Farmers and people working at grain elevators are being urged to exercise caution while crossing railway tracks as rail safety week kicked off in Saskatchewan.
Const. Sean Strang with CN police said with harvest underway, they are visiting elevators to educate drivers on the dangers of disobeying railroad crossing signals.
“Everyday there is a crossing or trespassing infraction on or near railway property, and all infractions are 100 per cent preventable,” Strang said.
“Harvest is an incredibly busy time for farmers and the grain industry in Saskatchewan, but safety both on the farm and around railway crossings must remain top of mind.”
CN Rail said 222 accidents occurred at rail crossings across Canada in 2017, resulting in 72 deaths and 44 serious injuries.
Strang said disregarding crossing signals, distracted driving, and pedestrian trespassing were the leading causes of railway crossing accidents.
He has the following tips to stay safe at railroad crossings:
- trains can take up to 1.5 kilometres to stop so never race to beat one at a crossing;
- never drive around gates;
- only proceed through a crossing if you can clear it without stopping; and
- exit a vehicle immediately if it stalls on a track.
“No matter how busy anyone is with harvest or other work, we’re encouraging our grain sector colleagues and everyone to ‘change your train of thought’ and be safe around railway crossings,” Strang said.