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Monday, February 10, 2014    

Transport Canada proposes new grade crossing regulations


Transport Canada has proposed grade crossing regulations that would establish new safety standards for federally regulated crossings, Canadian Minister of Transport Lisa Raitt announced on Friday.

Under authority of Canada's Railway Safety Act, the proposed regulations aim to reduce the frequency and severity of accidents, and prevent injuries and derailments at crossings. The regulations would provide comprehensive and enforceable safety standards for crossings; clarify the roles and responsibilities of railroads and road authorities; and mandate that they share key safety information, Transport Canada officials said in a press release.

Stakeholders and members of the public will have 90 days to comment on the proposed regulations.

"A safe and secure national rail transportation system is important to local communities and to Canada's economic well-being," said Raitt. "While Canada has one of the safest rail systems in the world, we can do better."

The current approach to managing crossing safety requires collaboration between 1,460 municipal and provincial road authorities, 95 aboriginal bands, 32 railroads and many private authorities. The proposed regulations would encourage increased collaboration, said Raitt.

Currently, there are 14,000 public and 9,000 private crossings along 26,500 miles of federally regulated tracks in Canada.

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