Thursday, December 8, 2011

Increasing CTrain safety awareness - be aware, stay alive

CTrain driver Mauro D'Orazio suffers each and every day since hitting and killing a pedestrian who stepped infront of his train last summer.

"I closed my eyes to tell you the truth, there was nothing I could do, I closed my eyes on impact," said D'Orazio on December 7, a day after a colleague hit and killed another person who stepped into a train.

“One guy got hit, but everybody suffered,” he said, explaining there's very little a driver can do when people disobey safety warnings. "I'm suffering."

The Calgary Police Service and Calgary Transit are urging Calgarians to pay attention to safety devices installed around CTrain crossings following a fatal collision early Monday and another serious collision last Tuesday night.

Some people are putting themselves and others at risk to “beat the train”, others simply aren't paying attention to safety devices. Recent incidents involving trains have highlighted the need for all pedestrians, as well as motorists, to adhere to crossing barrier arms, warning lights, and tones that are activated when a train is in motion.

The Calgary Police Service (CPS) and Transit are currently educating jaywalkers caught ignoring the safety devices between Marlborough and Whitehorn Stations. Operation Both Ways target jaywalkers at level crossings, departing the platform other than through the station, and for right-of-way offences such as crossing the tracks against the signals.

Peace officers asked those who were caught why they crossed against the lights and signals. Many said they looked both ways and saw the train on the opposite track and thought it was OK to cross. Others said they were simply following the crowd.

Enforcement and education occurs throughout the city on a daily basis. The City of Calgary cannot stress enough the need for everyone to be aware of their surroundings and pay attention to these safety devices.

Between Sept. 21 and Oct. 6, 2011, Calgary Transit issued 107 summonses, while CPS issued another 97.

The videos depict a distracted pedestrian being hit by a train last month at Shawnessy Station. This pedestrian survived.

Related Calgary City News Blog posts

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