VIDEO: Rail safety sweep in Langley snags 18

Drivers were ticketed for a variety of safety infractions

A Langley RCMP sweep for drivers who don’t follow safety rules at train intersections saw 18 tickets issued in just three hours.

Timed to coincide with National Rail Safety Week (Sept. 22nd through 28th), “Operation Lifesaver – Clear the Tracks” took place on Tuesday (Sept. 24th) at three separate crossings – 216th Street and Glover, 216th Street and Crush Crescent, and Fraser Highway and Production.

Motorists who correctly stopped in a safe area as designated and required by the law were given pamphlets.

Those who didn’t, got a different type of paper.

Eleven tickets were issued for failing obey a traffic control device, one for speeding against a sign, one for failing to wear a seatbelt.

Langley RCMP Cpl. Holly Largy said warning tickets were issued to several motorists as well.

“Less than one month ago, officers from Langley attended a collision between a train and pickup truck at a crossing on River Road,” Largy observed.

“Fortunately no one was hurt on that occasion but historically, there have been collisions in the Langleys where severe injuries and even death resulted,” Largy added.

How to stay safe around tracks and trains:

· Never race a train – never go around lowered gates or try to beat an oncoming train

· Be prepared to stop – slow down and be prepared. In heavy traffic, wait until there is room for your vehicle on the other side of the crossing before proceeding

· Stay alert at rail crossings – look and listen in both directions, take any headphones off and reduce in-vehicle distractions so you can hear approaching trains

· Leave your vehicle if it stalls or gets stuck on the tracks – get yourself and your passengers out immediately and move a safe distance away. Notify the railway by dialing 911 or the railway emergency number posted at the crossing.

· Stay off the tracks – don’t use the tracks as a shortcut. Trains are faster and quieter than you think – they can sneak up on you

· Use designated rail crossings – if you cross anywhere else, you’re trespassing and could be fined or worse – seriously injured or killed

· If you’re on a bike or using a wheeled mobility device, try to cross the tracks at a 90-degree angle or as close to it as possible. Slow down as you approach the crossing, do a shoulder check and use hand signals to make sure motorists and other road users know your intentions.

READ ALSO: Driver walks away after truck smashed by train near Fort Langley

READ ALSO: Langley resident records people crawling under freight train

According to the Operation Lifesaver website, every year, more than 100 Canadians are seriously injured or killed as the result of railway crossing or trespassing incidents. Almost every one of these incidents is preventable.

A motorist is 40 times more likely to die in a collision involving a train than in one with another motor vehicle.

Trains can’t stop quickly. The average freight train travelling at 100 km/h —or passenger train travelling at 160 km/h — requires about two kilometres to stop. That’s the equivalent of the length of 18 football fields.

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