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Kingston Police join continent-wide rail safety initiative

The Kingston Police Force is “proud to be joining forces with law enforcement agencies across North America” for the “single largest rail-safety law-enforcement initiative” throughout the continent, the local police announced on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022.

When the arm comes down, do not go around!
Kingston Police have joined forces with police and sheriff departments across North America for Operation Clear Rail, aimed at reducing injuries and deaths that occur as the result of trespassing or crossing on rail lines in unauthorized areas, for the week beginning Monday, Sept. 19, 2022. Photo by Daniel Tastard-Homer/Kingstonist.

Operation Clear Track” aims to reduce the number of railway crossing and trespassing incidents across Canada and the US. According to the campaign, more than 2,100 people are injured or killed each year due to such incidents. The initiative is coordinated by Amtrak, Operation Lifesaver Inc., and Operation Lifesaver Canada, and occurs annually during Rail Safety Week, which runs from September 19 to 25 for 2022.

“With multiple rail crossings located within the confines of the City of Kingston, it is important to remember, not only during this week but throughout the year, that it is imperative to obey all applicable rail crossing laws and to maintain alertness whenever you cross railway tracks,” Kingston Police Media Relations Officer Ash Gutheinz said in a statement.

“Any public education that we are able to provide at this time to the community could result in a reduction of preventable injuries and deaths in the future, which was the ultimate goal of Kingston Police when partnering with this initiative.”

Hundreds of police and sheriff departments across North America have signed up for Operation Clear Track and will be promoting rail safety “by enforcing rail crossing and trespassing laws, distributing rail safety tip sheets to drivers, pedestrians and cyclists… and posting other rail safety content to their department websites,” Kingston Police explained.

“A split-second decision to try to beat a train at a crossing or to use tracks as a shortcut or a recreational path can have tragic consequences,” said Sarah Mayes, National Director of Operation Lifesaver Canada.

“Operation Clear Track’s goal is to encourage people to think twice before engaging in unsafe behaviours, and to learn how to keep themselves safe around tracks and trains.”

For more information on Operation Clear Track or Rail Safety Week, visit operationlifesaver.ca, or follow the hashtag #STOPTrackTragedies on social media.

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  • September 21, 2022 at 9:20 am
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    It would be illuminating to know what motivates people to go around the barriers at level crossings. I suspect the length of freight trains — often with more than 200 cars — might be a factor. I’ve often sat at the railway crossing on Collins Bay Road for 10 minutes, waiting for the all clear.

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