(BLACK PRESS File photo)

(BLACK PRESS File photo)

Lacombe Police Service joins North American rail-safety operation aimed at reducing preventable deaths and injuries on rail lines

Operation Clear Track aims to reduce the number of railway crossing and trespassing incident

Lacombe Police Service will be joining forces with law enforcement agencies across North

America today for “Operation Clear Track” — the single largest rail-safety law-enforcement initiative in North America.

Coordinated by Amtrak, Operation Lifesaver Inc. and Operation Lifesaver Canada, Operation Clear Track aims to reduce the number of railway crossing and trespassing incidents in Canada and the U.S. — incidents which seriously injure or kill more than 2,100 people each year.

“The Lacombe Police Service will be partnering with outside agencies to help educate the public on railway safety and reduce close calls with trains. We have a number of railway crossings in the area that can be hazardous, this is just a reminder to the public that people need to be careful and mindful while crossing the tracks,” Constable Vaughan Bleasdale of the Lacombe Police Service said.

“Operation Clear Track’s goal is to educate the public about how they can keep themselves safe around tracks and trains,” said Sarah Mayes, National Director of Operation Lifesaver Canada.

“A split-second decision to try to beat a train at a crossing, or to use tracks at a shortcut or a recreational path, can have tragic consequences. We want to encourage people to think twice before they engage in those unsafe behaviours.”

This is the first year that Canadian law enforcement agencies will be participating in Operation Clear Track. More than 500 police and sheriff departments across North America have signedup for the initiative, which takes place annually during Rail Safety Week (September 23–29, 2019).

Participating police departments will work together to enforce rail crossing and trespassing laws, and distribute rail-safety tip sheets to drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. Lacombe Police Service officers plan to have a presence at Highway 2A & 50 Ave and Highway 2A and Wolf Creek Drive. The uncontrolled rail crossing of Wolf Creek Drive towards Highway 12 will also be a focus for police as there have been a number of near misses due to the crossing not being controlled.

For more information about Operation Clear Track, Rail Safety Week and other rail-safety initiatives and tips, please visit: operationlifesaver.ca.

-Submitted by LPS