Press release

New VR Videos Put Professional Drivers’ Rail-Safety Knowledge to the Test

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Bus and truck drivers play a vital role in connecting Canadian
communities, and in moving Canada’s economy. Whether they’re
transporting people or cargo, professional drivers need to make safety a
priority — and knowing how to safely approach railway crossings is key.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:

(Photo: Business Wire)

(Photo: Business Wire)

Today, Operation
— a national not-for-profit dedicated to rail safety — is
raising awareness about Canada’s 40,000 rail crossings, and the hazards
they can pose to bus and truck drivers specifically. To mark International
Level Crossing Awareness Day
, OL has unveiled two
new Train to Drive virtual-reality (VR) videos
, designed to
test whether professional drivers know the rail safety rules and how to
respond in life-or-death situations such as stalling on the tracks.

“Vehicle-train collisions can happen in a split second, with tragic
consequences,” said Sarah Mayes, National Director of Operation
Lifesaver Canada. “In designing these Train to Drive videos, we
tried to incorporate some of the real-world challenges that bus and
truck drivers face near tracks and trains, to actually test their
decision-making abilities in real time.”

Collisions at road-rail crossings are tragically common in Canada. In
2018, there were 167 such incidents which killed 19 people and seriously
injured another 42.

“Our hope is that drivers, trucking and bus companies, driving schools,
and even governments will use this program, and that OL’s “Look.
Listen. Live.
” rail safety message will resonate with them,” said

These latest videos will build on the success of the original Train
to Drive
program — designed for new and inexperienced
Canadian drivers — which has been viewed 80,000 times since its launch
in February 2019.

Professional drivers wishing to experience Train to Drive can
click on the “Professional Driver” tab, and play the embedded video.
They’ll be asked to choose their “vehicle” — a motor coach or a
transport truck — and will then face a series of virtual driving
challenges, including poor road conditions near a crossing, and angled
tracks with reduced sight lines. The Train to Drive website also
provides instructions on how to view the VR videos on mobile phones or
tethered headsets, and offers rail safety tips for professional drivers
to use the next time they’re behind a real wheel.

About Operation Lifesaver

Established in Canada in 1981, Operation Lifesaver is a national
rail-safety public-awareness program sponsored by Transport Canada and
the Railway Association of Canada and its members, including CN, CP, VIA
Rail, Metrolinx, exo, West Coast Express and Genesee & Wyoming, among
others. Through partnerships with safety councils, police, the trucking
industry, labour and community groups, Operation Lifesaver works to save
lives by educating Canadians about the hazards of rail crossings and
trespassing on railway property. Members of the public are invited to
follow OL on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up-to-date on the
latest rail safety news.