News Release Article from  Transport Canada

Transport Canada proposes new rail regulations to reduce accidents and save lives

Protecting the safety of Canadians travelling by rail and road at federally regulated grade crossings

February 7, 2014 – Ottawa – Transport Canada

The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, today announced proposed Grade Crossings Regulations that would establish new safety standards for federally regulated grade crossings. A grade crossing, also known as a road or level crossing, is where a railway line crosses a road at the same level.

Under the authority of the Railway Safety Act, the proposed regulations will improve safety by helping to reduce the frequency and severity of accidents, therefore saving lives and preventing injuries and derailments at federally regulated grade crossings. In particular, the proposed regulations would improve safety by:

  • Providing comprehensive and enforceable safety standards for grade crossings;
  • Clarifying the roles and responsibilities of railway companies and road authorities; and
  • Mandating the sharing of key safety information between railway companies and road authorities.

The regulations will be published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on February 8, 2014. Stakeholders and the public will have 90 days to comment on the proposed regulations. Comments will be considered before the regulations are finalized and published in Canada Gazette, Part II.

Quick Facts

  • The current approach to managing safety at grade crossings requires collaboration between 1,460 municipal and provincial road authorities, 95 aboriginal bands, 32 railway companies, and many individual private authorities. The proposed regulations would encourage increased collaboration, require information-sharing and clarify roles and responsibilities.
  • The proposed regulations would improve safety at federally regulated grade crossings, including approximately 14,000 public and 9,000 private grade crossings along 42,650 kilometres of federally regulated railway tracks in Canada.
  • The proposed Grade Crossings Regulations are expected to help reduce the number of collisions, fatalities and serious injuries and help prevent derailments and damage to road vehicles.

Quote

“A safe and secure national rail transportation system is important to local communities and to Canada's economic well-being. While Canada has one of the safest rail systems in the world, we can do better. These proposed regulations will make grade crossings safer and save lives.”
The Honourable Lisa Raitt
Minister of Transport

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Associated Links

Current federal acts and regulations governing grade crossings:

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Contacts

Ashley Kelahear
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Lisa Raitt
Minister of Transport, Ottawa
613-991-0700

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa
613-993-0055

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