Monday, September 25, 2017

Back-to-school CP safety program under way

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Canadian Pacific is hoping its annual back-to-school safety message finds students, parents and caregivers before a train does.

The crossing safety program is administered by the Canadian Pacific Police Service (CPPS) and serves as a reminder that the safe route to school does not include trespassing on railway property.

CPPS from Sept. 24-30 is conducting its annual "Back to School Rail Safety Campaign" across Canada. Officers will be paying extra attention to public railway crossings and railway rights-of-way in and around school zones.

"Education is critical to preventing tragedies on the tracks," said Canadian Pacific Police Service Chief and Operation Lifesaver board member, Ken Marchant. "The CP RailSense program, through education and targeted communications and outreach, asks [people] to be situationally aware around the railway. Any shortcut to school that involves railway rights-of-way is unsafe. We aim to create safe navigation habits with children at a young age, and reinforce this message as students grow into adulthood and tend to take more risks."

"No matter what age, parents want their children to come home safely every day, and we want the same thing. That's why it's so important that parents, teachers, caregivers and peers discuss this important issue," Marchant said.

The railroad quoted Transportation Safety Board statistics that showed across Canada in 2016, the number of trespasser incidents increased 38% to 69 in 2016 from 50 in 2015, resulting in 46 deaths. There also were 133 vehicle/train incidents in Canada in 2016, with 19 fatalities.

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