May 2 - 8, 2011
OTTAWA, April 15 /CNW/ - Operation Lifesaver and its partners will launch their 2011 National Public-Rail Safety
Week on May 2 to help reduce crossing collisions and trespassing
incidents along Canada's railways in communities across the country.
"We have made significant progress in lowering the number of
highway/railway crossing collisions and trespassing incidents since we
started this initiative 30 years ago," said Operation Lifesaver
National Director Dan Di Tota. "However, we need to be vigilant and
continue to raise awareness of public-rail safety in Canada through
education campaigns like Operation Lifesaver."
There were 79 fatalities and 47 serious injuries involving the public
along the railway tracks in Canada in 2010. Of these many involved crossing collisions and trespasser incidents on railway property. Virtually all were avoidable with due caution.
"Clearly, trying to race a train to a crossing or taking a shortcut
through a working rail yard is not an option," Di Tota continued.
Railway crossing safety has been a key focus in Canada over the past
thirty years. The rail sector has been working with governments on
reducing fatalities and injuries, particularly at grade crossings or
when trespassing occurs. In Canada, the focus has been on grade
crossing upgrades to improve crossing safety and education, reaching
out to communities and improving safety measures.
An average of 1,100 passenger and goods trains operate in Canada every
day over some of the world's most rugged terrain and in some of the
worst weather conditions. With the assistance of public safety
initiatives such as Operation Lifesaver, Canadian rail provides the
safest means of ground transportation. Despite increased vehicle
registrations, railway traffic and urban sprawl encroaching on
traditional rail right of way, analysis of the overall safety record
across North America reveals there were 12.9 accidents per million
train miles in Canada in 2010, down over 80 percent from the year 2000
(as measured by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada - TSB).
Operation Lifesaver is a national public-rail safety program sponsored
by Transport Canada and the members if the Railway Association of Canada. The program works in partnership with provincial safety councils,
police, unions, railways, the trucking industry, and community groups.
Operation Lifesaver program has an excellent track record and has
helped to reduce crossing collisions and trespasser incidents by some
60 per cent since Operation Lifesaver's introduction to Canada in 1981.
Operation Lifesaver Rail Safety Week runs May 2-8, and will include
numerous local events and activities across Canada including crossing blitzes, mock collisions, broadcast of
public service announcements, presentations by volunteers in schools,
mall displays, media interviews, conferences and speeches to community
SOURCE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION OF CANADA
For further information: