Trains are a vital part of Canada’s transportation system and its economy, moving people and goods from coast to coast 365 days a year.
As familiar a sight as they are, it’s easy to lose track of the potential danger trains pose.
The message CN Rail and the Township of Langley are working together to spread during National Rail Safety Week is that locomotives, the cars they pull and the tracks they travel along must be treated with the utmost respect at all times.
On Friday, CN launched its renewed railway safety awareness campaign, including a whistle stop in Fort Langley, as they kicked off Rail Safety Week 2018 across Canada and the United States.
Their goal – to remind residents of the potentially devastating consequences of trespassing on railway tracks and disregarding railway safety signs and devices at level crossings.
“Too many people die while trespassing on railway property and those fatalities are entirely preventable,” said Stephen Covey, chief of police and chief security officer at CN.
“These tragedies can be avoided by staying off railway tracks and by simply obeying crossing signals. With Rail Safety Week coinciding with the back to school period, we are encouraging parents and teenagers to change their train of thought and be safer around trains.”
“We rely on trains to transport goods and support trade and our economy, but we must respect that trains are fast moving and cannot stop easily. We all need to stay alert and be careful at rail crossings, whether in a vehicle or on foot,” said Township of Langley Mayor Jack Froese.
During Friday’s gathering a yellow decal was painted on the sidewalk as a visual reminder to encourage everyone to be alert, look up from their cellphone, pay attention to surroundings, and be safe around all rail crossings, all the time.
Additionally, the Township encourages residents to take the Rail Safety Pledge during Rail Safety Week and do their part to keep themselves and their loved ones safe.
The pledge, which can be taken online at www.mysafetypledge.com, asks people to share rail safety tips in their community, talk about rail safety at their local schools, or report unsafe behaviour around trains or railway property.
“Rail safety is everyone’s responsibility,” said Covey.
“By looking out for each other and working together, we can help keep our communities safe and prevent fatalities and injuries on or near railway property.”