Parent wants city to look into what can be done about better safety along rail lines; four killed so far this year.

Davy feels the city should not have allowed the retail operations on Fairview to have been built so close to the rail line – but as she put it in her delegation: “they’re there and they aren’t moving”.

Some of the deaths are suicides – and they can be prevented.  When the right kind of barrier is put in place people who decide they want to end their lives do not go looking for some other place to end their lives.

When the number of suicides at the Bloor viaduct in Toronto increased to the point where the public could no longer tolerate it – the city was convinced a barrier could be put up that would be attractive and effective. It is both. What might Burlington find in the way of a solution.

The barriers do prevent suicides.  In Toronto the number of deaths at the Bloor Viaduct got so high that people protested – the city held a competition for some form of barrier and got a marvelous piece of art and no more suicides at the viaduct.

There has so far, explained Davy, been a lack of response from the public – a sense of complacency – what can be done?

Toronto has shown that there are solutions and that CN will deflect to the public if there is a visible concern.  They announced all day GO service is going to increase the traffic along the railway line   – and the opening of the new high school is going to increase the traffic across the railway tracks.  The students who live in the orchard are going to find ways to cross the tracks and get to school faster – at a time when traffic along the rail line will be at its heaviest.  There’s a disaster waiting to happen in this city.

Education is a large part of the solution.  And better barriers.

Davy says that to the best of her knowledge Operation LifeSaver has not been to one Burlington High School.  That organization is made up of “dedicated railroaders and citizens, aiming to save lives by educating Canadians about the hazards surrounding rail property and trains. Operation Lifesaver is a partnership initiative of the Railway Association of Canada and Transport Canada and works in cooperation with the rail industry, government, police, unions, and many public organizations and community groups.”

Their web site says they “work to prevent trespassing incidents that lead to serious injury or death. We do this through Education, Engineering, and Enforcement. We make over 2,000 presentations per year and work with the rail industry, government, police, unions, the media, public organizations and the public to spread the word.”

Davy also suggested the authorities don’t want us to have the numbers because they are so high.  It took four calls to the Halton police to get an answer to the question: how many?

Mayor Goldring put the concern into perspective when he said: If there were six young people killed on New Street – we would be doing something about that.

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2 comments to Parent wants city to look into what can be done about better safety along rail lines; four killed so far this year.

  • Penny, thank you for this article.
    Denise, first and foremost, my sincerest condolences for the loss of your son.
    I write, simply to thank you for working so hard on such an important issue. An article you wrote “A mother’s passionate plea for action on railway safety” was what brought your fight for improvement to my attention. You mention another young man killed behind the Lick’s on Fairview in your article – that young man was a friend of mine.

    I wholeheartedly applaud and support your efforts, and if there’s any way to help, please, let me know!

  • Denise Davy

    Thanks to Our Burlington for the thorough coverage on this important issue. I agree with them that my MP and MPP should definitely have contacted me by now and yet I am still waiting to hear from them. I am also glad that they included the comment from Jack Dennison who publicly admitted in city council that he breaks the law by trespassing over the tracks regularly. Dennison is not only endorsing dangerous and illegal behaviour, he is setting a bad example for others, especially teens. I hope voters will keep this in mind during the next election.