LAC LA BICHE - Transport Canada has introduced the Rail Safety Improvement Program, which provides federal funding to help improve rail safety and reduce injuries and fatalities related to rail transportation.
The rail safety improvement program builds on three previous rail safety programs, including: the grade crossing improvement program, the grade crossing closure program, and operation lifesaver. It has an increased overall funding level, a much wider range of eligible recipients and a much more broadened horizon of projects that will be funded to improve rail safety.
This year, it’s been announced that more than $21 million will be given to fund 135 projects in 2021-22.
On May 20, 2021, Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport, announced the funding for the new projects.
"Investing in rail safety is one of our commitments to keeping Canada's communities safe. Since its inception, the Rail Safety Improvement Program has provided more than $85 million in funding to enhance rail safety,” said Alghabra.
Throughout this summer, Alberta RCMP have responded to two fatalities at train crossings in the province. Alberta RCMP would like to remind the public of some safe practices they can use when travelling across train crossings to ensure they make it to their destination safely.
According to Operation Lifesaver, an organization dedicated to preventing collisions at railway crossings and railway trespassing incidents in Canada, every year, more than 100 Canadians are seriously injured or killed as the result of railway crossing or trespassing incidents.
This year, funding will go toward 2,013 grade-crossing improvements, 18 crossing infrastructure projects, eight grade crossing closures and six technology and research projects across the country.
"Please stay alert and obey all railway signs and warning devices," says S/Sgt. Brent Meyer of Central Alberta District RCMP. "Those few seconds may save your life or the lives of your passengers."