Canadians face increased fine amounts for trespassing onto railway property and interfering with the safe operations of the railway system
June 23, 2021 Ottawa, Ontario Transport Canada
Railways are a crucial part of our national transportation network, delivering important products and commodities to Canadians, or to ports for export. The Government of Canada is taking action to enhance the safety and security of Canada’s railway system, railway employees, railway passengers, as well as those living and working near Canada’s rail corridors.
Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, announced amendments to the Contraventions Regulations, with regard to provisions under the Railway Safety Act that increase the fine amounts for trespassing onto property where railway lines are located and for not giving way at railway crossings.
With these amendments, the fine for trespassing property where railway lines are located have increased from $100 to $500, while the fine for not giving way at railway crossings have increased from $150 to $750. Contravention tickets reflecting these increased fine amounts can be issued starting today.
Increased incidents of trespassing and interfering with the safe operation of the railway system provide sufficient evidence that the original amounts of the fines were not significant enough to deter these dangerous actions. This is a major cause for concern, given the safety risks.
Large moving trains confronted with unexpected obstacles on a rail line cannot stop instantly and this presents an extreme hazard to the life of those inside and outside a moving train.
“The safety and security of all Canadians is of utmost importance for our government. By introducing new measures, such as increases in fines, we are helping to reduce the number of accidents and incidents on Canada’s rail lines and over 20,000 federally regulated crossings. Our government is committed to continuing to work to create an even safer Canada for everyone that also contribute to our country’s economic recovery and building back better.
The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport
Schedule X to the Contraventions Regulations outlines fines for offences under sections 26.1 (Enter on land on which a line work is situated) and 26.2 (Failure to give way to railway equipment at a road crossing) of the Railway Safety Act.
In 2020, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada reported 39 trespassing fatalities for the year. And from 2009 to 2019, they Canada reported 724 trespassing accidents.
On June 19, 2021, Transport Canada published proposed amendments to the Grade Crossings Regulations to ensure the regulations are more effective in focusing the efforts of railway companies, public road authorities and private crossing owners on grade crossings that present the greatest risks to community safety.
Office of the Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport, Ottawa
Transport Canada, Ottawa
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