Due to the increase of snowmobiler injuries or deaths each year on railway property a joint effort between the following organizations Canadian Pacific Police Service, Canadian National Police Service, Both National Railways, American Railways and Police Services, Operation Lifesaver, Snowmobile Manufactures Association, Sudbury Trail Plan, A snowmobile safety Video was Produced.
Between January 1991 and November 1996 there were twenty snowmobile/ train collisions at crossings resulting in serious injury or death across Canada. Of these, fifteen occurred in Ontario. Over 90% of the snowmobiles struck by trains are struck from behind.
During the week of January 25 to the 30th, 1999 a safety video was produced in the Sudbury area. With the help of the Sudbury Area S.T.O.P. Officers, Ontario Provincial Police, Royal Canadian Mounted Police and both Railway Police Services and Digital Video of Barrie, Ontario. A number of 30 second television announcements were also made during that week. If you look carefully in the video and television announcements you may notice S.T.O.P. Sudbury Area Spl/Cst Bob Chartrand and S.T.O.P. Sudbury Area Volunteers, Greg Giroux & Diane Laurin. Spl/Cst Norm Hein helped to obtain snowmobile signage and scouted locations for the tapings.
Some Facts that will be mentioned in the video:
Snowmobile/Train collisions occur both at crossings and on the railway property well away from public and private crossings.
Although the flat, well-maintained track makes a tempting snowmobile route it also makes for a perilous one.
- Trespassing on railway property is both dangerous and against the Law. Railway Police enforce trespass laws under the Railway Safety Act that can result in fines of up to $10,000.00 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or both.
- It takes a freight train traveling at 80 km/h about two Kilometers to come to a stop in an emergency. Trespassing on bridges or railway rights-of-way may result in a situation were you become trapped and unable to avoid an approaching train.
- Driving on the railway right-of-way can cause damage to signals, switches and other equipment that can jeopardize the safety of rail operations. You can get the skis of your snowmobile stuck in the tracks switches.
- The noise from the snowmobile's engine may prevent you from hearing an approaching train. Weather conditions and protective clothing may further impair your hearing and vision.
- Stop, Look and Listen at all crossings. Where there is more than one track there could be more than one train.
- Do not enter the crossing, until you are sure that you can cross safety.
- Never out drive your headlights. The snow that you see blowing across in front of you at a railway crossing may be a train passing. Trains blow up a lot of snow as they pass- it sometimes looks like a snowstorm. Many snowmobile/ train collisions result from snowmobiles running into the side of passing trains.
- Never drive in rock cuts or railway bridges, as you will not have an escape route if a train is approaching.
At the end of the video it will show a train striking a snowmobile with a mannequin
on board and what kind of damages that could occur if a train strikes you.
Safe riding depends on you!
If you would like further information about this or other railway safety programs please contact Cst. N.J. Lamarche of the Canadian Pacific Railway Police Service At 705-675-0822 or call 1-800-551-2553 and ask for you local community services officer.