Public Safety

Many of the accidents recorded in 2013 involved vehicles at road-rail crossings or people trespassing on railway property. Through education, reaching out to communities and improving safety measures, Canada's railway industry is working hard to find solutions to something that is largely beyond its control.

Railway crossing safety is a key focus for Canada's railways. The industry has been working with governments on reducing fatalities and injuries, particularly at grade crossings or when trespassing occurs. In Canada, railway companies have focused on grade crossing upgrades to improve crossing safety. Through RAC, Canada's railway companies are engaged in active public information and education campaigns to reduce the number of crossing and trespassing incidents. Initiatives, such as the educational efforts undertaken by Operation Lifesaver, have had an effect on improving safety.

Since 1980, the number of crossing collisions in Canada – where a train and motor vehicle collide – has fallen dramatically. While this reduction speaks to the success of safety efforts undertaken in that time, there is still unnecessary injury and loss of life. In 2013, crossing accidents increased by 4.0 per cent from the previous year, and edged up by 0.6 per cent from the 2008-2012 average. Conversely, trespasser accidents dropped by 17.3 per cent, year-over-year, and by 19.9 per cent from the five-year average.

Media contacts:
Alex Paterson
Public Affairs Coordinator
Telephone: (613) 564-8111

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