There are several dangers that drivers and pedestrians need to look out for on their daily commute. From distracted drivers, to construction, to other road and sidewalk users, there are many factors that can lead to accidents. While your trip to work or school may seem routine, motorists and pedestrians should take special care at grade crossings, where serious rail incidents can occur.
There were 164 railway crossing accidents in Canada in 2015, with 14 of resulting in fatalities and 18 in serious injuries. “These tragedies can be prevented simply by obeying the crossing signals and warning devices,” advises Stephen Covey, chief of police and chief security officer at CN.
“Trains cannot stop quickly or swerve to avoid a collision. Safety is a shared responsibility. Drivers must use caution at railway crossings and observing warning devices and signs at all times. It’s important to remember that when you ‘See tracks? Think trains.’”
CN police work year-round to reduce trespassing incidents, fatalities, and injuries by conducting safety initiatives at commuter stations, schools and railway crossings in Canada and the United States. They offer some basic rail safety rules for drivers and pedestrians:
• Never walk or play on train tracks. It’s dangerous and illegal.
• Never play or stay near a stopped train.
• Cross train tracks only at designated highway/railroad crossings.
• Look for signals and respect them.
• Be prepared to stop at crossings.
• Cross the tracks in low gear; do not change gears while crossing.
• If your vehicle is stalled, get out quickly and move away from the vehicle and tracks.
• Listen for warning bells and whistles when approaching a crossing.
• Remember that a train can come from either direction.
• Keep the CN police number handy: 1-800-465-9239.
Drivers are encouraged to help keep our communities safe by taking the safety pledge and sharing safety tips at www.mysafetypledge.com. Find more information on rail safety at www.operationlifesaver.ca.