Operation Lifesaver Turns to VR To Reduce Collisions Between Trains and ATVs [Updated]

A new VR video from Operation Lifesaver hope to improve safety on and around railway tracks.

Public information films have been around for decades, trying to warn people of various dangers and risks. The risk around railways we’ve recently touched on with a series of related posts in our Life In 360° series of morning posts focusing on content produced by the UK’s Network Rail. It’s also something of a concern across the Atlantic, and a year ago we brought you news of Operation Lifesaver a public-private partnership by Canada’s railways and the federal government on the  Canadian government which had turned to virtual reality (VR) to create the new generation of immersive public information experiences.

Now the organisation is back with another campaign to improve safety on and around railway tracks. The newly created VR film is specifically aimed at drivers of all-terrain vehicles or ATVs.

Canada is a big country with large tracts of open land to explore. When the weather gets warmer, thousands of Canadians get into the saddle of an ATV to go driving around, but this also means that dozen on Canadians, especially the young, will be killed or injured by venturing too close to railways tracks and trains.

Almost all of these collision incidents could have been avoided, and all of them cause great distress for the families, communities and the railway staff. The VR video, produced in partnership with the Central Ontario ATV club is aimed at preventing these incidents by showing people the horrific experience of being hit by a train.

“Our message to ATVers is simple: go off road, but stay off railway tracks and property,” said Sarah Mayes, National Director of Operation Lifesaver Canada. “It’s both illegal and extremely dangerous to ride on or alongside railway tracks. Trains often carry cargo that is much wider than the tracks, and can seriously injure or kill a rider alongside it. ATVs also tend to have loud engines — and when you’re wearing a helmet, that can mask the sound of an oncoming train.”

Further information on how to view the VR video as well as tips for ATV riders can be found on the Operation Lifesaver website. For future coverage of VR for education, safety and training, keep checking back with VRFocus.

Update: Following feedback from Operation Lifesaver we’ve made some changes to the story to more accurately confirm they’re origins. The organisation also confirmed the previously used railway stock photo didn’t show a specifically Canadian crossing, so this has been updated to something, hopefully, more suitable.

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