Every year, dozens of Canadians especially young Canadians are killed or injured around railway tracks and trains. Collisions at railway crossings are tragically common; in 2017, there were 142 such incidents across Canada which killed 19 people and seriously injured another 21.
Today, Operation Lifesaver, in partnership with HUB Surface Systems and the City of London, unveiled a new community rail-safety program aimed at curbing these tragic incidents. Through the Look. Listen. Live. Community Safety Partnership Program, Operation Lifesaver will work to identify locations where rail safety decals can be installed across the country, to raise awareness among people walking, cycling, and driving, about the need to exercise caution around railway crossings.
Representatives from Operation Lifesaver and its partner railways, Mayor Matt Brown, alongside City staff and members of the local business community, unveiled the first installed decals today on the sidewalks approaching the Richmond Street / Canadian Pacific Railway crossing in downtown London.
The decals are yellow and diamond-shaped similar to traffic warning signs and feature a black silhouette of a train, as well as the words Look. Listen. Live. The decals will also be installed at Londons Rectory Street and Colborne Street crossings of the Canadian National Railway south of York Street in the near future.
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Our hope is that when people see these decals, it will remind them to pay closer attention to their surroundings when theyre at a railway crossing. We want them to slow down, look in both directions, listen for approaching trains, and obey railway warning signals, said Sarah Mayes, Operation Lifesavers National Director.
The City of London is serviced by a network of railway lines that move freight and passengers. This network is comprised of tracks owned by Canadian National Railway (CNR), Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) and Goderich-Exeter Railway (GEXR), and has more than 60 crossings in the area. These railways are crucial to the economic prosperity of London and Southwestern Ontario as they provide a reliable and affordable way to transport goods and people.
Were proud to be one of the first municipalities in Canada to take part in the new Look. Listen. Live. Community Safety Partnership Program, said Mayor Matt Brown. Working with our friends at Operation Lifesaver, weve been able to enhance the presence of rail safety reminders in our community as we strive to make our local rail network and its surroundings even safer.
Additional measures underway by the City of London to create a safe and accessible environment around railway crossings include:
- rehabilitating sidewalks near crossings
- improving pavement markings and signage leading up to the crossing
- improving sightlines
- developing a system for real-time alerts for people driving
Education is an essential step towards reducing/eliminating railway incidents, says Doug MacRae, Director, Roads & Transportation at the City of London. This program provides the necessary tools to raise awareness about rail safety, especially among pedestrians approaching our ground-level crossings.
For more information about the Citys rail safety initiatives and its partnership with Operation Lifesaver, visit london.ca/railsafety.
Operation Lifesaver plans to expand the Look. Listen. Live Community Safety Partnership Program to four additional communities in 2018. Communities can obtain information or apply for the program by visiting www.operationlifesaver.ca/communitydecals
About Operation Lifesaver
Operation Lifesaver is a national public rail-safety program sponsored by Transport Canada, the Railway Association of Canada and its members, including CN, CP, VIA Rail, exo, Metrolinx, West Coast Express and Genesee & Wyoming, among others. Through partnerships with safety councils, police, the trucking industry and community groups, Operation Lifesaver works to save lives by educating Canadians about the hazards of rail crossings and trespassing on railway property.