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Police pitch local rail safety during Rail Safety Week

Police will be conducting enforcement at train and LRT crossings throughout the region this week
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A Canadian Pacific train crosses Eagle Street in Preston.

Waterloo Regional Police Service is joining law enforcement agencies across North America for Operation Clear Track, the single largest rail-safety enforcement initiative in North America.

Taking place during Rail Safety Week, September 18 - 24, 2023, and coordinated by AmtrakOperation Lifesaver Inc. and Operation Lifesaver Canada, the campaign aims to reduce the number of railway crossing and trespassing incidents in Canada and the U.S. – incidents which seriously injure or kill more than 2,100 people in North America each year.

Throughout the week, WRPS’ Traffic Services Unit will be conducting enforcement at train and LRT crossings throughout Waterloo region.

During these enforcement activities, officers will be emphasizing the importance of obeying all signs and signals at rail crossings and providing education about rail safety.

Whether on foot, in a car, or riding a bike or off-road vehicle, you are reminded to:

  • Obey all railway signs and signals.
  • Stay alert at rail crossings - today’s trains can be very quiet.
  • Leave your vehicle if it stalls or gets stuck on rail tracks and call 9-1-1.
  • Stay off the tracks - never walk, cycle or drive along railway tracks.
  • Use designated railway crossings and only proceed when it is safe to do so.

“Please take time to stop, look, listen and obey all traffic controls in and around rail crossings,” said Staff Sergeant Scott Griffiths, traffic service’s unit supervisor.

“WRPS is committed to reducing serious injury and fatal collision events throughout the region. We need your help to eliminate these tragic and life changing events by obeying railway signs, lights, bells and gates at all rail and LRT crossings”

“Ignoring railway signs and signals, being distracted at rail stations or crossings, or using tracks as a shortcut or a recreational path can have tragic consequences,” said Sarah Mayes, national director of Operation Lifesaver Canada.

“Operation Clear Track’s goal is to encourage people to think twice before engaging in unsafe behaviours, and to learn how to keep themselves safe around tracks and trains.”

For more information about Operation Clear Track, Rail Safety Week and other rail-safety initiatives and tips, please visit the Operation Life Saver website.