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Public-rail safety is important to everyone, but particularly to those who teach children, protect the public, lead community associations and clubs (like snowmobilers), or make transportation their careers.
More rail safety information is at http://www.operationlifesaver.ca
Look Listen and Live BACKGROUND In 1974, there were 1,074 collisions between trains and motor vehicles at highway/railway crossings in of rail or highway and urban road Canada, resulting in 114 deaths networks. Similarly, aircraft have and 664 injuries. The resulting millions of kilometres of air space number of needless fatalities and in which to fly. However, a injuries were further compounded highway/railway crossing has a by numerous other trespassing precise location where a collision incidents. between a train and a motor vehicle is most likely to occur – the Many of the injured were perma- intersection of the railway track nently disabled. Property damage and the highway. from these collisions was extensive. It is no exaggeration to say that the A large number of collisions at direct and indirect costs of these public crossings occur at crossings incidents amounted to several equipped with active warning million dollars annually. devices such as gates, lights and bells; many of these collisions The greater tragedy, however, lies involve the motor vehicle striking in the fact that virtually all of these the side of the train. incidents could have been avoided. In most circumstances, motorists Highway/railway collisions are, themselves were responsible for in fact, one of the most predictable these collisions. They disregarded of all transportation hazards. the horn and bell warnings of Trains and motor vehicles travel on approaching trains. They ignored hundreds of thousands of kilometres the flashing lights and bell warnings at crossings and sometimes, they even drove around lowered barriers.2
To address these issues, the railway industry joined forces with the Railway Transport Committee ofStudies consistently indicated that, the (then) Canadian Transportdespite the installation of gates Commission as well as with provin-and other automatic warning cial and municipal governments indevices, pedestrian crossovers and ongoing and aggressive programsstricter trespassing enforcement, to improve railway-related safety.there was a surprising lack of However, there was a need for aknowledge about the potential national focal point to collecthazards. information on all program effortsThese same reports, however, could and to coordinate and assist allnot explain why people chose to stakeholders in preventing high-trespass on railway property. way/railway crossing and trespassing incidents. Therefore, to educate theStudies have shown that trespassing public and deal with this problem,incidents often take place when the Operation Lifesaver programpeople walk, lie down, cross or sit was implemented in Canada inon the tracks. Incidents also occur 1981.when recreational vehicle users,cross-country skiers and huntersuse railway property as a recre-ational playground.Any time is train time 3
OPERATION LIFESAVER Operation Lifesaver (OL) is a national public awareness program aimed at reducing railway related incidents resulting in fatalities and injuries. By using various initiatives, OL promotes safety at highway/ railway crossings for drivers as committee include representatives well as for pedestrians. Emphasis from Transport Canada, The is placed on dangerous behaviour Railway Association of Canada, such as trespassing on railway Canada Safety Council, Canadian property or disobeying railway National Railway, Canadian signs and signals. Pacific Railway, VIA Rail Canada, GO Transit, Railway Police, Royal WHAT IS OPERATION Canadian Mounted Police, LIFESAVER? Ontario Provincial Police, Sûreté OL is a partnership between the Québec, First Nation’s Police Railway Association of Canada and Association, Brotherhood of its members, Transport Canada, Locomotive Engineers, United the Canada Safety Council and the Transportation Union and an edu- provincial safety councils/leagues, cation specialist. unions, police, public and commu- nity groups. Provincial OL committees, made up of various stakeholders, work ● OL Structure on local issues and coordinate Operation Lifesaver is guided by activities within each province. a National Advisory Committee, which provides advice to the National Director regarding the development and implementation Don’t get stopped dead of the program. Members of the on the track!4
● Certified PresentersThe backbone of the OL Program Railway tracksis its volunteers. These include are for TRAINS!Master Trainers, Presenter Trainers,Presenters and Associates. Presentersand Associates are required to Trespassing is a leading cause ofcomplete a certification process, railway related fatalities. Railwaywhich includes a police reference tracks and bridges are privatecheck and training. Presenters property and any unauthorizeddeliver the Operation Lifesaver person who is on railway propertyprogram and Associates support the which is not designated as a cross-program by staffing displays and ing, is committing an offenceparticipating in other OL activities. under the law. Whether you areSimilar Operation Lifesaver pro- walking along the tracks, riding agrams exist in the USA, Mexico, snowmobile or an all-terrain vehi-Argentina, England and Australia. cle, or you are simply crossing a track at a location not identifiedWHY OPERATION as a crossing, YOU ARE TRES-LIFESAVER? PASSING. This is very dangerousIn Canada, a train collides with a and also illegal; you can be subjectvehicle or a person almost every to a warning, a fine or worse. Youday. Many people are unfamiliar can pay with your life.with the warning devices designedfor their safety. They are unaware Operation Lifesaver is committedthat trains cannot stop quickly or to working with the communityswerve to avoid a collision. and with the general public in an effort to reduce the number ofStatistics reveal that many people fatalities and injuries due to tres-are also unaware that trespassing passing and dangerous behaviouron railway property is both dan- at crossings.gerous and illegal.This lack of awareness emphasizesthe need to educate the public onthe dangers surrounding railwayproperty. 5
HOW DOES OPERATION LIFESAVER MEET ITS GOALS? The very strength of Operation Lifesaver lies in its railway/govern- ● (1) Education ment/community co-operative Operation Lifesaver educates people effort. The program seeks to of all ages about the potential join all federal, provincial and dangers at highway/railway cross- municipal authorities, enforce- ings and the seriousness of tres- ment agencies, railways and their passing on railway property. The unions and various public safety methods used to reach the public organizations in a nationwide include the production and distri- effort to reduce deaths, injuries bution of educational material, and property damage resulting safety presentations to schools, from railway-related incidents. industries and community groups Participation by all these members and the staging of media events. is essential to the success of the ● (2) Enforcement program. Operation Lifesaver promotes To achieve its goals, Operation enforcement of laws governing Lifesaver focuses on Education, motorist and pedestrian responsi- Enforcement and Engineering – bilities at highway/railway cross- the Three E’s. ings and on railway property. The program works in partnership with enforcement agencies to heighten public awareness of the hazards which exist along railway property.6
● (3) Engineering The OL program is designed toOperation Lifesaver promotes increase general public awarenessresearch aimed at ensuring a high of potential hazards at highway/level of safety at railway crossings railway crossings and of the dangersand on railway property. Operation associated with trespassing on rail-Lifesaver also informs the public way property. This program can beof federal, provincial and other pro- adapted to any age group and isgrams aimed at improving railway given in the form of a presentation.safety. Presentations can last between 30By focusing on these issues and and 60 minutes, depending on theidentifying emerging concerns, audience and its needs. If your schoolOperation Lifesaver has been or organization is interested inable to help reduce crossing colli- booking a free presentation or if yousions and trespassing incidents by would like to get involved, contactover 60 percent. your Provincial Safety Council/ League or the national office atPRESENTATIONS (613) 564-8100 or visit our websiteOperation Lifesaver has special at www.operationlifesaver.ca.audio-visual programs and printedmaterial available to help. The key For more information, contact yourto the success of Operation local Safety Council/League:Lifesaver is through active partici-pation, which can be simply familia-rizing yourself and others with theappropriate warning signs. Help us to save lives! 7
Always expect a train OPERATION LIFESAVER WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE MANY VOLUNTEERS WHO CONTINUOUSLY HELP DELIVER THIS PROGRAM AND ACKNOWLEDGE THE FOLLOWING PARTNERS FOR THEIR SUPPORT: 3M Canada Agence métropolitaine de transport Alberta Prairie Railway Excursions Alberta RailNet Ministère des Transports du Québec Alberta Safety Council Montreal Alouettes Amtrak New Brunswick – Department of Arnaud Railway Company Transportation Athabasca Northern Railway New Brunswick East Coast Railway B.C. Rail New Brunswick Safety Council Barrie-Collingwood Railway New Brunswick Southern Railway British Columbia Safety Council Newfoundland & Labrador Safety Council Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers Norfolk Southern Corporation Burlington Northern (Manitoba) Nova Scotia Safety Council Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Ontario – Ministry of Transportation Calgary Flames Ontario Northland Transportation Calgary Stampeders Commission Canada Safety Council Ontario Provincial Police Canadian American Railroad Company Ontario Safety League Canadian Federation of Agriculture Ontario Southland Railway Canadian Pacific Railway Operation Lifesaver Inc. (USA) Cape Breton and Central Nova Scotia Railway Ottawa Central Railway Capital Railway (operated by OC Transpo) Ottawa Valley Railway Cartier Railway Company Quebec Gatineau Railway Central Manitoba Railway Quebec North Shore and Labrador Railway Central Western Railway Quebec Safety League Charlevoix Railway Company Quebec Southern Railway Company Chemin de fer Baie des Chaleurs Roberval and Saguenay Railway Chemin de fer de la Matapédia et du Golfe Royal Canadian Mounted Police CN Saskatchewan Safety Council CSX Transportation South Simcoe Railway Digital Video Productions Southern Manitoba Railway Dimension 4 Multimédia Southern Ontario Railway Direction 2006 Southern Railway of British Columbia E & N Railway St. Lawrence & Atlantic Railroad (Quebec) Edmonton Eskimos Sûreté du Québec Edmonton Oilers Sydney Coal Railway Essex Terminal Railway Company The Railway Association of Canada Ferroequus Railway Company Toronto Terminals Railway GO Transit Train Touristique “L’Express de La Goderich-Exeter Railway Matapédia” Great Canadian Railtour Company Transport Canada Great Western Railway Trillium Railway Huron Central Railway United Transportation Union Kelowna Pacific Railway VIA Rail Canada Lakeland & Waterways Railway VIACOM Outdoor Mackenzie Northern Railway Wabush Lake Railway Manitoba Safety Council West Coast Express White Pass & Yukon Route Railway Windsor & Hantsport Railway8