Provincial government highlights National Rail Safety Week

Learning about railway safety.

That was the assignment of the day for Grade two students at Ecole Harbour Landing School Tuesday during an activity period put on by the provincial government and the Canadian Safety Train Express.

It’s a  part of National Rail Safety week, where more than 3500 students will take part in activities to learn what to do when near railways and rail crossings.

Highways minister Greg Ottenbreit was able to visit the students, and said it’s important for kids to recognize hazards around train tracks at an early age.

“Kids are adventurous and they get out in the community and wander away, investigate things on their own,” Ottenbreit said. “There’s going to be times when they come into contact with rails and specifically trains, we want to make sure they’re very aware of the dangers and make sure that they practice safe practices when they are near those trains or tracks.”

Ottenbreit said incidents involving pedestrians and trains occur less often than vehicle versus train collisions.

“Even one instance of a catastrophe with a train when it comes to a pedestrian, a vehicle, or specifically a child is one way too many,” Ottenbreit said. “We want to make sure they are very aware and they grow up with that knowledge and pass it on to their siblings and friends.”

Operations Manager for the Canadian Safety Train Express Amy Lintick said she wants the children to stay safe.

“There’s so many incidents and accidents all the time that really every single one of them is unnecessary, so we really want them to really think when they see the crossback (sign) or a track or anything railway related that they ‘think train,’” Lintick said. “Always be aware of your surroundings and be safe out there.”

The province has 13 short-line privately-owned railways in the province that are operating which connect to both CP and CN lines using more than 2,000 km of track.

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