Young Canadians risk their lives on the tracks

Results of a poll just released by the Railway Association of Canada show that the majority of young Canadians risk injury or death by walking on railway tracks - despite being aware of the danger of moving trains.

The nation-wide Ipsos-Reid Internet poll shows that practically all young Canadians (94 per cent) know that it is dangerous to walk or play on railway tracks, yet over half (51 per cent) say they have taken that risk. One in five (21 per cent) think it's okay as long as they don't see or hear a train coming.

In 2005, 78 people were seriously injured and 104 people were killed in railway crossing collisions and trespassing incidents across Canada. Twenty-six per cent of the trespassing injuries involved young Canadians. Almost six in ten young Canadians (58 per cent) live or go to school within a twenty-minute walk of railway tracks, and many of them take short cuts across the tracks.

For more information on rail safety, visit the Direction 2006 site.

Quick facts that could save your life......

  • Walking on railway tracks and railway property is trespassing.
  • A train is a metre wider than the rails on each side.
  • Passenger trains travel up to 160 km/h, and freight trains up to 100 km/h.
  • It can take a train over a minute to come to a complete stop. For example, in perfect weather, an 88-car freight train weighing 13,000 tonnes and travelling 96 km/h would cover about two kilometres before stopping.
  • The train you see is closer and moving faster than you think. Do not be fooled by the optical illusion. If you see a train approaching, wait for it to go by before you proceed across the tracks.
  • ALWAYS EXPECT A TRAIN! Freight trains do not follow set schedules.
  • Cell phones, loud music and headphones can keep you from hearing a train. Environmental conditions can muffle sounds, bells, whistles and other train noises.