Operation Clear Track going virtual this year for Rail Safety Week

FILE - In this June 24, 2019, file photo, a CSX freight train rolls past downtown Pittsburgh. The biggest U.S. freight railroads appear ready to renew their push to reduce their crews to one-person from the current two-man operation used at major railroads now. Eight U.S. railroads have filed a federal lawsuit against the union that represents rail conductors to force the SMART union to negotiate about crew sizes during the next round of contract talks that starts in November. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File).

Law enforcement agencies in London and across North America are joining forces for another year to educate the public on rail safety.

Operation Clear Track, which happens annually during Rail Safety Week, aims to reduce the number of railway crossings and trespassing incidents in Canada and the U.S.

“Railway tracks have the potential to be dangerous places,” says Sgt. Sean Harding of the London Police Service, Traffic Management Unit.

“Whether you are a motorist, cyclist or pedestrian — do not trespass on railway tracks or property. Cross only at designated locations, and when crossing the tracks — pay attention, and do so safely.”

Read more: 12 months in jail for London officer convicted in Debra Chrisjohn death

According to London Police, railway incidents kill or seriously injured more than 2,100 in the U.S. and Canada each year.

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Because of the ongoing pandemic, this year’s event will be online with law enforcement sharing social media posts with the hashtag #STOPTrackTragedies and sharing videos and content on their website.


“A split-second decision to try to beat a train at a crossing, or to use tracks as a shortcut or a recreational path, can have tragic consequences,” said Sarah Mayes, national director of Operation Lifesaver Canada.

“Operation Clear Track’s goal is to encourage people to think twice before engaging in unsafe behaviours, and to learn how to keep themselves safe around tracks and trains.”

Rail Safety Week is happening Sept. 21-27 this year.

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More information about Operation Clear Track, Rail Safety Week and other rail-safety initiatives and tips can be found on this website.

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