RAC urges Canadians to #STOPTrackTragedies during Rail Safety Week
During Rail Safety Week (Sept. 23-29, 2018), the Railway Association of Canada (RAC) would like to remind the public of its role in stopping preventable incidents that have long-lasting and far-reaching impacts on everybody involved.
“I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating: nothing is more important to railways than safety,” said RAC President and CEO Marc Brazeau. “Crossing and trespassing incidents affect everyone – from victims’ loved ones, to less obvious connections such as the locomotive engineers and first responders involved. Reminding family, friends and neighbours to be rail safe is an impactful way to prevent tragedies.”
Canada is marking its annual Rail Safety Week for the sixteenth time in 2018. This year, Operation Lifesaver, a national rail safety program co-sponsored by Transport Canada and RAC, and Operation Lifesaver Inc. have joined forces to launch a new public-awareness campaign called #STOPTrackTragedies. The campaign features seven videos, each telling the personal stories of people affected by rail crossing or trespassing incidents.
Over the past decade, more than 85 per cent of all rail-related deaths and serious injuries in Canada occurred because of motor-vehicle collisions at crossings or trespassing on railway property. To prevent these incidents, RAC advocates for increased rail infrastructure funding, fewer grade crossings and widespread municipal adoption of the FCM-RAC Proximity Guidelines, among other measures. To prevent dangerous and illegal trespassing, railways analyze data to focus maintenance and investment activities on areas with a high-incident trespass rate.
In its submission to the Railway Safety Act review panel, RAC presented 13 recommendations to materially improve rail safety in Canada. In its report, the panel recognized that rail safety is a shared responsibility and addressed many of the recommendations proposed by RAC, including steps to improve grade crossing safety and prevent trespassing.
Significant railway-sector investments ensure safety across the North American rail network. Canada’s railways’ capital investments, which will be a record $5 billion in 2018, lead to infrastructure improvements such as crossing upgrades and grade-separation projects that reduce risks at high-incident locations. In addition, investments in innovative technologies – including retro-reflective materials and LED lights to make roadway-railway crossings more visible – help to ensure the public stays safe around crossings.
About the Railway Association of Canada
The Railway Association of Canada (RAC) represents more than 50 freight and passenger railway companies that move more than 84 million passengers and $280 billion worth of goods in Canada each year. The RAC advocates on behalf of its members and associate members to ensure that the rail sector remains globally competitive, sustainable and, most importantly, safe. Learn more at www.railcan.ca. Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.