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Transportation Safety Board warns of critical safety issues

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada listed nine critical safety issues facing the country’s transport system yesterday.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada listed nine critical safety issues facing the country’s transport system yesterday.

While the list identifies safety issues in the air, marine and rail modes, collisions at railway crossings top the list.

“We are pleased with how the lessons learned from the thousands of accidents we have investigated have made transportation safer,” TSB chair Wendy Tadros said yesterday in Ottawa.

“However, the board knows from hard experience that if a persistent problem is not addressed, there will be another accident. Airlines, ferries, railways — we’re talking about tens of millions of trips annually. We need to tackle the issue on our watchlist now to make the system safer.

Our watchlist provides a blueprint for a safer transportation system and that is our goal.

“The watchlist is a means of focusing on the nine most critical issues we see,” said Tadros.

“These are issues that have arisen in investigation after investigation ... it is time for the industry and the government to work together.”

In the rail industry, new recorders are being phased in, but because locomotives last so long, the process will take 20 to 30 years, she said.

“We call on the rail industry to step up the pace,” Tadros said.

Agency records show 380 incidents at railway crossings in the last 15 years — one every two weeks — and 106 deaths due to collisions between vehicles and passenger trains.

The collisions continue despite advance warning signs and, at about one-third of public crossings, flashing lights, bells and gates.
FILES FROM THE CANADIAN PRESS

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