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Lloydminster residents reminded to practice rail safety

With major railways intersecting the city, Lloydminster residents are being reminded cross the tracks safely and be aware of trains.

Railway Safety Week takes place from September 21st to 27th and raises awareness around the dangers surrounding railway crossings and properties. CN Police Services have updated their ground warnings at railway crossings across the city. Councillor Aaron Buckingham says the reminder is important as railways intersect many busy parts of the city.

“We have a really busy corridor on Highway 17 so it’s really appropriate to have this logo here. People can see it from the road and see while their walking and rail safety is important any time of the day, any time of the year not just on rail safety week.”

According to CN Rail, there are more than 2,300 railway crossing accidents in North America a year. Alberta RCMP have also noted there were 35 incidents in the province last year. Of the incidents, 11 resulted in serious injury or death.

RCMP also say Alberta had the second highest number of total railway crossing incidents in the country in 2019. Constable Dean Shwaga says the slogan “Look, Listen, Live” is a reminder of what to do when approaching a crossing.

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“Whether you’re a motorist or a pedestrian, we want people to be aware of their surroundings, not be distracted and  be conscious that you are coming up to a set of railway tracks. Take that moment to pause and look for a train coming and if the crossing you’re approaching has a stop sign or is a mechanical crossing with bells and lights and have that general awareness.”

Trains may also carry loads that are wider than the freight cars or could have loose chains and straps. It is recommended that motorists and pedestrians stand or park in a safe area to avoid any incidents or injuries.

RCMP say last year Alberta had the second highest number of trespassing incidents per province with 14 incidents. Thirteen of those incidents resulted in serious injury or death.

“A pedestrian crossing would be a roadway where a vehicle passes through,” Shwaga says. “If there’s lights that go off and gates that come down then they’ll have to wait for the train to pass. Any other crossing would be trespassing and illegal activity.”

Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure and the Canadian Safety Train Express are also promoting rail safety. English and French activity books have been distributed to more than 3,500 students across the province and electronic copies have been made available for those remote learning.

The Canadian Safety Train Express has launched an augmented reality in their railway safety program and will be holding three contests for students. Participants have the opportunity to win prizes or a $1,000 scholarship. The contests will run until December 1st.

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