As the weather starts warming up, the CN Police Service is stressing rail safety and encouraging people to “look, listen, live” while around railway crossings.
“As we all return to recreational outdoor activities, the CN Police would like to remind everyone that the only safe and legal place to cross train tracks is at a properly designated railway crossing,” the CN Police state in a news release. “Don’t forget that all railway yards, tracks, tunnels and bridges are private property and off-limits to the public.”
Const. Peter Talvio of the CN Police Service says he has seen it all when it comes to trespassing, including walking, jogging, biking, hiking, climbing, cliff jumping, camping, off-road vehicles, horseback riding, fishing, hunting and berry picking.
“Especially concerning are people that make the wrong decision to short cut through rail property to access their favourite recreational areas, walking along tracks, crossing yards, even climbing on, over or through parked trains,” he says. “This is very dangerous, as trains can move at any time and can result in serious injury or death.”
Trespassing on or along rail lines is not only dangerous, but it is also illegal under the Railway Safety Act of Canada and the Provincial Trespass Act. Saying that you were taking a short cut or engaging in a recreational activity is no excuse. A ticket will cost $115 and can lead to a criminal charge and a fine up to $50,000.
According to the CN Police, there were 28 railway crossing and trespassing incidents in B.C. in 2019, seven fatalities and 10 serious injuries.
When approaching properly designated railway crossings, obey the crossing signs and signals. They are there to keep you safe. Proceed through only when the warning signals have stopped and you have a clear view that no other trains are coming.
The CN Police Service will be on patrol in the community spreading the safety message through education and enforcement.
The CN Police offer several safety tips, including:
• stay off the tracks
• keep off railway property
• use designated railway crossings
• obey all railway signs and signals
• stay alert
• keep your distance
• remember, an optical illusion makes it hard to determine a train’s distance from your or its speed
For more information, visit OperationLifesaver.ca.