MONTREAL, QC – With trespassing being the leading cause of rail-related fatalities in Canada, CN is marking Rail Safety Week through May 6, 2012, with a public awareness campaign stressing the deadly risks of trespassing on railway tracks and property. CN Police are urging the public to call CN Police at 1- 800-465-9239 to report unsafe behaviour on railway property.
CN Police Chief Stephen Covey said: “Disobeying railway crossing signals or trespassing on railway property is dangerous and illegal. We will not tolerate people who put their lives and those of others at risk. Through a combination of education and enforcement, we aim to change attitudes and behaviors towards rail safety. We must reduce injuries and fatalities on or near railway crossings, tracks, and CN property.”
CN Police will be out in full force during Rail Safety Week, conducting safety initiatives at commuter stations, CN intermodal terminals and railway crossings in Canada and the United States. CN will visit commuter stations to target a larger audience of rail users, particularly parents who will be urged to pass on safety information to their children.
In 2011, there were 236 grade crossing and railway trespassing accidents in Canada, causing 70 fatalities and 42 serious injuries, according to the Transportation Safety Board of Canada. Ninety-nine per cent of trespassing incidents resulted in fatalities (67 per cent) or serious injuries (32 per cent). Serious injuries as a result of trespassing increased in 2011 by almost 11 per cent, to 21.
CN Police are rolling out a year-round initiative to reduce trespassing incidents, fatalities and injuries. CN Police will intensify their outreach to young people, who are more prone to risk-taking behavior. In addition, CN Police across the system will work to identify the highest risk areas for trespassing and develop targeted strategies to reduce incidents.
Operation Lifesaver and its partners created Rail Safety Week in 2003 to raise public awareness of the potential dangers at highway/railway crossings and from trespassing on railway property.
CN has been promoting railway safety for more than 25 years through its All Aboard for Safety community education program. Every year, CN Police officers make hundreds of All Aboard for Safety presentations and talk to more than 300,000 children and adults at schools and community events in Canada and the United States about the importance of safety and the dangers of walking or playing on or near railway tracks. Part of the strength of this program is the collaborative relationship with major community safety partners Operation Lifesaver, Safe Kids Canada, Safe Communities Canada and SMARTRISK.
Source: Canada Newswire / CN