July 28, 2018

CP issues safety tips for hikers

"RailSense" safety campaign aims to cut down on collisions.

By DC Velocity Staff

The long days and warm weather of summer encourage outdoor exploration, but that same activity can also lead to dangerous encounters with railway property. Although hikers are often tempted to walk along railroad tracks, that's an invitation to disaster because trains often can't stop in time to avoid collisions, warns Canadian Pacific Railway (CP). Last year, 2,115 crossing incidents were recorded in the U.S., resulting in 271 fatalities and 826 injuries, the company says.

Now, the railway is launching a campaign called "RailSense" to educate people on how to avoid those collisions and their devastating effects on families, communities, and railroad employees. "Railroad tracks are not an extension of a public pathway, nor are they a safe or legal shortcut," CP Chief of Police Ken Marchant said in a statement. "Rail safety requires ongoing vigilance every minute of every day. Each year, both crossing accidents and trespassing result in serious injuries and all too often, loss of life."

The campaign offers some quick tips that are intended to educate North Americans about train operations and outdoor safety. They include:

  • Don't bike down or near railway tracks.
  • Don't use railroad tracks or the adjoining right-of-way as an ATV or bike path.
  • Never walk on railroad bridges.
  • Keep your dog on leash at all times around railroad property.
  •  Only cross tracks at designated crossings.
  • If your vehicle is stalled on the tracks, get out, get away, and call 911 or the 24-hour toll-free emergency number posted on every crossing.

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