April 28, 2016
Did you know it's Rail Safety Week?
Yesterday we had the pleasure of participating of a Joint Community Town Hall meeting on Rail Safety. The meeting was organized by MPs Carolyn Bennett and Chrystia Freeland, and had as guest speaker our Minister of Transport, Marc Garneau. We were happy for taking part on this discussion, and now hope to walk towards more meaningful progress from there.
Following Min. Garneau's encouragement to learn more about rail safety, we thought of sending you a timely reminder of some of the issues we've been working with. We'll also point out a few simple actions you can take with us towards ensuring public safety on our railways.
While there's been much talk on railway crossings improvements, we must also remember other issues that are crucial for insuring safe, transparent and regulated rails.
Here are some of them:
- The volatility of crude oil is a key risk factor for explosive derailments. We need a legislated safety-based standard for volatility, to compel industry to adopt the technology to reduce the volatility of crude oil transported. We also need to phase out unsafe tank cars immediately.
- Unlimited absolute liability must be prescribed for rail carriers and shippers of dangerous goods; and they must have sufficient insurance to cover the full cost of a derailment in a densely populated area.
- Government must strengthen oversight of the rail Safety Management System, and increase the number of onsite rail inspectors.
- We need increased transparency and accountability. First Responders must have real-time data about dangerous goods shipments. Railway route analyses and risk assessments regarding the shipment of dangerous goods by rail must be open to the public.
Now, here are 6 ways in which you can take action on this Rail Safety Week:
1- SIGN AND SHARE OUR ON-LINE PETITION
Our on-line petition is available for you to read, sign and share. We're aiming 1,000 signatures by June, so we can send a strong message to Ottawa.
2- TALK TO YOUR MP
Ask your MP to support rail safety in your community. We've gathered some recommendations you can take to your representative.
3- START A COMMUNITY WIDE EFFORT
We've got the tools you need for starting your own Safe Rail initiative in your community. You'll learn how to engage residents, businesses, community groups, and government representatives.
3- ORGANIZE A CANVASS
If you would like to get more involved, you can raise awareness in your community about rail safety through canvassing. We've gathered everything you need to start!
From canvassing on your neighbourhood to participating in events, there are many ways you can lend a hand to support Safe Rail Communities. Contact us to get on board and help Safe Rail Communities.
5- SUPPORT US WITH A DONATION
A donation made to support for Safe Rail Communities is support for our unwavering commitment to hold our government to account on this issue of public safety!
6- SPREAD THE WORD
The easiest way to support Safe Rail Communities is to talk to family and friends and share our message through social media. You'll find the links bellow to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Through them, you'll be up to date on the latest news, our activities and accomplishments! You can also share our electronic brochure.
Remember, we're here to support you and work as a community. So you can always feel free to contact us with any question or suggestion.
Happy Rail Safety Week!
Keep it safe,
Safe Rail Communities' Team