Updated September 22
Below is Sandra LaRose’s speech from the safety decal unveiling event:
Good afternoon everyone,
On August 16, 2018, 4 miles down this line of track, my life was changed forever. A simple glance at her phone, loud music, and inexperience cost my daughter her life, and for all who loved her, a future of milestones and memories.
Rail safety was not a typical topic of conversation in our home, but looking back, it should have been. The obvious stopping at the flashing lights, not crossing outside of sidewalk and road were all taught, but nothing in depth. Kailynn was told that she would not hear the honking of a horn, the sirens of an ambulance, the shriek of a fire truck, or the wail of a police car when she blasted her music in her car. I never thought, until it was too late, to include the sound of a train horn. Kailynn’s car had no air conditioning, all her windows were rolled down, but she still did not hear the train. Had she seen the train from afar? Perhaps. They were travelling in opposite directions. My guess is she probably thought it wasn’t moving. After all, it was just an engine and a single car. Do you know how loud your music has to be to not hear the train horn? I tried it, and it has to be loud –– too loud.
The cause of Kailynn’s accident was found to be driver distraction. She wasn’t holding her phone. The train crew saw her looking down at her passenger seat –– presumably at her phone since she drove a standard and would have been shifting gears at that moment. Kailynn’s phone and her music cost me a future with my daughter.
It took the death of my daughter, Kailynn, to bring the importance of traffic and rail safety to light. Since losing my daughter, it has become my passion, and my mission, to influence a change in habits. To encourage everyone to make safe choices while driving. To educate about taking responsibility for your safety and the safety of those around you. Included is making safe choices around railway crossings. Although Kailynn’s accident included a car, pedestrian and cyclist safety is also important.
Whether crossing the tracks by foot, bicycle, or vehicle, safety needs to be in the forefront of everyone’s minds. Loud music, distraction, and inexperience all played a part in Kailynn’s accident. The simple mistake of playing your music loud, in the car, or in your ears through headphones, can cost you your life. The choice to “beat the train” will not turn out in your favor. The simple 10 second glance away can cost you, and your friends and family everything.
Look. Listen. Live. Three simple words that can, and will, save your life. The installation of these decals is a reminder to me of what I have lost. These decals are also a reminder to everyone of what you can have. A future. These decals speak loudly. Everyone should listen. If you look. If you listen. You will live.
I proudly work alongside Operation Lifesaver Canada to share the importance of rail safety awareness and educate everyone about the dangers surrounding railway crossings. Thank you to the City of Weyburn for your commitment to rail safety and your commitment to helping keep everyone who resides in or passes through Weyburn safe.
Look. Listen. Live – your friends and family will thank you.
Released September 21, 2023
WEYBURN – Every year, dozens of Canadians are killed or seriously injured in collisions at railway crossings. In fact, there were 159 such incidents in Canada in 2022, which killed 14 people and seriously injured another 27. Sadly, virtually all these tragedies were preventable.
Today, Operation Lifesaver (OL) Canada, in partnership with HUB Surface Systems and the City of Weyburn, unveiled new rail safety decals at three major rail crossings within city limits as part of OL’s Look. Listen. Live. Community Safety Partnership Program.
Through the program, OL works with municipalities to identify locations where rail-safety decals can be installed to remind people to be situationally aware around crossings. Each bright yellow decal features a black silhouette of a train, as well as the words “Look. Listen. Live.”—OL’s important rail-safety message. The goal of the decals is simple: to prevent tragic crossing incidents by making pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers more aware of the need to be vigilant around railway crossings.
“Safety is a collective responsibility and today we join Operation Lifesaver to take a step towards making our city a safer community for all,” said Marcel Roy, Mayor of the City of Weyburn. “These decals are a commitment by the City of Weyburn to rail safety and serve as a visual reminder to pedestrians, cyclists and drivers to remain vigilant around railways crossing.”
“Rail safety became part of my life in August 2018. It took the death of my daughter, Kailynn, to bring the importance of traffic and rail safety to light,” said Sandra LaRose. “Loud music, distraction, and inexperience all played a part in Kailynn’s accident. I proudly work alongside Operation Lifesaver Canada to share the importance of rail safety awareness, and educate everyone about the dangers surrounding railway crossings.”
“Incidents at railway crossings are tragically common across this country, and each one affects the victim’s family and friends, as well as railway employees, first responders and broader communities,” said Sarah Mayes, National Director of Operation Lifesaver Canada. “OL’s decal program aims to make the public more aware of the hazards around rail crossings, which will hopefully save lives. We want people to slow down, look in both directions, listen for approaching trains, and obey all railway warning signs and signals.”
Vancouver, B.C., and London, Ont., became the first Canadian cities to sign onto the Community Safety Partnership Program in 2018, and as of 2023, there are 100 municipalities participating in the program.
Municipalities can obtain more information about the Community Safety Partnership Program by visiting OL’s website. OL also recently unveiled a free toolkit for communities to use in promoting rail safety to their residents; it’s available at www.operationlifesaver.ca
For media inquiries contact:
Communications Coordinator | City of Weyburn
(306) 848-3236 | email@example.com
Manager, Communications and Outreach | Operation Lifesaver Canada
(613) 564-8100 | firstname.lastname@example.org
About Operation Lifesaver Canada
Operation Lifesaver Canada is a national public rail-safety program sponsored by Transport Canada, the Railway Association of Canada and its members, including CN, CPKC, VIA Rail, Metrolinx, exo, West Coast Express and Genesee & Wyoming, among others. Through its national network of Rail Safety Ambassadors, partnerships with safety councils, police, the trucking industry and community groups, and innovative tools such as its virtual-reality Look. Listen. Live. campaign, Operation Lifesaver Canada works to save lives by educating Canadians about the hazards of rail crossings and trespassing on railway property. Canadians can keep up-to-date on the latest rail safety news by visiting operationlifesaver.ca.
About the City of Weyburn
Weyburn is a thriving prairie city nestled in the southeast corner of Saskatchewan and a dynamic community providing exceptional quality and opportunities for its residents and visitors. Weyburn has the solid economic and community foundation on which new opportunities are built. The City of Weyburn is a multifaceted organization employing much of the local public in a variety of meaningful careers, with approximately 200 employees. The City’s vision is a community for all, and its mission is growing through opportunity.