12 August 2019

61-year-old man in a serious condition after being hit by LRV

| Lachlan Roberts
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A pedestrian has been hit by a light rail vehicle. Photos: Region Media.

A 61-year-old man has been taken to hospital in a serious condition after he was hit by a light rail vehicle on the corner of Barry Drive and Northbourne Avenue on Monday morning (12 August).

Around 9.10am, the male pedestrian was struck by a northbound light rail vehicle at the intersection of Barry Drive and Northbourne Avenue, Turner.

ACT Policing members, along with ACT Ambulance Service paramedics, ACT Fire & Rescue members and Canberra Metro investigators attended the scene.

The patient was treated at the scene and transported to hospital in a serious condition.

ACT Policing’s Collision Investigation and Reconstruction Team (CIRT) is examining the circumstances surrounding the collision. CCTV footage from the light rail vehicle has been provided to police, and a number of witnesses were spoken to at the scene.

Light rail services have been impacted.

Police would like to remind drivers, cyclists and pedestrians to take care around the light rail corridor. Don’t cross light rail tracks unless using a designated crossing, and take care just as you would when crossing a road.

The incident occurred on the day Canberra Metro and the ACT Government launched their Rail Safety Week campaign.

Anyone with information that could assist police is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, or via the Crime Stoppers ACT website.

Please quote reference 6427063. Information can be provided anonymously.

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Malcolm Roxburgh6:19 pm 13 Aug 19

If a bus hit a pedestrian, it wouldn’t have shut down the whole bus network for a day. Why did we not get dedicated bus lanes. Labor just empire building. Trams waste of money,

Patrick Keogh7:41 pm 15 Aug 19

It is good to see that you are not afraid of a bit of hyperbole! At no stage did this accident shut down the whole network for a day. No part of the network was shot down for a whole day. But don’t let that stop you moaning and groaning!

Yes… in yesterdays CT online a witness said he was on his phone…

Sorry to hear of his misfortune. Was he distracted by some thing else perhaps? This won’t be the last such incident.

Capital Retro10:57 am 13 Aug 19

The usual supporters and apologists for the light rail have been strangely silent on this one.

What is there to say? It was inevitable. Just live it is inevitable that people will get hit by cars, trucks and buses.

Capital Retro11:09 am 15 Aug 19

I couldn’t find anything in the Light Rail Business Plan about “inevitability”, JC.

People certainly won’t be hit by cars, trucks and busses while they are crossing tram lines either.

Yeah but they get hit crossing roads on a very very regular basis. Usually about 1/3rd of all road deaths are pedestrians.

Capital Retro9:10 pm 15 Aug 19

There is but one 12 km tramline in Canberra and about 18 trams maximum operating at one time. Not many pedestrians cross the tramline either.
How many hundreds of busses, trucks and thousands of cars and pedestrians use the hundred of kilometres of Canberra’s roads around the clock? Let’s not forget bikes either.

Capital Retro9:12 am 13 Aug 19

Maybe the colour of the trams needs changing. With cars, red is found to be an “unsafe” colour whereas green is deemed to be safest. I think Minister Rattenbury would approve of his trams having a green livery.

Eventually, they will all be covered with advertising – depicting “cheap home units for sale”. In the meantime, how about they be painted like this?: http://www.sleeper.apana.org.au/railway/slr/images/Operations/2002_06_June/20020609_115820.jpg

Capital Retro9:01 am 13 Aug 19

Bruce Hargrave says “Richard Parker light rail is traffic free transport. I feel sorry for that person but the tram is very successful …………..”

It is not “traffic free transport” and where is the proof that it has been very successful (compared to what)?

One measure of success is the journey time from Gungahlin to the city in peak hour is 24 minutes consistently rather than the 45 minute timetabled figure of the 200 series buses in peak hour.

Oh and the number of boardings but I know you would spin that some way or the other.

Capital Retro1:41 pm 15 Aug 19

That “express speed” comes at a huge cost (over $2 billion is the latest) and at enormous inconvenience to drivers of vehicles using crossroads to the cosseted tram route not to mention pedestrians who are now forced to wait twice or three times as long to get a green signal to cross.

Re the boardings, how about you supply the daily passenger numbers of busses only, before they were replaced by the trams?

This incident does highlight the deficiencies of vehicles (trams) running on tracks. Once an accident like this has happened, no other trams can overtake whilst the investigation is conducted, whereas busses can use other lanes or even be rerouted to neighbouring streets.
Many years ago in Swanston Street, Melbourne, I saw a man get hit by a tram. He had been standing still at the time! I think he just totally misjudged how close he was to the tracks.
It doesn’t have to be an accident for a whole tramline to be affected. In Adelaide (yes, they do call them trams in Melbourne and Adelaide!) tram drivers are aware that one type of their trams, the Spanish made ones, are notorious for overheating in summer, bringing the tramline to a standstill. I saw this happen at Moseley Square in Glenelg. Because the tram had overheated was stuck there, other trams couldn’t switch to the other track and so return to the city. The stranded other tram caused a traffic jam as all cars on Jetty Road, Moseley Street and Colley Street banked up.
The (Spanish made) Canberra trams haven’t endured a hot summer, yet.

Pretty sure the other advantages outweigh the negatives in rare situations like this. And of course there can be alternatives like busstitution.

HiddenDragon6:48 pm 12 Aug 19

Similar risks would have arisen if the Northbourne median strip had been used for buses or trackless trams etc. – the central issues continue to be the true costs of the tram to ACT taxpayers and its inflexibility.

In the meantime, let’s hope that others take note and learn from this, and that the gent in question makes a full recovery.

Capital Retro8:42 am 16 Aug 19

I look forward to the day when we have “tramless tracks”.

Capital Retro5:37 pm 12 Aug 19

“Trams share the road with cars. LRVs have dedicated corridors.”

They are more trams than LRVs because they have to share the carriageway with road traffic and pedestrians at the intersections they cross.

I can see a lot of tram/LRV drivers going on stress leave from now on. What a disaster this “urban regeneration tool” is turning out to be.

Capital Retro10:37 am 13 Aug 19

It is reported that the tram driver was “counselled” after the accident.

And if he had been hit by a car you would all be blaming the driver and saying he should slow down. Funny watching the hypocrisy.

The speed limit for cars in some areas has been reduced from 60kph to 50 and then to 40 with talk about going to 30.

This has been to reduce injuries to unobservant pedestrians who step in front of cars.

The light rail is much heavier and presumably takes longer to stop.

Following the same logic, it should be reduced to perhaps 10 or 5kph in some places to protect unobservant pedestrians.

Of course I’m sure the government will not consider doing so. When a pedestrian steps in front of a car, the government penalizes car drivers. When the same thing happens with the light rail the government wouldn’t dream of penalizing their beloved light rail.

Capital Retro11:21 am 12 Aug 19

“The incident occurred on the day Canberra Metro and the ACT Government launched their Rail Safety Week campaign.”

What a PR disaster. Let’s now wait for the spin.

brucewantstobecool10:06 pm 12 Aug 19

I’d argue the opposite – it’s unfortunately the perfect example for why people need to be careful and attentive when walking across the rail line.

Capital Retro9:05 am 13 Aug 19

I’ll take that as spin.

So, we need more volunteers for “tram crash dummies” to make the campaign more successful?

Spin is better than faux rage. As I said above something like this was always inevitable and is not the fault of light rail or government no matter which way you want to spin an argument.

Capital Retro11:12 am 15 Aug 19

I haven’t seen anything more about the launch of the Rail Safely Week campaign.

Was it derailed by this incident?

Watch as the light rail detractors try to blame this on light rail, instead of the pedestrian ignoring the “don’t walk” signals.

Light rail is fast and quiet, people. You need to at least look at the pedestrian signals before crossing. If you aren’t hit by a LRV this year, you will be walking in front of electric cars next year.

Yes, looking at the signals and glancing up the road/rails to check for red light runners or emergency vehicles takes tour eyes off the screen. But you can deal with that by pausing playback for a few seconds while crossing the road.

yes, I’m a “light rail detractor” but my overwhelming feelings at the moment are for the well-being of the victim as well as for the driver and witnesses.
Every day I see pedestrians running across civic streets and rail lines when the lights are against them. I really hope I’m wrong, but there will be more of this unless pedestrians modify their behaviour.

Malcolm Roxburgh1:33 pm 12 Aug 19

If the tram wasn’t there it wouldn’t hit him. Great waste of money!

It’s the drivers fault. He needs to slow down!

Or, is that only the case for cars?

Well you would have to admit if we didn’t have a train he wouldn’t have been hit by one 🙂

No but could have been a bus.

Capital Retro11:12 am 15 Aug 19

Not on the tram tracks.

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