Minister of Transport highlights the launch of Rail Safety Week 2022 and underlines recent efforts taken to improve rail safety in Canada
September 20, 2022 Ottawa Transport Canada
Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, highlighted the launch of Rail Safety Week 2022, which runs until September 25. This national annual event increases awareness of safety around railway property and trains.
No one should lose their life on our railways and no tragedy like what happened in Lac-Mégantic in 2013 should happen again. Transport Canada continues to take steps to strengthen rail safety in Canada.
The Government of Canada is reminding Canadians about some tips to keep everyone safe around tracks:
- Always expect a train at a crossing; stop, look both ways and listen.
- Obey all warning signs and signals. Look for traffic signals that indicate a roadway/railway crossing.
- Respect private property. Trespassing on the railway’s private property is unlawful and unsafe.
- If you are struggling, please reach out to seek assistance. Call 9-1-1- or 1 (888) 353-2273.
Rail safety is a shared responsibility and together we can work to avoid incidents. Over the last year, the department has continued to make our railways safer. Some examples include:
- Investing almost $24 million to support 147 new projects across Canada under the Rail Safety Improvement Program to increase safety at grade crossings and along rail lines;
- Introducing a new rail safety component under the Community Participation Funding Program to support local and Indigenous community-based rail safety engagement;
- Amending the Grade Crossings Regulations to focus efforts on reducing the risks of preventable accidents at grade crossings while being mindful of economic realities;
- Approving new rules to help prevent fires on railway property and in nearby communities, and launching the Rail Climate Change Adaptation Program to enhance the resiliency of Canada’s rail infrastructure against the impacts of climate change, such as flooding or fire risks.
Transport Canada is working on a new call for proposals related to climate adaptation under the Rail Safety Improvement Program, which will be announced in the near future.
This Rail Safety Week we want to thank all Canadian rail workers who work tirelessly to promote rail safety across North America.
“Railway safety is one of my top priorities. Our government is committed to protecting all Canadians who live and work along railway tracks and is putting in place the necessary measures to reduce the risk of serious accidents. This week serves as a reminder to be aware of the hazards surrounding railway property and trains, and of the dangers related to trespassing on railway tracks.”
The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport
Transport Canada is committed to keeping Canadians safe by improving rail safety and increasing public awareness and confidence in Canada’s rail transportation system.
Among many activities, the department actively monitors railway companies through audits and safety inspections to verify compliance with rules and regulations and takes action when violations occur.
Operation Lifesaver is a partnership initiative of the Railway Association of Canada and Transport Canada and works with the railway industry, police, unions, organizations and communities. It aims to save lives by educating Canadians about the hazards surrounding railway property and trains.
Canada’s railway system has approximately 23,000 railway crossings, and over 40,000 kilometres of track.
Each year, over 100 Canadians are seriously injured or killed as a result of railway crossing or trespassing incidents.
The Rail Safety Improvement Program plays an important role in addressing safety needs due to ongoing and emerging safety concerns across Canada. Funded projects have contributed to an overall reduction of risk and increased safety for Canadians.
- Operation Lifesaver
- Rail Safety Improvement Program
- Ministerial orders to improve rail safety in Canada
- Measures to enhance railway safety and the safe transportation of dangerous goods
- Grade Crossings: What you need to know
- Safety Culture Policy Statement
- Notice of intent for the implementation of enhanced train control in Canada
Director of Communications and Issues
Office of the Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport
Transport Canada, Ottawa
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