Cornwall buses now required to stop at all rail crossings

Public transit buses in Cornwall will be required to stop at all railway crossings beginning Feb. 3 in light of September's fatal crash between an OC Transpo bus and a passenger train.

City review came after fatal September crash between OC Transpo bus, passenger train

Public transit buses in Cornwall will stop at all railway crossings beginning Feb. 3.

The decision was made after a fatal crash in Ottawa in September. An OC Transpo bus collided with a Via Rail passenger train, killing six people on the bus.

The City of Cornwall reviewed its protocols after the crash to see if any changes should be made.

Only a handful of railway crossings in Cornwall intersect with bus routes, but the city's transit division manager said the policy change is a precautionary measure.

"Although there have been no collisions here… it really is a no-brainer. It's a safety issue, it's safer for the driver, safer for the passenger, safer for the community overall," said Len Tapp.

"I just think that it's the right thing to do. Safety is always first and foremost in every transit property's mind and this is just another way of making sure that the system runs safely."

White and red decals will be placed on the back of buses to warn drivers that they stop at railway crossings.

In Ottawa, a federal agency has ordered a safety review of all rail crossings that intersect with OC Transpo routes.

OC Transpo buses are not required to stop at all railway crossings.

In an emailed statement, the city said it "looks forward to further examining [the issue of buses stopping at railway crossings]" after the Transportation Safety Board's report into the fatal crash is finished.

"To date, the city has not been mandated or otherwise asked to change its current operational procedures of not stopping at bus crossings," the statement said.

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