With trains running along tracks across Central Alberta every day, it’s easy to scarcely give them a second thought. Until, that is, a tragedy focuses our attention on the risk.
In fact, people are injured and killed every year along railway tracks in Canada.
That’s why the City of Wetaskiwin joins CP, the Canadian Pacific Police Service, and communities across Canada in marking Rail Safety Week Sept. 20 to 26 — a way to remind the community of the potential danger and the need to stay safe.
The goal is simple: encourage safe behaviour around tracks and trains, and eliminate injuries and fatalities.
“Rail Safety Week is an important opportunity for CP to highlight how to be safe around tracks and trains. CP Police Service will be working with the public to educate them about the dangers of unsafe behaviour around the railway,” says Al Sauve, Chief of CP Police Service. “Train incidents are preventable and rail safety must be an on-going priority each and every day. Together, we can build safer communities.”
During the week, CP and CPPS will conduct rail safety campaigns, with participation from other police agencies and schools, to talk about the role motorists, pedestrians and the general public play in reminding everyone that safety is a shared responsibility.
Here’s what you can do to help keep yourself, and your family, friends and neighbours safe:
- Don’t bike down or near railway tracks and don’t use railway tracks or the adjoining right-of-way as an ATV path.
- Never walk on railway bridges and only cross tracks at designated crossings – the only safe, legal place to cross a rail line is at a marked grade crossing. Every rail crossing in North America has a 24-hour toll-free emergency number posted. If you ever see something unsafe around the tracks, call immediately.
- Keep your dog on leash at all times around railway property.
- If you’re concerned about someone’s mental health and their interest in train tracks, call your nearest mental health support line to get them help.
- If your vehicle is stalled on the tracks get out, get away and call the emergency number on the crossing or 9-1-1.
- Share safety tips with your family. The CP RailSense video game aims to teach young children about rail safety. Promote Operation Lifesaver’s Thomas & Friends contest launching on Sept. 20, giving children an opportunity to showcase their artistic talents and learn about rail safety.
To learn more, visit cpr.ca/railsense