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Operation Lifesaver Annual Report 2010


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Operation Lifesaver is an international, not-for-profit education and awareness program dedicated to ending
preventable collisions, fatalities and injuries at highway/railway crossings and on railway rights-of-way through education and in support of enforcement and engineering principles.

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Operation Lifesaver Annual Report 2010

  1. 1. DIRECTOR’S WELCOME Daniel (Dan) Di Tota National Director As National Director for Operation Lifesaver, I am proud of all the hard work being done by our partners and volunteers to educate Canadians and to meet our goal of preventing deaths and injuries due to railway-crossing and trespassing incidents. With 2010 now behind us, it’s appropriate to reflect on the past year and review our performance. This Annual Report examines 2010’s activities and results, both financial and safety-related. 2010 was a year of deliberation and progress for Operation Lifesaver. The Advisory Committee spent time considering the program’s direction. We really focused on our message - how best to communicate it to a variety of demographics and how to harness the power of modern communication tools to gain a wider audience. As you’ll see in this report, 2010 saw the introduction of innovative new materials and the refreshing of existing ones. It was also a year of many successful events, held by our dedicated partners and volunteers.OPERATION LIFESAVER Now is also a great time to congratulate our volunteers and partnersANNUAL REPORT 2010 for their ongoing efforts and commitment. As well, I’d like to extend my thanks to our parent, the Railway Association of Canada,Fiscal Year Start 01-01-10 our partner, Transport Canada, our Advisory Committee, the OLFiscal Year End 31-12-10 Program Review Committee and the Provincial OL Committees. It is the contributions of these people that make Operation a success.99 Bank Street, Suite 901Ottawa, ON K1P 6B9 As always, we welcome your feedback, so please share your ideas(613) 564-8100 on how to reinforce our rail-safety message. Together we can make sure that our communities are a safer place to live and work. Make safety your priority. LOOK, LISTEN & LIVE!
  3. 3. MISSION AND PURPOSE Every year in Canada, approximately 300 collisions and trespassing incidents occur at highway-railway crossings and along railway tracks, resulting in the death or serious injury of nearly 130 people. Virtually all of these incidents could be avoided. Operation Lifesaver is an international, not-for-profit education and awareness program dedicated to ending preventable collisions, fatalities and injuries at highway/railway crossings and on railway rights-of-way through education and in support of enforcement and engineering principles. Our mandate is to eliminate the loss of life, injury and damage caused by preventable highway/railway crossing collisions and train/pedestrian incidents. We make over 1,000 presentations per year and work with the rail industry, government, police, unions, the media, public organizations and the public to spread the word. Our statistics show Operation Lifesaver education works. Over the past 30 years, we have helped reduce crossing collisions by 78% and trespassing incidents by 54%. GOALS FROM 2009 THAT WERE MET IN 2010 At the end of 2009’s Annual Report, we outlined some of the goals we were looking forward to achieving in 2010. Below you’ll find a list of those tasks that we are proud to have accomplished during the past year. • Transport Canada required an evaluation of the Operation Lifesaver program to be completed before renewing its contribution agreement with the Railway Association of Canada for another four years of funding. In 2010, the findings of this evaluation were released and funding was renewed. • In 2010, Operation Lifesaver focused on a Communications Plan that involved reworking the website to make it more engaging for the young, web-savvy generation. Learn more about it on page 8. • A beta version of the computer based training program for Operation Lifesaver presenters was completed in December 2010. Read about it on page 7. • In March 2010, the Advisory Committee took on the difficult but necessary task of going through a Strategic Review. The goal was to analyze the program’s successes and challenges and ultimately, to determine a strategic plan for moving forward, in 2011 and beyond. The results of the review were released in October. Read more about the Strategic Review on page 7. • On June 22, 2010, Operation Lifesaver supported International Level Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD). We plan to do the same on June 9, 2011. Learn more about this important event on page 6. • Transport Canada announced that they will be hiring four regional people (for QC, ON, MB/SK/AB and BC) to help support the Operation Lifesaver program and will increase their funding contribution to the Grade Crossing Improvement Fund by some $28M for the next five years.1 ANNUAL REPORT 2010
  4. 4. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS(unaudited; as at December 31, 2010) Revenues 2010 2009 Members’ Assessments $333,818 $268,393 Transport Canada Revenues $300,000 $250,000 Other Income - $3,550 Totals $633,818 $521,943 Expenditures 2010 2009 Coordinators’ Meetings $19,491 $7,497 Education Vehicle - - Film & Duplicating $63,869 $20,113 Grants & Donations $35,873 $48,653 (including Provincial Safety Leagues) Office and Miscellaneous $22,594 $23,030 Presenter’s Guides - - Printing and Supplies $81,270 $64,801 Publicity $14,814 $22,488 Salaries, Benefits & Contracted Services $352,049 $295,225 Travel $43,856 $40,136 Translation - - Totals $633,818 $521,943 A N N U A L R E P O R T 2 010 2
  5. 5. RESULTS ACCIDENTS 826 826 Trespassing Accidents 763 Crossing Accidents 708 590 606 472 354 386 365 236 262 270 177 186 180 118 109 105 112 86 79 83 70 81 0 1980 1981 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2009 2010 (Source: Transpor t a t i o n S a f e t y B o a r d o f C a n a d a ) VOLUNTEERS (January 1 to Dec e m b e r 3 1 , 2 0 1 0 ) Active Province Volunteers Totals In 2010, over 250 dedicated Alberta 6 volunteers, along with our partners, British Columbia 18 took part in over 1,000 activities Manitoba 20 and presentations across Canada, New Brunswick 34 sharing Operation Lifesaver’s Newfoundland 4 message with more than 960,000 Nova Scotia 7 Canadians. Ontario 90 Quebec 72 Saskatchewan 5 Totals 2563 ANNUAL REPORT 2010
  6. 6. RESULTSPRESENTATIONS BY PROVINCE(January 1 to Dec e m b e r 3 1 , 2 0 0 6 - 2 0 1 0 ) 560 504 448 392 336 280 224 (191) (172) 168 112 (75) 56 (37) (35) (41) (24) (12) (9) 0 BC AB SK MB ON QC NB NS NL 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 (actual count shown in brackets by Province)TOTAL OL PRESENTATIONS AND ACTIVITIES(January 1 to De c e m b e r 3 1 , 2 0 1 0 ) 2,000 1,500 2,000 1,000 1,500 500 1,000 5002003 2004 0 2005 2006 2007 0 2003 2004 2008 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2009 2010 Presentations Notes: 2003 figures include Race Against Drug Program stats (Presentations); 2009 figures include Race Against Drug Program stats (Activities.) Activities A N N U A L R E P O R T 2 010 4
  7. 7. EVENTS Getting our rail-safety message out nation-wide It’s no secret that Operation Lifesaver is dedicated to preventing railway related deaths and injuries. Along with our committed volunteers, we’re out there every day spreading our message across the nation. Here you’ll find a sample of some of the exciting events that were held in 2010, by Operation Lifesaver, our partners and some of the provincial committees, to make sure that our message remains in the foreground. NEW DRIVER EDUCATION PROGRAM NATIONAL PUBLIC-RAIL SAFETY AWARENESS Throughout 2010 Newfoundland April 26 – May 2, 2010 Canada-wide Safety Services Newfoundland Labrador is a Rail Safety Week (RSW) is a concentrated effort voluntary, non-profit, non-governmental organization by all Operation Lifesaver provincial committees, dedicated to the prevention of injuries and fatalities. In community partners, volunteers and stakeholders to 2010, the organization developed and implemented work together to create a unified, nation-wide voice a new driver education program that includes a rail around public rail safety. safety component featuring information developed by Operation Lifesaver. 2010 was the eighth year for Rail Safety Week and Operation Lifesaver and its partners held over During the past year, 1,000 new drivers took part in 400 initiatives and events, in close to 200 different the program and were given Operation Lifesaver key communities across Canada. chains and learning materials. Students were also encouraged to visit the Operation Lifesaver website Transport Canada and the Railway Association for newly licensed drivers at of Canada worked together to develop a series of print media (including web) and radio public service announcements. Media pick-up was very impressive CROSSING BLITZ and led to many supplemental interviews and a great April 23, 2010 Milltown, New Brunswick & deal of media attention across the nation. Calais, Maine Border On April 23, the New Brunswick Provincial Committee held their first-ever crossing blitz at the border VIA RAIL SAFETY DAY crossing at St. Stephen (Millville) and Calais. May 4, 2010 Halifax, Nova Scotia In May, VIA Rail in Halifax hosted a Safety Day event During the one-hour blitz, committee members and that targeted young children. The event took place their partners were able to distribute Operation at the Halifax VIA Rail Station and 600 children from Lifesaver materials to 300 drivers. several area daycares and elementary schools took part. While at the blitz, committee members learned that a customs sign near the tracks was causing drivers to Presentations were given to each group as they arrived stop on the tracks to identify license plate numbers. by Operation Lifesaver Presenters and members of After this event, New Brunswick Southern Railway the Nova Scotia Provincial Committee ran a display worked with customs to have the sign moved back booth and handed out Operation Lifesaver learning – and had additional signs erected that advise of the materials and colouring books. danger of stopping on the tracks, thereby reducing the risks at the crossing. Children were able to take part in Train Tours, presentations from the RCMP’s drug enforcement program K-9 unit, Ambulance Tours from Emergency Health Services and had the opportunity to view several Model Railway Displays.5 s a v e r C A ANNUAL REPORT 2010
  8. 8. EVENTSINTERNATIONAL LEVEL CROSSING The mock crossing incident involved an automobile, aAWARENESS DAY motorcycle and a train and local drama students actedJune 22, 2010 as victims. After parents and students had viewed the “collision”, they took part in a debriefing held at a localOn June 22, 2010, Operation Lifesaver was proud high support and promote International Level CrossingAwareness Day (ILCAD), an international public-rail A film was produced of this mock collision and providedsafety awareness program initiated by numerous to Dan Di Tota, National Director of Operation Lifesaver,agencies in the European Union. The program is jointly to be used as a teaching aid for other students. Thisorganized by the rail and road sectors in more than film will speak to the target high school audience not45 countries worldwide, and focuses on educational only through its explicit content but also through itsmeasures and the promotion of safe behavior at and soundtrack, provided by the popular Canadian band,around level crossings. Simple Plan.Here in Canada, the Quebec Provincial Committeechose to recognize ILCAD by holding a crossing LINDA PURDY’S RETIREMENTblitz at O’Brien Street in Montreal, handing out rail December 2, 2010 Ottawa, Ontariosafety materials to every driver who went through thecrossing that day. On December 2, 2010 Operation Lifesaver said farewell to Senior Administrative Assistant LindaIn 2011, ILCAD will take place on June 9, and Purdy after 10 years of exceptional service. TheOperation Lifesaver will once more enthusiastically day marked Linda’s last day of work as she begansupport and promote this important event. vacation, in advance of starting her official retirement on January 5, 2011.OPERATION LIFESAVER NATIONAL Linda joined Operation Lifesaver in September ofCONFERENCE 2000 and over the next 10 years acted as OperationSeptember 15, 2010 Gatineau, Québec Lifesaver’s backbone, maintaining the continuousAfter a year’s absence, due to the economic climate support of volunteers nation-wide and representingin 2009, the Operation Lifesaver Conference and the program as organized, efficient and credible.Technology Showcase returned on September 15,2010. The event featured keynote speaker, TerryPringle, Team Leader for Champion Resources, whooutlined how to create safety messages that willbridge the generation gap and speak to all Canadians.The Annual Operation Lifesaver Provincial CommitteeMeeting followed the conference on September 16.MOCK COLLISIONSeptember 22, 2010 St. Lambert, QuébecIn September, the city of St. Lambert, Quebec washost to a mock collision, organized by Mike Melanson,Chair of the Quebec Provincial Committee andmember of the CN Police Services, in partnership L i n d a P u r d y a t h e r r e t i r e m e n t p a r t y, a ft e r 1 0 y e ars with O p e r a t i o n L i f e s a v e r, i n O t t a w a .with the City of St. Lambert and Emergency Services. A N N U A L R E P O R T 2 010 6
  9. 9. PROMOTION Adapting and innovating to raise awareness with a wider audience While Operation Lifesaver’s rail-safety message remains steadfast, we are always looking for new and innovative ways to express it – from reinvigorating existing materials, to brainstorming and implementing new strategies. In 2010, we had many opportunities to evaluate our message strategies, to rework what we’re already doing and to kick start new ideas. Here are a few examples: 2010 ROGER CYR AWARD STRATEGIC REVIEW The Roger Cyr Award, named after the founder of On March 30, the Operation Lifesaver Advisory Operation Lifesaver Canada, is presented annually Committee took part in a workshop, that included a to individuals who help reduce highway-railway program review and where members were given a crossing collisions and trespassing incidents. The stakeholder survey to complete. The purpose of this 2010 recipient was retired RCMP constable and review was to determine the strengths and weaknesses Cobourg Police Service volunteer, Reg Chad. of the Operation Lifesaver program and to develop a strategy to move forward with. Throughout 2010, the For over 10 years, Mr. Chad has been volunteering committee undertook a series of meetings, surveys 20 hours per week to raise the awareness of rail and analysis of trends, challenges and opportunities safety among motorists and students through various for Operation Lifesaver. activities and events in Cobourg, Ontario. The committee met again in October to determine Mr. Chad was presented with his award at the the results of the review. They identified key issues OL Annual Conference on September 15th at the to focus on immediately, including the fact that Chateau Cartier in Gatineau, Québec. volunteers were being burnt out by trying to meet every presentation request being made and the need to move toward a risk based prioritization model to reduce this strain on resources. The committee also created a Work Plan for 2010-2011, as well as outlined a five-year priorities list. COMPUTER BASED TRAINING A beta version of the computer based training program for presenters was completed in December 2010 and is now in the testing stage. This system will allow people who wish to become Operation Lifesaver presenters to complete some of their training online, Left to right: Cst. Terry St a n le y o f C o b o u r g P o li c e , R o g e r C y r from their own home and at their own pace. The Award Recipient, Reg C h a d , D a n D i T o t a a n d C s t . R a y F o s t e r o f current Presenter Program involves a two-day course CN Police. taught by volunteer trainers and it’s only offered in major Canadian cities. With the new system, trainees will complete the online training at home in advance of meeting with a trainer for only one day, at which time they’ll be tested and receive their certification.7 ANNUAL REPORT 2010
  10. 10. PROMOTIONPROFESSIONAL DRIVERS MATERIALS COMMUNITY TRESPASS PREVENTION GUIDEUPDATED The Community Trespass Prevention Guide startedIn December 2010, the Operation Lifesaver as a Direction 2006 publication. It is given toProfessional Drivers Materials, created as part of municipal community groups to help them deal withDirection 2006, were completely redone. Incorporating railway trespassing incidents. The booklet containsinput from driver instructors and professionals from tips for identifying areas of concern, who to approacheach of the materials’ target industries, the new video and how, and offers guidelines for coming up with aand written materials are reformatted, with refreshed trespassing solution that will work for their particularcontent and current statistics. In addition, the new community. In 2010, the publication was reformattedwritten materials are interactive, providing links to as an Operation Lifesaver product.the Operation Lifesaver website, where students cangain access to multimedia learning tools, like videos,and an in-depth explanation of signs and warning OPERATION LIFESAVERdevices. COMMUNICATIONS PLAN In 2010, Operation Lifesaver set into motion a communications plan intended to engage youthKINDERGARTEN TO GRADE 3CONSTRUCTION CARDS in the rail-safety message, using new media. The main focus of this plan was the revitalization of theBuilding on the learning tools offered on the Operation Operation Lifesaver website. The final phase of theLifesaver Kids website (, December website was completed and launched during Rail2010 saw the completion of Operation Lifesaver Safety Week (April 26 – May 2, 2010). The new siteConstruction Cards for kids in Kindergarten to Grade features videos, sound clips and photos that will3. Each card package features nine cardboard cards appeal to the online generation.that can be fitted together to form a locomotive. Rail-safety information is featured on the back of each In addition, the site has been rewritten, focusing onconstruction card, as well as in the accompanying Search Engine Optimization, so that top Internetsafety information booklet. This will be a fun and search engines will find relevant information on theinteractive way for parents and teachers to share site and provide it as a useful resource for searchers.Operation Lifesaver’s rail-safety message with This, along with a number of imbedded links, willchildren, while they also learn motor skills. greatly increase traffic to the site and ensure that Operation Lifesaver is a modern program that is accessible and relevant to people of all ages. A N N U A L R E P O R T 2 010 8
  11. 11. Hey Kids! I’m Rover the Railway Rabbit and I want to help you learn some really important stuff about railway safety. Visit where you can read stories, play games and watch videos that show you what you need to know to stay Visit and learn what driver’s ed didn’t tell you about safety at railway crossings. This on-line, interactive training program is an excellent resource for newly licensed and young drivers.
  12. 12. ADVOCACY Helping to shape our industry for the good of all CanadiansAMALGAMATION AND ELIMINATION OF REDUNDANT CROSSINGSSafety at grade crossings is a primary focus for both the railway companies and Transport Canada. As a majorinitiative for 2011, the railways are working with the government of Canada to reduce the number of railwaycrossings in this country. Particular focus will be paid to crossings that are no longer in use, as well as areaswhere there are multiple crossings that can be amalgamated. Once identified, crossings will be closed, thewarning signals and devices removed and the roads leading to them redirected. Fewer crossings will meanfewer risks and this initiative will go a long way to helping Operation Lifesaver meet its goal of preventing railwaycrossing injuries and deaths.GRADE CROSSING CLOSURE PROGRAMA further way that Transport Canada is working to reduce the number of grade crossings in Canada is throughthe Grade Crossing Closure Program. This is a grant program where eligible recipients – such as municipalities,provinces, businesses or private citizens – who own the rights to use a passive railway crossing can sign anagreement giving up these rights, and close the crossing. The grant recipient can receive up to $5,000 for arestricted crossing, or up to $20,000 for an unrestricted crossing.These grants are administered under the Grade Crossing Improvement Program.The railway companies are also very active in working to reduce the number of grade crossings, includingarranging the closing of some of their own crossings. They also spend a great deal of time and funding onresearching crossings that can potentially be closed, talking to road owners and road authorities and enteringinto closure agreements with them.GRADE CROSSING IMPROVEMENT PROGRAMThe Grade Crossing Improvement Program is designed to provide up to 80 percent of the cost of a crossingimprovement project. Funds from this program will go to improvement projects that include: • The installation of flashing lights, bells and gates • The addition of gates or extra lights to existing signal systems • The interconnection of crossing signals to nearby highway traffic signals • The modification of operating circuits within automated warning systems • The improvement of roadway alignment or grades • The modification of nearby intersections, including the addition of traffic control signals in some circumstancesThese funds are distributed in response to applications made by the road authority or rail company, as a result ofan inspection by a Transport Canada railway safety inspector, due to a recommendation made after an accidentor in response to a safety complaint about a crossing.The railway companies also provide financial contributions of up to 80 percent for Grade Crossing ImprovementProgram projects.These programs serve to underscore the environment of cooperation that exists between the railway industryand the government of Canada to make rail safety a priority. A N N U A L R E P O R T 2 010 10
  13. 13. FUTURE WHAT’S AHEAD IN 2011? As you’ve seen in the proceeding pages, 2010 was a busy year for Operation Lifesaver. 2011 is well underway and we’ve hit the ground running! Here are a few of the exciting things we have on the agenda for 2011: • Representatives from Chuggington, a popular train-based television program for preschoolers, have approached Operation Lifesaver about collaborating on an initiative that would see our rail- safety message promoted by the program’s three train characters. • In 2010, the Advisory Committee identified students in Grades 7 and 8 as a key target for the program. This is also the most challenging demographic to reach. In 2011, we will be focusing on finding messaging and activities that will engage and interest this age group. Our goal is to make Grade 7 and 8 students active participants in the Operation Lifesaver rail-safety message, so that they’ll communicate the message to their peers. • We’re looking forward to, and preparing for, another successful, event-filled Rail Safety Week, scheduled for May 2 to May 8. • June 9 will be the third annual International Level Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD). Operation Lifesaver was proud to support and promote the event last year and will be doing the same this year. In 2010, more than 45 countries worldwide participated in ILCAD and we expect even more participation this year. Here in Canada, Transport Canada will recognize ILCAD by holding the Atlantic Region Railway Conference in Moncton, New Brunswick. • The Operation Lifesaver Annual Conference and Technology/Services Showcase will be taking place again this year, but with a new format. This year, we’ll be moving from a one-day to a two-day conference and focusing on a new audience. While past conferences involved OL volunteers and stakeholders, this year’s participants will be representative of Operation Lifesaver’s “Three E’s”: enforcement, engineering and education. Invitations will be extended to professional drivers, driving instructors, law enforcement agencies and school bus and trucking companies. The conference will feature two keynote speakers and expose participants to Operation Lifesaver’s products, including the key website, and the newly redone Professional Drivers Materials. The conference is scheduled for September 13 and 14 at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Ottawa.11 ANNUAL REPORT 2010
  14. 14. A Partnership in Public-Rail Safety READ. LEARN. LIVE.Your on-line library to public-rail safety
  15. 15. ADVISORY COMMITTEE L u c Bourdon Mike Lowenger D i r ector General, Rail Safety Vi c e - P r e s i d e n t , Tr a nsport Canada O p e r a t i o n s & R e g u l a t o r y A ff a i r s O t t awa, ON The Railway Association of Canada Ottawa, ON S t e phen Covey C h ief of Police Raynald Marchand CN G e n e r a l M a n a g e r, P r o g r a m s M o ntréal, QC Canada Safety Council Ottawa, ON P a ul Goyette D i r ector, Public Affairs Ivan McClelland T h e Railway Association of Canad a Chief of Police O t t awa, ON CP Police Service C a l g a r y, A B R o bert Gray S e nior Manager, Health, Safety & Rob Smith E m ergency Preparedness National Legislative Director V I A Rail Canada Te a m s t e r s C a n a d a R a i l C o n f e r e n c e M o ntréal, QC Ottawa, ON M a tt Holland Adam Thompson D i r ector, Safety & Security Policy Analyst M e trolinx Federation of Canadian Municipalities To r onto, ON Ottawa, ON D a niel Lafontaine J e a n Ti e r n e y C h ief Engineer, Rail Safety Operatio n s S e n i o r D i r e c t o r, S a f e t y, S e c u r i t y a n d Tr a nsport Canada Risk Management O t t awa, ON VIA Rail Canada Montréal, QC C h ris Lungstrass I n s pector, Ontario Provincial Police - B i l l Wa l k e r E a stern Regio n Headquarters President & CEO O n tario Provi ncial Police Safety Services NB S m ith Falls, ON Fredericton, NB Transport Transports Canada Canada13 s a v e r C A ANNUAL REPORT 2010