All Canadian rail companies will be required to stick reflectors on each and every train car within the next seven years, a decision designed to prevent dozens of deaths at small rail crossings every year.
A government source said Transport Minister Lawrence Cannon is expected to approve the change Friday.
The Transportation Safety Board had recommended such a regulation in 2000, but the previous government never implemented it.
The Transportation Safety Board conducted a study on the issue in 2003 suggesting that between 1996 and 2001, motorists drove directly into trains at night 62 times.
Reflector strips are required on motor vehicles such as trucks and even farm equipment, but so far are only demanded of CN and CPR freight cars. Thousands of other privately owned cars are not covered.
The change is of particular interest to small communities where there are only rail crossing signs, but not full rail crossings.
About 120,000 freight cars and 3,000 locomotives would be affected by the change.