News Release

Canada’s railways welcome Rail Safety Week 2017, urge Canadians to “Look.Listen.Live.”

During Rail Safety Week (April 24-30, 2017), the Railway Association of Canada (RAC) would like to remind Canadians of our country’s most pressing public-rail safety issue: unsafe behaviour around trains and railway tracks.

“Almost all rail-related fatalities and serious injuries are at crossings and from trespassing,” said RAC President and CEO Michael Bourque. “We urge Canadians to take the ‘Look. Listen. Live.’ message to heart. By raising awareness of safe crossing practices, highlighting the extremely dangerous and illegal nature of trespassing on rail property, and stressing the importance of proper approaches to railway-community proximity issues, we can capitalize on this known opportunity to improve safety.”

To kick off Rail Safety Week, Operation Lifesaver (OL), a national rail safety program sponsored by Transport Canada and RAC, today unveiled a new public-awareness campaign that uses virtual reality (VR) technology to give Canadians the shocking experience of a near-miss with a train.

Operation Lifesaver today unveiled a new public-awareness campaign that uses virtual reality technology to give Canadians the shocking experience of a near-miss with a train.

OL’s Look. Listen. Live. campaign consists of two first-person VR videos – one featuring a person taking an illegal shortcut across railway tracks, the other showing a person driving around the lowered gates at a rail crossing, trying to beat an oncoming train:

“In developing this campaign, we asked ourselves: ‘If no-trespassing signs, flashing lights and gates won’t stop people from engaging in dangerous behaviour, what will?’” said Sarah Mayes, Operation Lifesaver’s Interim National Director. “We think the answer lies in having people personally experience a close-call with a train. Virtual reality provides a safe way to do that.”

Canadians can experience OL’s VR videos firsthand by visiting, and are encouraged to spread the campaign on social media using the hashtags #LOOKLISTENLIVE and #SHARETHESCARE.

Over the past decade, more than 85 per cent of all rail-related deaths and serious injuries in Canada occurred as a result of motor-vehicle collisions at railway crossings or trespassing on rail property. Virtually all of these incidents could have been avoided.



Alex Paterson
Public Affairs Coordinator

About the Railway Association of Canada

The Railway Association of Canada (RAC) represents more than 50 freight and passenger railway companies that move close to 82 million passengers and more than $280 billion worth of goods in Canada each year. The RAC advocates on behalf of its members and associate members to ensure that the rail sector remains globally competitive, sustainable, and most importantly, safe. Learn more at Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

About Operation Lifesaver

Operation Lifesaver is a national public rail-safety program sponsored by Transport Canada, the Railway Association of Canada and its members, including CN, CP, VIA Rail, AMT, Metrolinx and Genesee & Wyoming, among others. Through partnerships with provincial safety councils, police, the trucking industry and community groups, Operation Lifesaver works to save lives by educating Canadians about the hazards of rail crossings and trespassing on railway property.

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