Waterloo Regional Police Service support Operation Clear Track during Rail Safety Week

media release

The Waterloo Regional Police Service is proud to be joining law enforcement agencies across North America for Operation Clear Track, the single largest rail-safety law-enforcement initiative in North America.

The week long event runs from September 21-27, 2020, and is coordinated by Amtrak, Operation Lifesaver Inc. and Operation Lifesaver Canada, which aims to reduce preventable deaths and injuries on rail lines. 

Members of the Waterloo Regional Police Service’s Traffic Services unit will be conducting enforcement at train and LRT crossings throughout Waterloo Region. Our goal is to educate and remind motorists emphasize the importance of obeying rail crossings, encourage people to think twice before engaging in unsafe behaviours, and provide safety tips regarding rail safety.

Whether you are a pedestrian, cyclist or driver of a motor vehicle, you are reminded to: 

  • Never race a train
  • Be prepared to stop
  • Obey flashing lights, signal and/or cross bars at train and LRT tracks
  • Stay alert at rail crossings- today’s trains can be very quiet
  • Leave your vehicle if it stalls or gets stuck on the tracks and call 9-1-1
  • Stay off the tracks- Trains can go as fast as 160km/hr as can take up to 2 km to come to a full stop.
  • Use designated rail crossings, and only proceed when it’s safe to do so

More than 2,100 North Americans are killed or seriously injured each year as a result of collisions at rail crossings and trespassing on railway property. The Canadian Pacific Railway reports that “over the last 15 years, there have been 26 railway crossing and trespassing incidents in Waterloo Region.”

“Educating the public and reducing serious injury and fatalities on train tracks and railways throughout Waterloo Region is a key priority for us,” says Acting Staff Sergeant Mark Hammer, Waterloo Regional Police Service’s Traffic Service’s unit. “Railway signs, lights, bells and gates are there to keep the public safe. Please be sure to obey all warnings to ensure your safety.”

“A split-second decision to try to beat a train at a crossing, or to use tracks as a shortcut or a recreational path, can have tragic consequences,” said Sarah Mayes, National Director of Operation Lifesaver Canada. “Operation Clear Track’s goal is to educate the public about how they can keep themselves safe around tracks and trains.”

For more information about Operation Clear Track, Rail Safety Week and other rail-safety initiatives and tips, please visit the Operation Lifesaver website.

Media Inquiries

Constable Ashley Dietrich
Public Information Officer, Executive Branch
Waterloo Regional Police Service
519-570-9777 (WRPS) ext. 8285

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