Train whistling is required by law. Even though the noise can sometimes be bothersome, most people understand and accept the very important safety reasons behind their usage. Canadian railways are subject to strict government guidelines with respect to whistling at public highway-railway crossings. Municipalities can apply to have whistling cease in their jurisdictions, and if approved, can enact specific anti-whistling bylaws. Trains are normally required to whistle for at least 400 meters before entering a public crossing. The speed of the train affects the duration length of the whistle.
Trains are required to sound the engine whistle continuously starting at a quarter of a mile before all public crossings or 20-25 seconds before occupying the crossing, whichever is less. They are also required to whistle, at frequent intervals when view is restricted by weather or track curvature. However, under very specific circumstances and under strict regulation, whistling may be waived for a specific crossing or crossings. For those who wish to explore the elimination of whistling in their area, the steps to be followed are contained on the Transport Canada website.