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Dangerous railway crossing data by Transport Canada revealed

If you've been in a car accident at a railway crossing, the accident won't always be your fault automatically. For instance, if you can't see around vegetation or buildings and there are no automated signals, how can you know a train is headed your way? Some parts of Canada pose a specific risk for just that situation.

Recently, Transport Canada released a list of the 500 highest risk railroad crossings. Railroads can be dangerous for some people, particularly if they are obscured by trees or buildings. Car and train accidents can be life threatening or deadly, so knowing the places you'll be most at risk may help you avoid an accident.

According to the news, there are currently 17,000 public rail crossings in Canada. At those, only 17 per cent have gates that prevent vehicles from passing. Another 22 per cent have lights and bells that alert drivers to oncoming trains. The rest of the crossings have no automated warnings and are only recognizable because of a reflective "X" crossing sign that could be sat next to a stop sign to warn drivers.

Between 2000 and 2016, there have been 460 people killed at railway crossings. To help reduce this risk, the government has been working to upgrade crossings with more warnings for the public. Regulations have changed, but the upgrades won't be required until 2021. As of the news, many municipalities did not know they were home to dangerous crossings. Where's the worst? A 2014 data set shows that Quebec Ministry of Transportation had 23 deaths in its area, while Manitoba and the Department of Highways had 16. Still in the top 14 are the City of Ottawa with seven deaths and Ontario with eight.

Source: CBC News, "Transport Canada list of 500 'highest risk' railway crossings not widely shared," Jacques Marcoux, Holly Moore, Jeremy McDonald, and Dave Seglins, April 13, 2016

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