Town of Wilton New York

Railroad Safety

Rail Safety Week 2021

September 20-26

Key Messages

During Rail Safety Week, September 20-26, Canadian Pacific (CP), Canadian Pacific Police Service (CPPS), Operation Lifesaver Canada and Operation Lifesaver Inc. (U.S) and other stakeholders aim to raise awareness of the tragic consequences that can occur as a result of preventable crossing and trespassing incidents.

Given the number of preventable trespassing incidents that occur each year in Canada and the U.S., this week serves as an important reminder to be safe, aware and vigilant around railway tracks and property.

We all have a stake in community safety. Motorists, cyclists and pedestrians need to be aware of the hazards surrounding rail property and trains. Through initiatives like Rail Safety Week, we strive to educate the public and prevent rail related incidents from occurring.

In Canada, more than 100 Canadians a year are seriously injured or killed as the result of 
trespassing incidents.

In the U.S, a person is struck by a train every three hours.

Rail safety requires vigilance 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. We are asking everyone to consider their own safety around railroad property. An incident can have tragic consequences for all concerned, including family, friends and community.

CP continues to focus education and enforcement efforts towards building communities of rail safety ambassadors young and old. Just like how we speak to children about safely crossing the street, everyone should know how to interact safely with railway property and equipment.
 
The CP right-of-way is private property. Crossing anywhere other than a designated crossing is trespassing. It is illegal and very dangerous. 

U.S. 

CPPS members in the U.S. have authority to enforce all federal and state laws, including traffic violations. The extent to which railway officers may exercise law enforcement authority and definition of jurisdiction varies by state. You will see CP Police most commonly enforcing traffic laws at, or close to, railway crossings or on roads in close proximity to railway tracks. Trespassing on railroad property is against the law. The fines vary by state.

Statistics

Canada 2021 YTD 

Incidents Fatalities Serious Injury Incidents Fatalities Serious Injury
Trespassing:  33 Incidents, 23 Fatalities, 7 Serious Injury
There have already been 33 trespassing incidents in Canada in 2021 resulting in 23 fatalities.

U.S. June 2021 

Incidents Fatalities Serious Injury Incidents Fatalities Serious Injury
Trespassing 524 Incidents,  280 Fatalities, 244 Serious Injury
In the U.S. there have been 524 trespasser incidents resulting in 280 fatalities recorded to the end of June 2021. One incident is one too many. They are all preventable.
Trespassing is a federal criminal offence under the Rail Safety Act and carries maximum fines of $5,000-$10,000 with the possibility of imprisonment. In most cases, people are issued tickets for trespassing.The fine varies by province.

CP and CPPS do not receive any revenue from fines collected. CPPS does not comment on matters before the court. CPPS conducts enforcement of Provincial and Federal legislation to contribute to the safety of the community and safe railway operations.Trespassing on railroad property is dangerous and illegal. In the U.S. Fines vary by state.

CP Police will be out and about to educate the public about rail safety, and will be visible in many of the communities where we operate to provide information about the dangers of trespassing on railway property. People will see them at public railway crossings and rights-of-way within school zones across our network.

CP does not provide fencing for the right of way adjacent to our tracks. The construction of fences, berms, noise walls or other noise abatement management is typically the responsibility of the landowner/homeowner or the city in which they reside.
CP and CPPS work with local law enforcement agencies and Operation Lifesaver to help inform the public about the potential hazards of railway crossings and the dangers of trespassing on railway property.

Our focus this week is on being safe around tracks and understanding why the safety measures surrounding railway tracks matter.

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