CN Police Service (CNPS) officers and the RCMP are cracking down on railroad crossing violations.
Officers from both services monitored various railroad crossing points, both legal crossing and common illegal crossings, to watch for infractions and educate the public on best practices to ensure safe crossing as part of their railroad crossing enforcement campaign May 24.
“The thing we’re looking for today are pedestrians crossing the tracks illegally,” said Sgt. Andrew Spanos with CNPS as he, alongside CNPS Const. Mark Chupik and RCMP Const. Ryan Carey watched the CN Rail behind Galaxy Cinemas in the Polson Place Mall parking lot.
“Just the way it’s laid out (behind Galaxy Cinemas), you can see why someone might want to take a shortcut,” Spanos said. “If you have someone on the tracks, that’s not only dangerous for the person on the tracks but the train crew.”
Under chapter 318 of the Motor Vehicle Act, motorists are required to stop at a railway crossing when a signal device — lights, flaggers, crossing gate, audible signal — gives warning of an approaching train or a stop sign is in place.
In 2017, more than 222 incidents occurred in Canada and more than 20 in B.C., Spanos said. Of those 222 incidents, 72 were fatal and 44 caused serious injury.
Spanos hopes to mitigate that statistic through community engagement initiatives such as the campaign.
“It gives us the opportunity not just to speak with violators but the public,” Spanos said. “That’s really what it’s all about: changing behaviours through proactive engagement.”
Spanos, who is based in Surrey but travels frequently with the federal service, said officers issued a railroad crossing violation ticket to the same motorist twice May 23.
“I pulled him over and he showed me his ticket from earlier,” Spanos said.