New railway safety program offered

CN and Safe Kids Canada have partnered up to implement the Safe Crossing Program, and Fort Frances is one of only 10 communities across the country that have been chosen for the program.
CN Police Cst. Pete LeDrew and Fort Frances OPP Cst. Caroline Spencer were scheduled to speak to students at J.W. Walker School this morning about safety when crossing railway tracks.
The officers were to speak to children from kindergarten to Grade 4 in the gym about how to cross tracks safely, and then they were to walk to the McIrvine Road crossing to demonstrate the techniques.
Students also will be given a Safe Crossing toolkit, including a tip sheet for parents on how to teach their kids about safety around railway tracks.
“It encourages parents and caregivers to teach children to be safe around the railway,” noted Cst. LeDrew. “It’s kind of a new angle that we’re taking.”
The program was created in response to a recent survey which found only 30 percent of Canadian parents polled had talked to their children about railway safety in the past year.
“Just as you teach your children to cross streets at traffic lights or crosswalks, it is important to teach your children to cross tracks only at railway crossings,” said Allyson Hewitt, executive director for Safe Kids Canada.
“Education is a vital prevention strategy,” she stressed.
Close to 100 people are killed and another 100 injured in train-related collisions every year in Canada.
Other communities taking part in Safe Crossing Day are Kamloops, Edmonton, Regina, Winnipeg, Sudbury, Brockville, Montreal, Charny, Que., and Stewiacke, N.S.
The Safe Crossing Program is part of the CN’s “All Aboard for Safety” community education program through which CN Police have been promoting railway safety for more than 20 years.