Interview with Steve Covey, CN's Chief Security Officer and Chief of Police North America.
Q- The CN Police Service is closely involved with local communities in promoting rail safety. Can you give us a couple of examples?
A- Sure. First off, we continue to be active in communities right across our network ─ 24 hours a day, 365 days a year ─ to promote safe behaviour around the railroad. Our activities include conducting enforcement initiatives at locations prone to incidents and delivering safety presentations to high-risk groups. Another example is Rail Safety Week which takes place every September. CN Police officers and other employees partner with community leaders and law enforcement to get the message out to be careful at railway crossings and not trespass on tracks, because train accidents can result in loss of life, and our goal is to eliminate all injuries and fatalities on or near railway tracks. This year Rail Safety Week is taking place September 19 to September 25.
Q- Media reports suggest aggressive driving incidents are on the rise over the past two years. What can we all do to help eliminate crossing accidents?
A- It's true. Numerous studies show a sharp rise in aggressive driving and pandemic stress might be partially to blame. Eliminating crossing accidents is simple: Obey the signals and stop when required; look both ways; and listen for approaching trains. NEVER try to beat an oncoming train because you could lose a lot more than time. And, if anyone witnesses a dangerous situation, at any time of day, call the CN Police at 1-800-465-9239 right away.
Q- Hundreds of communities have signed resolutions or expressed their support for Rail Safety Week. Why is this collaboration important to support rail safety?
A- Because we can't do it alone. After all, rail safety is a shared responsibility. We encourage all communities from across our network to show their support for rail safety through coordinated policing and public crossing maintenance activities. In 2021, a record 378 communities signed resolutions or proclamations or expressed their support for Rail Safety Week, and we appreciate their support very much. Of course, our shared responsibility goes beyond resolutions and pledges. It's all about constant communication to warn of the dangers of trespassing and crossing illegally and to sensitize citizens about safe behaviours that help save lives. All incidents can be prevented, and we all play a role in ensuring people know that.