Victoria Minister for Public Transport Melissa Horne
Playing It Safe Around Trams As Part Of Rail Safety Week
Victor P Taffa
Victorian motorists and pedestrians are being warned about the dangers posed by trams and trains as part of Rail Safety Week.
Minister for Public Transport Melissa Horne was joined by Yarra Trams in the CBD to announce the Top 10 tram and vehicle collision hotspots and to remind motorists to take extra care around tracks.
“With more trams on the road than ever before, it’s now more important than ever to pay attention when driving near trams or crossing roads where trams operate.” Minister for Public Transport Melissa Horne said.
Melbourne’s CBD is home to 5 of the 10 hotspots, with 226 motorist-tram collisions in 2018, including:
- 77 on Collins Street,
- 42 on Flinders and Elizabeth streets,
- 37 on Bourke Street,
- 28 on La Trobe Street.
Outside the CBD, there were:
- 52 crashes recorded on St. Kilda Road,
- 40 on Nicholson Street,
- 34 on Toorak Road and Bridge Road,
- 28 on Clarendon Street.
“We encourage all motorists to ‘think tram’ when driving along shared roads, and always check before merging or turning right over tram tracks.” Yarra Trams CEO Nicolas Gindt said.
Figures also show 97 % of the collisions were the fault of motorists with 70 % of the incidents caused by motorists not looking for trams when turning right, U turning or merging.
Across the entire tram network, there were more than 1,100 collisions and 500 near misses with motorists in 2018, up from around 970 in 2017. The collisions resulted in 20 people suffering serious injuries.
These incidents also severely disrupt the tram network and impact traffic flow with an average of 10 trams out of service at any one time because of a collision.
Distractions can also be fatal for pedestrians crossing train and tram tracks. The public is being urged to stop using phones and turn their headphone volume down while using pedestrian crossings.
Andrews Government is improving safety around trams and trains carrying out kerb separation works across the tram network and removing dangerous and congested level crossings.
Rail Safety Week is a TrackSAFE Foundation initiative.
Route 109 Tram Passing Beneath Rail Service Bound For Flinders Street Station, Melbourne, Victoria