CALGARY, Sept. 24, 2018 /CNW/ - Rail Safety Week 2018 has begun, and for the first time, Canada and the U.S. are reaching out to the community with valuable information on rail safety during the same week, September 23 to September 29. Throughout Rail Safety Week, Canadian Pacific (CP) is reminding the public that they must stay off of railway tracks and observe all laws when driving over rail crossings.
CP and the Canadian Pacific Police Service (CPPS) will conduct rail safety blitzes in communities across our network – with participation from other police agencies and schools to educate motorists, pedestrians and the general public about the role we each play in staying safe.
"All railway property, including tracks and surrounding rights-of-way are private. Unauthorized access by the public is illegal and hazardous. This includes walking on or around tracks, bridges, rights-of-way or rail yards. Trespassing laws are designed to keep the public and our employees safe," said Laird Pitz, CP's Senior Vice-President and Chief Risk Officer. "Rail safety requires 24/7 vigilance. We ask everyone to consider their own safety around railway property. The impact of an incident can have tragic consequences for all concerned, including family, friends and community."
Incidents involving people and trains continue to occur far too frequently and in most cases the results are tragic. According to Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) statistics, the number of trespasser incidents, those involving people and trains, climbed to 81 in 2017 from 69 in 2016, and that number does not include the many near misses that occur every day. In the U.S. the number is even higher, with 1,020 trespasser incidents reported by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) in 2017.
Operation Lifesaver Canada (OL) and Operation Lifesaver Inc. (OLI), advocacy groups focused on rail safety, launched their new campaign #STOPTrackTragedies which highlights tragic stories of rail incidents turned fatal through a variety of short videos on social media.
"Our goal with #STOPTrackTragedies is to drive home the message that an unsafe decision made in a split second – whether it's to go around a lowered gate at a rail crossing, or to trespass on the tracks – can have devastating consequences for you, your loved ones and members of your community," said Sarah Mayes, National Director of Operation Lifesaver Canada.
"The new #STOPTrackTragedies campaign is intended to underscore the importance of the Rail Safety Week message – raising awareness across North America of the need for rail safety education to empower people to keep themselves safe near highway-rail grade crossings and railway rights-of-way, and when using rail public transportation systems," said OLI Interim President Wende Corcoran. "We are proud to work with our rail safety partners at Operation Lifesaver Canada to save lives through this important initiative."
Through rail safety programs such as CP RailSense, partnerships between CPPS and other policing agencies, and on-going collaboration and communication with communities, schools and advocacy groups like Operation Lifesaver, the goal is to educate people of all ages of tragic lifelong consequences that can occur when behaving unsafely on or around rail property.
CP is encouraging people to visit stoptracktragedies.ca and oli.org to join in OL's #STOPTrackTragedies campaign. Become a rail safety ambassador by sharing the videos and other messaging on social media using the hashtags #STOPTrackTragedies and #RSW2018. Start conversations about rail safety with friends, family and community members with the information available at cpr.ca/railsense.
About Canadian Pacific
Canadian Pacific is a transcontinental railway in Canada and the United States with direct links to major ports on the west and east coasts. CP provides North American customers a competitive rail service with access to key markets in every corner of the globe. CP is growing with its customers, offering a suite of freight transportation services, logistics solutions and supply chain expertise. Visit cpr.ca to see the rail advantages of CP.
About Operation Lifesaver Canada
Operation Lifesaver Canada is a national public rail-safety program sponsored by Transport Canada, the Railway Association of Canada and its members, including CN, CP, VIA Rail, Metrolinx, exo, West Coast Express and Genesee & Wyoming, among others. Through its national network of Rail Safety Ambassadors, partnerships with safety councils, police, the trucking industry and community groups, and innovative tools such as its virtual-reality Look. Listen. Live. campaign, Operation Lifesaver Canada works to save lives by educating Canadians about the hazards of rail crossings and trespassing on railway property. Canadians can follow OL Canada on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and keep up-to-date on the latest rail safety news by visiting operationlifesaver.ca.
About Operation Lifesaver, Inc.
Operation Lifesaver is a non-profit public safety education and awareness organization dedicated to reducing collisions, fatalities and injuries at highway-rail crossings and preventing trespassing on or near railway tracks. A national network of trained volunteers gives free presentations on rail safety and a public awareness campaign, "See Tracks? Think Train!" provides the public with tips and statistics to encourage safe behavior near the tracks. Learn more at oli.org; follow OLI on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.
SOURCE Canadian Pacific
For further information: Media contacts: CP: Andy Cummings, Tel: 612-851-5616, [email protected], [email protected]; Operation Lifesaver Canada: Maryse Bétournay, Tel: 613-564-8100, [email protected]; Operation Lifesaver U.S.: Jessica Puchala, [email protected]