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Safety in the news: planes, trains and automobiles

By Lauren Smith



In 1987, Steve Martin and John Candy starred in the John Hughes travel comedy Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

As you can probably gather from the title, in the film they use multiple means of transportation to arrive safely at their destination.

Like Mr. Martin’s and Mr. Candy’s characters, many of us use planes, trains and automobiles for leisurely travel. But for many workers, planes, trains and automobiles are part of their job, whether using them for transportation or working behind the scenes to ensure they’re fully operational and safe for travel or transporting goods.

See what headlines have been saying recently about the important role safety has been playing in these industries:



The airline industry is heading for the clouds.

Forbes took a look at how cloud computing* can help streamline the customer experience in the airline industry and how it could enhance their safety practices. Virgin America, WestJet and Endeavor Air have already adopted cloud computing systems to manage the maintenance and replacement of aircraft components in their fleets—the systems help prevent delays and efficiently ensure their planes are safe for takeoff.

Coming to an airport near you: According to a recent Air Transport Industry Insights survey, 49 per cent of airports expect to introduce pilot studies to evaluate cloud services over the next three years. These studies will include testing new features such as luggage drops and self-boarding gates.

*Where is the cloud?
Cloud computing is the storing and accessing of data and programs over the Internet instead of through a computer’s hard drive. This new technology saves companies from needing the hardware that was previously required to add and run new programs and applications.



This past Saturday morning, a train carrying 94 tank cars of crude oil derailed and caught fire in Ontario. Between 30 and 40 tank cars went off the tracks less than four kilometres from the community of Gogama, causing a massive blaze that was still burning Sunday afternoon.

Other recent derailments and explosions have shifted the focus to the current safety standards of crude oil transport by rail.

According to Transport Minister Lisa Raitt, tougher regulations are in the works to improve the safety of transport and decrease derailments. The least crash-resistant tank cars have already been banned from the system, tougher new regulations were introduced last year and a new tank-car standard is expected this spring.


And Automobiles

Edmonton has been making major headway to reduce traffic deaths and injuries.

In 2014, traffic deaths were down  28 per cent and injuries were reduced by 21 per cent compared to 2009 when Edmonton started making adjustments to our roadways to decrease vehicle collisions.

According to the city’s traffic safety office, the two biggest changes we have to thank for these reductions are the reconstructing of the right-turn lanes at major intersections and adding advance-left turn signals to select intersections. These changes were made as part of the new “Vision Zero” program that aims to reduce the traffic death count to zero. Next steps: possibly adjusting speed limits, especially in high-pedestrian areas.


Calgary motorists are just One Tap away from reducing distracted driving.

The Calgary Police Service have put their support behind a new app that hopes to reduce driver distractions by using GPS technology to manage phone alerts while drivers are behind the wheel. The app responds automatically to calls and texts, letting people know the driver is occupied.

Recent data shows that distracted driving accounts for approximately 80 per cent of vehicle collisions in North America.



One Response to “Safety in the news: planes, trains and automobiles”

  1. I like your attention to details and how you managed to show the information with such great statistics! Great job!

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