Shocking new video shows why any time is train time at level crossings

To raise awareness about safety at level crossings, Metrolinx is releasing new footage showing a car illegally driving into a level crossing and being hit by a GO Train. While the driver walked away from the scene, it could have been much worse. Scroll down to watch the video and learn more about what Metrolinx is doing to raise awareness about safety at level crossings.

A new video released today shows a driver going around the arms at a level crossing – only to be hit by an oncoming GO Train.

The incident happened mid-May in Toronto near the Carl Hall Road rail crossing.

Luckily, the driver escaped without significant injuries.

Not everyone is so lucky. According to Operation Lifesaver, 100 Canadians are seriously injured or killed every year at level crossings – a section of road that crosses a train track.

There is no single answer to why people make these kinds of decisions.

“Most of these incidents, like the one in the video, are preventable,” said Martin Gallagher, chief safety officer at Metrolinx.

“Collisions at level crossings are caused by pedestrians, cyclists and drivers who deliberately take risks or make bad decisions by mistake, out of habit or because they’re distracted. Everyone needs to be alert at level crossings and remember that trains move quickly and can appear at any time.”

No matter what the cause is, on International Level Crossing Awareness Day (June 9), Metrolinx reminded everyone to pay attention and obey all signals at level crossings.

“Safety at level crossings doesn’t just happen,” said Fay Pittman, chief engineer at Metrolinx.

“It requires the constant vigilance of each and every one of us to keep each other safe. This global day to raise awareness is an important initiative to get the message out to everyone that ignoring level crossing safety measures can be deadly.”

GO Transit Customer Protective Services officers conducting a level crossing safety blitz in Kitchener. (Metrolinx image)

Metrolinx is asking everyone to remember these instructions when they approach a level crossing on foot or in a vehicle:

  • Always be prepared to stop at a level crossing
  • Concentrate what you are doing – do not get distracted by other people, music or your phone
  • Stop, look and listen. Pay attention to the warnings, whether they are lights, barriers or alarms
  • Do not proceed until all the warnings stop
  • Check both ways before proceeding
  • Never go around a barrier when it is lowered

In the incident pictured in the video, the driver did not follow these instructions and was lucky to have walked away after their car was struck by the train. However, they are now facing charges for their reckless actions.

“This incident could have been much worse, for the driver and everyone on and near the train,” said Gallagher. “It underscores the importance of International Level Crossing Day and the need to keep educating the public about level crossing safety.”

Story by Andrea Wiseman, Metrolinx senior advisor, communications to the chief safety officer