Many NAIT students get to campus each day via Edmonton’s LRT. For the most part, the system is safe but that doesn’t absolve riders of their responsibility to prevent accidents and injury. The Edmonton Transit System tasks their employees, from train operators to peace officers to maintenance officers, with keeping you safe. You can help them by keeping a few simple tips in mind whenever you approach the LRT station Obey all signs and signals. The crossing arms block traffic on the street and sidewalks at LRT crossings, so be sure to stop and wait whenever they are down.
Look both ways
If the arms are up, make sure you look both ways and listen carefully before crossing the track. The trains run quietly, so you may not hear them but you would definitely see them. You should also listen for announcements of the arrival or departure of trains when you are near or at the station. Do not cross the tracks until the train has passed.
ETS officials have spent time and money on improving warning systems around LRT stations and tracks in order to increase your awareness with warnings. When approaching an LRT crossing or station, turn your music down so you can hear announcements over the public address system. Read all signs indicating the location of tracks, crosswalks, escalators, elevators and pedways.
Eyes and ears
The flashing lights and the PA system are excellent but do not assume that they are working perfectly at all times. The electronic system can fail on rare occasions. Your eyes and ears are your most important assets for your safety, so be alert at all times.
Sonja Martens, an ETS social marketing specialist, suggests that students ought to turn down the volume on their music and keep their eyes away from their smartphone screens when approaching an LRT crossing. She also suggests making extra time to get to and from classes when riding the LRT to avoid rushing to class. Running the train to gain an extra five minutes is extremely dangerous.
“It’s pretty hard to stop quickly when you’re driving an LRT train,” she said. “It’s just not worth the five minutes to take that risk.”
Drivers have a responsibility to LRT safety, too. Stop well in advance of the crossing arms, and make sure there’s more than enough room ahead of you to clear the tracks during stop and go traffic. Never stop on the tracks for any reason.
Also, make sure you give yourself enough time for longer waits at LRT crossings, and obey the signals and crossing arms. Waiting in traffic at an LRT crossing for a long time is frustrating, but no amount of frustration is worth putting yourself and others in harm’s way. Martens reminds drivers and riders that the delays at LRT crossings won’t last forever, and the wait times will be shorter as ETS fixes the bugs.
“It’s going to get better from here,” she said. “It’s just a matter of having a positive outlook.”
So stay alert and stay positive when you’re around the LRT, and everyone will get to and from the NAIT campus safely. For more information, please visit the City of Edmonton TraXSafe website at http://www.edmonton.ca/transportation/ets/safety_security/TraXSafe.aspx