Canada Turns to VR To Make People Safer Around Train Tracks

It is a sad statistic that dozens of Canadians, many of them young, are killed or injured on railways tracks. Almost all of these incidents are avoidable, and many only needed the victim to have heeded signs and warnings to avoid the danger. As part of Rail Safety Week, a new initiative is using virtual reality (VR) to educate people of the dangers of railways tracks and crossings.

Operation Lifesaver are the group responsible for the Look.Listen.Live campaign in Canada, and as part of a wider railways safety initiative they have unveiled a new VR experience that gives viewers the experience of a near-miss with a train, relying on the immersion of the experience to hammer the point home.

“In developing this campaign, we asked ourselves: ‘If no-trespassing signs, flashing lights and gates won’t stop people from engaging in dangerous behaviour, what will?'” said Sarah Mayes, Operation Lifesaver’s Interim National Director, “We think the answer lies in having people personally experience a close-call with a train. Virtual reality provides a safe way to do that.”

Canadians can experience the Operation Lifesaver videos in 360-degree by visiting the Look.Listen.Live official website. There videos are available in 360-degree format and non-VR HD format and are available in both French and English. For those wishing to view the VR versions, they can be viewed by using Google Cardboard.

Visitors to the campaign website are encouraged to join the campaign by making a rail safety pledge, sharing the videos on social media while using the official hashtages of #looklistenlive and #sharethescare.

VR experiences are being used to improve safety in other ways, such as the campaign to improve the safety of children when they cross the road, or the National Safety Council’s use of VR to teach drivers about the safety features of their vehicles.

VRFocus will continue to bring you news of other safety campaigns involving VR.