Operation Lifesaver (OL) Canada announced April 18 that it is collaborating with Google Maps on a new safety feature to alert Canadian drivers, pedestrians and cyclists to rail crossings.
According to OL Canada, Canadians using the Google Maps app (version 5.57 or higher for iOS and 10.68 or higher for Android) will now see a rail crossing icon alerting them to upcoming crossings and encouraging them to approach with caution. The feature, OL Canada says, was developed using rail crossing location data from the Canadian Rail Atlas, the Railway Association of Canada’s interactive map of Canada’s nearly 43,000-kilometer railway network.
“Many Canadians rely on Google Maps to navigate their communities, and so we’re delighted to have collaborated with Google on this important project to help save lives,” said OL Canada National Director Sarah Mayes. “We’re hopeful that when Canadians see a Google Maps rail crossing alert they’ll prepare to stop, obey all railway warning signs and signals, and remember to ‘Look. Listen. Live.’ before proceeding through any crossing.”
The announcement of OL Canada’s collaboration with Google Maps follows the launch of a similar safety feature developed through its 2020 collaboration with the popular navigation app Waze in 2020.
Safety is a “shared responsibility,” said OL Canada, which “hopes that other technology companies will follow the lead of Google and Waze and partner with OL to #STOPTrackTragedies.”