CN kicks off Rail Safety Week with trespassing awareness campaign

The railway crossing sign at Montreal's Old Port. Tim Sargeant/Global News

MONTREAL – As Rail Safety Week kicks off, CN is reminding Canadians that trespassing is the leading cause of rail-related fatalities in Canada.

It has launched a public awareness campaign stressing the deadly risks of trespassing on railway tracks and property.

In 2013, 76 per cent of trespasser-related incidents were fatal (up ten per cent over the past five years). There were 58 trespasser accidents in Canada, with 44 fatalities and 10 serious injuries.

In November 2010, three teens were killed after being struck by a Via Rail train in southwest Montreal, after jumping over a concrete wall to spray-paint graffiti under the west side of the Turcot interchange.

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“Too many people die from injuries sustained while trespassing on railway property in Canada and those fatalities are avoidable,” said CN Police Chief Stephen Covey in a statement.

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“The railway is not a safe place for children to play and it is not safe for adults to take short cuts across it. It is important to remember that when you see tracks, think trains!”

Crossing accidents represented another serious type of rail incidents in 2013, with 20 per cent of these accidents resulting in either serious or fatal injuries.


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According to CN, there were 188 crossing accidents in Canada in 2013, consistent with the average of the past five years.

CN authorities suggest that many of these tragedies could be prevented if people just followed crossing rules.

“Trains cannot stop quickly and they cannot swerve to avoid a collision.”

CN police are working to prevent trespassing and crossing incidents and they are urging the public to call 1-800-465-9239 to report any unsafe behaviour on railway property.

Described as a national “celebration,” Rail Safety Week aims to build safety awareness around Canadian railway operations. It runs from April 28 to May 4, 2014.

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