‘Look, Listen, Live’: City of London to raise railway safety awareness

London is the first city in Ontario to join the initiative. Jaclyn Carbone / 980 CFPL

With the unveiling of some new safety features at the Richmond Street crossing Tuesday, the City of London is joining a national conversation on the importance of railway safety.

“They’re large, diamond-shaped yellow and black decals,” said Sarah Mayes, national director of Operation Lifesaver Canada. “They’ve got a black silhouette of a train with the words ‘Look Listen Live’ on them.”

“We hope they’re going to encourage people to engage safely around railway tracks and trains.”

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“We want people to slow down, look, and listen in both directions — really simple stuff, but stuff that can save their lives and prevent them from being seriously injured or killed at a railway crossing,” said Mayes.

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London is the second city in Canada behind Vancouver to join the initiative, and the decals are just the beginning.

“They’re one piece of a multiple approach system that we’re taking to rail safety,” said Doug McRae, the city’s transportation, planning, and design division manager.

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“We’re also ensuring that pavement markings, signage, and the warning devices are visible. [These decals] are particularly visible to pedestrians,” he said.

Statistics show that over 100 people a year are injured or killed at rail crossings in Canada.

“Trains can’t stop [abruptly]. They have no steering wheel, so if you’re in the way there’s little that can be done by the rail operator,” MicRae said. “It’s really important to pay attention to those warning devices, they send important messages.”
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Both the Rectory Street and Cloborne Street crossings will also be receiving decals. Improvements will also be made to 10 different crossings this fall.

The unveiling marks the beginning of a targeted four-year plan that will enhance safety at every rail crossing in the city.

— With files from Jacquelyn LeBel.

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