Why is a rail safety advocacy group setting up at wedding shows?
According to Operation Lifesaver Canada provincial chairman Greg Bartlett, his organization is battling the trend of having wedding and family photos taken on active rail lines.
"All these people have committed a crime," he said, showing a collage of wedding photos on a screen during a presentation to local government officials Thursday at Brandon University.
"They are trespassing."
In the wake of a 25-year-old man who lost a limb after he was run over by a train in Brandon on Aug. 5, the safety advocacy group met with Mayor Shari Decter Hirst and Brandon-Souris Conservative MP Larry Maguire Thursday at BU’s Rural Development Institute to discuss how to decrease train collisions.
The short meeting held by Operation Lifesaver also comes just days after the Transportation Safety Board released its final report on the runaway train in Lac-Mégantic.
According to the presentation, there was a nationwide decrease in crossing accidents in 2013, but a slight increase on the Prairies.
Three people have been struck by trains in Brandon in the last five years, including the man hit earlier this month — a man, Bartlett said, who fits in with the organization’s statistical profile of those who get into train collisions.
According to an analysis, many of those struck by trains suffer from mental-health issues. Of the 1,129 fatalities in Canada over the last 10 years, 42 were suicides.
During the meeting, Bartlett also discussed Operation Lifesaver’s upcoming events, including Rail Safety Week in March.