New proposed regulations will better protect railway employees and Canadians along rail

From: Transport Canada

May 24, 2019 Ottawa, Ontario Government of Canada

A safe, efficient and reliable rail system is key for transporting passengers across Canada’s broad landscape and for moving Canadian goods to market. The Government of Canada is taking key steps to improve railway safety and reduce the likelihood of future accidents.

Today, the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, announced the publication in the Canada Gazette, Part I, of proposed Locomotive Voice and Video Recorder Regulations that specify the technical requirements for rail companies to install these devices on-board their locomotives.

By providing accident investigators with insight into crew communications and actions, locomotive voice and video recorders can help improve rail safety by reducing the risk of future accidents. Information from these locomotive voice and video recorders can also be used by rail companies to identify and manage safety risks.

The proposed Locomotive Voice and Video Recorder Regulations reflect a careful balance between measures to increase safety benefits, while safeguarding the privacy rights of railway employees. This includes information that Transport Canada obtained from key stakeholders and partners, including rail companies, unions, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, Canada’s Labour Program, and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.

The proposed regulations align with the Government of Canada’s commitment to enhance railway safety. They also address outstanding recommendations raised by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada.

A 60-day public consultation period follows the pre-publication of the Locomotive Voice and Video Recorder Regulations. The feedback that is collected will be considered in the development of the final regulations.

“Understanding how a railway crew communicated and acted immediately before a railway accident is crucial for investigators. Locomotive voice and video recorders will provide the necessary information to help better protect Canadians, their families, the communities along Canada’s rail corridors, and railway employees.”

The Honourable Marc Garneau

Minister of Transport

Quick facts

  • The Transportation Modernization Act, which received Royal Assent in May 2018, amended the Railway Safety Act to mandate the installation of locomotive voice and video recorders.

  • Transport Canada will fulfill all its obligations under the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act when using data collected from locomotive voice and video recorders.

  • Rail companies are required to respect the privacy rights of their employees under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act.

/Public Release. View in full here.