Stay safe around the tracks!
Rail safety week is here! With harvest in full swing and an increased amount of activity around the tracks, it’s more critical than ever to be aware and stay safe around railway tracks. Operation Lifesaver (OL) in partnership with Canadian Pacific (CP) Rail, are encouraging safety around the tracks in rail safety week, and United Farmers of Alberta Co-operative Limited (UFA) would like to help share the message
According to the Railway Association of Canada and Transport Canada, more than a hundred Canadians die or suffer serious injuries as a result of trespassing incidents on railway property or collisions at crossings, each year. Did you know that unless you are at a public crossing, being on the rail or on railway property is considered trespassing and illegal
Operation Lifesaver (OL) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to keeping Canadians safe by preventing collisions at railway crossings and railway trespassing incidents in Canada. They do this through public education. OL works with the rail industry, government agencies, law enforcement, labour groups, the media and other organizations and communities all over North America. Their staff educate Canadians across the country by doing safety presentations to schools, youth clubs, drivers associations, snowmobile and ATV clubs and other community groups.
The Canadian Pacific Police Service (CPPS) works regularly with OL to promote rail safety throughout Canada. CPPS Constable Curtis Haney will be visiting the Lethbridge UFA Farm & Ranch Supply store on September 25, as well as the local UFA Petroleum Agency. Cst. Haney will be sharing educational information with UFA fuel and delivery drivers about keeping safe near the tracks, and he will answer any questions.
“Part of what we do is educate the public with the assistance of OL. Every year CPPS partners with OL, the rail industry, government, first responders, educational institutions, and community groups to highlight safe practices around railway property,” says Haney.
“The goal of Rail Safety Week is to raise awareness for the need for rail safety education and to empower the public to keep safe near road-rail grade crossings and railroad rights-of-way,” says Haney. “With support from community partners, like UFA, we are able to get the word out about rail safety and keep members of our community safe around the tracks.”
Typically, during Rail Safety Week, CPPS, along with other participating stakeholders like the trucking industry, attends schools to deliver rail safety presentations. This year due to COVID-19, CP has taken a new approach to delivering rail safety messaging. They have developed an option for businesses to receive their messaging on a USB which can then be distributed to groups when desired. This allows teachers, other educators and stakeholders to give these presentations rather than have an officer come into a classroom or office environment as we have done in the past.
“The safety of our members and team is at the heart of everything we do at UFA, and it continues to be the driving force behind all the decisions we make,” says Kim MacDonald, community investment manager at UFA. “We are so proud to support groups like the CP Police and OL and we encourage UFA members and teams to take advantage of the resources and education available. Let’s keep each other safe, during harvest, and all year long.”