School is back in session across Canada and the Canadian Pacific Police Service (CPPS), through a new safety program called CP RailSense, is reminding students, parents and caregivers that the safe route to school does not include trespassing on railway property.
The consequences of trespassing on railway tracks and attempting to beat trains at level crossings can be tragic and fatal, but they are also preventable. From September 24-30, CPPS will be conducting its annual "Back to School Rail Safety Campaign" across Canada. Officers will be paying extra attention to public railway crossings and railway rights-of-way in and around school zones.
"Education is critical to preventing tragedies on the tracks," said Canadian Pacific Police Service Chief and Operation Lifesaver board member, Ken Marchant. "The CP RailSense program, through education and targeted communications and outreach, asks you to be situationally aware around the railway. Any shortcut to school that involves railway rights-of-way is unsafe. We aim to create safe navigation habits with children at a young age, and reinforce this message as students grow into adulthood and tend to take more risks."
It is illegal and incredibly dangerous to walk on railway tracks or cross at any location other than a designated crossing. Sadly, there are a large number of fatalities and serious incidents involving trespassers and trains each year.
"No matter what age, parents want their children to come home safely every day, and we want the same thing. That's why it's so important that parents, teachers, caregivers and peers discuss this important issue," Marchant said.
According to Transportation Safety Board statistics, across Canada in 2016 the number of trespasser incidents increased dramatically to 69 in 2016 from 50 in 2015 – a 38 percent increase, resulting in 46 deaths. That number doesn't include the many near misses that occur every day. In addition, there were 133 vehicle/train incidents in Canada in 2016; 19 resulted in fatalities.
The goal of CP RailSense is simple: encourage safe behaviour around tracks and trains, and eliminate injuries and fatalities. To learn more about CP RailSense and to start your journey to becoming a rail safety ambassador, visit www.cpr.ca/railsense.
Interviews with CPPS members are available by request. Rail safety tweets, b-roll, and photos available on www.cpr.ca.
Canadian Pacific is a transcontinental railway in Canada and the United States with direct links to eight major ports, including Vancouver and Montreal, providing North American customers a competitive rail service with access to key markets in every corner of the globe. CP is growing with its customers, offering a suite of freight transportation services, logistics solutions and supply chain expertise. Visit cpr.ca to see the rail advantages of CP.