Trespassing focus of Rail Safety Week

CN announced Friday it will emphasize the deadly risks of trespassing on railway property during Rail Safety Week from April 23-29.
CN Police officers will be out in full force this week, conducting their annual safety blitz operations at highway/railway crossings in about 100 locations across Canada and the United States.
They will be alerting motorists to the importance of safety at crossings and to the dire consequences of trespassing on railway property.
Trespassing includes:
•walking, playing, or running on or beside railway tracks;
•driving a bike, a car, an ATV, a snowmobile, or any other vehicle on or beside railway tracks;
•taking a shortcut across railway tracks or railway property; or
•entering railway yards at any time.
Recent statistics reveal trespassing incidents claimed 58 lives in Canada in 2006, remaining at a constant yearly average over the past decade, while fatalities due to crossing collisions were down to 28, reflecting a steady improvement during the same period.
Statistics also show that in 2006, 93 percent of trespassing incidents resulted in death or serious injuries (63 percent fatalities and 30 percent serious injuries).
“Trespassing on railway tracks and in rail yards is dangerous and illegal, and CN Police officers strictly enforce regulations by issuing tickets to trespassers,” said CN police chief Serge Meloche.
“However, railway properties are extremely large and spread out, and it is very difficult to stop trespassing.
“Enforcement is not enough—education can help reduce fatalities,” Meloche stressed. “This is why we are increasing our efforts to inform people of the very serious risks they take when trespassing.”
This year, during the safety blitz operations, CN Police officers will conduct an information campaign with motorists, cautioning them against trespassing and providing them with a flyer about what people need to know about trespassing.
District presentations are planned on Florence Street in Emo tomorrow (April 24) from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and on McIrvine Road in Fort Frances on Wednesday (April 25) from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
“Our message is clear: Don’t put yourself at risk by trespassing on railway property,” said Meloche. “In other words, don’t let a shortcut cut your life short.
“Acting responsibly and safely is the right thing to do and it is everyone’s responsibility.”
Focusing its efforts on promoting safety is not new for CN. Every year, CN Police officers make hundreds of “All Aboard for Safety” presentations and talk to more than a quarter-of-a-million children and adults at schools and community events about the importance of safety and the dangers of walking and playing on or near railway tracks.
They also conduct dramatic, high-impact simulations of train-vehicle collisions to demonstrate the potentially dire consequences of being careless and/or drinking and driving, especially at crossings.
Rail Safety Week was created in 2003 by “Operation Lifesaver” and its partners 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.
Part of the strength of this program is the collaborative relationship with major community safety partners: “Operation Lifesaver,” Safe Kids Canada, Safe Communities Canada, SMARTRISK, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).