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Safety: a priority for all

December 7th 2012 by Jean Tierney

Over the past week alone, two very sad news items have made headlines, in which two pedestrians were killed by trains near Montreal. Whenever a tragic incident is brought to my attention, all my thoughts go to the victim’s families, whose lives will be changed forever by these events. We have to wonder why people, young and old, still underestimate the dangers of the railway.
At a very young age, we teach our children the dangers of cars on the streets. We teach them how important it is to cross in designated areas, at the right times and we teach them to look both ways before crossing the street. So why do people continue to take risks and venture out onto the tracks? Safety applies equally to the road and to the railways. This goes for pedestrians, motorists, cyclists, snowmobilers…in short, anyone having to cross a set of tracks.
Did you know that in 2011, according to, there were 71 fatalities and 42 serious injuries caused by incidents on railway property? Which also means that 113 families were affected by these events.
At this time of year, when there will be a lot of travelling, I’d like to remind everyone of the importance of rail safety. VIA Rail has been working with Operation Lifesaver for many years to raise awareness about this  important issue. Today I’d prefer not to focus on what VIA Rail does, instead I want to tell where you can find information about how YOU can stay safe.

Our best resource is  the Operation Lifesaver website, which is full of useful information and contains many resources.

And if you happen to be looking for a volunteer opportunity, why not consider becoming an Operation Lifesaver presenter? You could make a big difference and help save lives! Something to think about…

About Jean Tierney

Jean Tierney
As senior director, Safety, Security and Risk Management, Jean Tierney is responsible for developing corporate safety, security, health and environmental policies, standards and programs for employees and passenger activities. She is also in charge of regulatory affairs and ensures emergency preparedness and business continuity systems are in place.
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