8 Tips to Keep You Safe at Rail Crossings

Rail Safety Week

April 25 to May 1, 2016 marks Rail Safety Week in Canada, and we’re using that opportunity to remind you:

“See tracks? Think train!”

Based on the decline in rail-related accidents in recent years, it’s a message that people are hearing.

But messages about saving lives are always worth repeating to make sure they’re top-of-mind and we don’t become complacent.

It all comes down to this: if you need to cross a rail line, approach it expecting to see a train and only cross when it’s safe.

With that thought in mind, let’s look at some related tips our friends at Operation Lifesaver put together to keep you safe at rail crossings:

  • Never drive around lowered gates – it’s illegal and deadly. If you suspect a signal is malfunctioning, call the 1-800 number posted on or near the crossing signal or your local emergency number.
  • Never race a train to the crossing. Even in a tie, you lose.
  • Do not get trapped on the tracks. Only proceed through a highway/railway crossing if you are sure you can completely clear the crossing without stopping. Remember, the train is one metre wider than the tracks on both sides.
  • If your vehicle stalls on a crossing, immediately get everyone out and far away from the tracks. Call 911 or your local emergency number for assistance. Look for a 1-800 emergency notification number nearby to contact the railway.
  • At a multiple track crossing waiting for a train to pass, watch out for a second train on the other tracks, approaching in either direction.
  • ALWAYS EXPECT A TRAIN! Trains do not follow set schedules.
  • Even if the locomotive engineer sees you, a freight train moving at 120 km/h can take up to two km or more to stop once the emergency brakes are applied; more than 18 football fields in length!
  • Don’t be fooled by the optical illusion. The train you see is closer and faster moving

To help get the rail safety message out, there are a number of events being held throughout the province, including Cranbrook, Kamloops, Golden, the Metro Vancouver area and Revelstoke. You can find a complete schedule of events on the Operation Lifesaver website (events for British Columbia begin on Page 14).

Be sure to connect with Operation Lifesaver on Facebook or Twitter to keep up with the latest news and events, and check out their website for more rail safety tips and resources.

Do you have any rail safety tips to share? Leave us a comment below or connect with us on Twitter of Facebook and let us know.

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