Mayor issues proclamation for Rail Safety Week
Mike Lawrence - Staff Writer
On Monday, September 20, Doug Lawrance, Mayor of the Municipality of Sioux Lookout, released a Proclamation in recognition of Rail Safety Week.
In the proclamation Mayor Lawrance states, in part, “Whereas it is in the public’s interest to raise citizens’ awareness of the dangers of ignoring safety warnings at level crossing and trespassing on rail property to reduce avoidable deaths, injuries, and damage caused by incidents involving trains and citizens; and whereas The Municipality of Sioux Lookout supports Operation Lifesaver’s ongoing efforts to save lives and prevent injuries;….Now therefore I, Doug Lawrance, Mayor of the Municipality of Sioux Lookout, do hereby proclaim September 20 to September 26, 2021 as Public - Rail Safety Week in Sioux Lookout.”
Rail Safety Week, which this year runs from September 20 to 26, aims to bring awareness to the risks involved when using level crossings and trespassing on rail property. According to the Transportation Safety Board of Canada website, last year there were 39 trespass related fatalities reported on railway property across the country. This accounts for 66 per cent of all rail-related fatalities and shows an increase over 2019 figures.
Operation Lifesaver is a public/ private partnership that works with the public, rail industry, governments, police services, media, and other agencies to raise rail safety awareness. Operation Lifesaver offers these reminders to remain safe around railways:
- Never walk, cycle, or drive along railway tracks.
- Railway yards, tunnels, and bridges are all private property…it is not just illegal to trespass on railway property, it’s extremely dangerous.
- Always cross at designated crossings, trying to cross elsewhere can be deadly.
- Obey all railway signs and warning devices such as bells, lights, and gates.
- Stay alert…today’s trains can be surprisingly quiet.
- Keep your distance. Trains can overhang tracks by as much as one meter each side and can have loads wider than the railway cars themselves.
- And finally, trains can be a lot closer, and traveling lot faster, than you think.
Mayor Lawrance added, “Rail Safety is important across our country, including Sioux Lookout. Given that the CN mainline bisects our community and given that we have witnessed the tragic reality of human-train accidents, it is tremendously important to highlight the importance of rail safety.”