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Manitoba Proclaims Rail Safety Awareness Week

The Manitoba government is reminding Manitobans to exercise caution and follow the rules around railways, Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler said while proclaiming Rail Safety Awareness Week.

“We are joining with Operation Lifesaver and railway companies operating in the province to promote rail safety every day of the year,” said Schuler. “With approximately 6,000 kilometres of railway track crossing the province, Manitobans are reminded to be safe around our many rail crossings.”

Each year, over 100 people in Canada are seriously injured or killed due to railway crossings or railway trespassing incidents. Rail safety includes being prepared to stop a vehicle at every railway crossing, never stopping a vehicle on the tracks and never trespassing on railways, which are private property.

“Rail safety is a shared responsibility and CN encourages everyone to participate in Rail Safety Week 2021 and to be ‘Rail Smart’ all year around”, said police Chief Stephen Covey, chief security officer, CN. “Our goal is that everyone be Rail Smart, which means being extra cautious around rail properties and crossings and also to discuss rail safety with loved ones and to ensure that together, we can help put an end to preventable tragedies. Always be aware of your surroundings and be extra careful when on or near railway property and at crossings. Look, listen and live! Together we can save lives!”

“As part of Rail Safety Week 2021, Operation Lifesaver is calling on Canadians, from parents to children, pedestrians, cyclists, drivers and even emergency responders to act safely around railways and help us #STOPTrackTragedies,” said Sarah Mayes, national director of Operation LifeSaver Canada. “Behaving unsafely around tracks and trains, whether it’s playing on railway equipment, using tracks as a shortcut, trying to race a train or even glancing at your cellphone at a crossing, can have devastating consequences for you, your loved ones and members of your community.”

“Rail Safety Week is an important opportunity for CP to highlight how to be safe around tracks and trains”, said police Chief Al Sauve, police services, Canadian Pacific (CP). “CP Police Services will be working with the public to educate them about the dangers of unsafe behaviour around the railway. Train incidents are preventable and rail safety must be an ongoing priority each and every day. Together, we can build safer communities.”

The minister signed a proclamation designating Sept. 20 to 26 as Rail Safety Awareness Week in Manitoba. The Rail Safety Awareness Act was passed in 2018 to establish the week of the last Friday in September as Rail Safety Awareness Week. Manitoba is the first province to put Rail Safety Awareness Week into law.

Railway operators, regulators, educational organizations, safety groups, and the media all have a role to remind and educate our citizens to be aware of their surroundings around rail tracks and trains, and to practise safe behaviour, said Schuler.

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