, and Jackson, Miss., with connections to all points in North America.
For more information on CN, visit the company's website at www.cn.ca.





For further information:

For further information: To schedule an interview with Allyson Hewitt,
executive director, Safe Kids Canada, or Serge Meloche, Chief of CN Police,
please contact: Media contact: Jennifer Hall, Manager, Communications, Safe
Kids Canada, (416) 813-6164, jennifer.hall@sickkids.ca

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