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Car driven along light rail tracks in Gungahlin and taxi near miss as safety concerns continue

Glynis Quinlan 9 May 2019 94

The light rail vehicle came to extremely close to hitting the taxi which is sitting in its way on Northbourne Avenue. The image is taken from dash-cam footage from the front of the LRV.

A car was driven along light rail tracks during peak hour in Gungahlin last night (April 8) and a new photo has come to light of a taxi only centimetres away from being hit by a light rail vehicle (LRV) as concerns over safety issues surrounding the new mode of transport continue.

Last night commuter Steve Ward photographed a car being driven along the light rail tracks near Gungahlin Marketplace just before 6 pm, taking to social media to say “this car identifies as a tram”.

Transport Canberra customer service staff looked on in alarm as the car drove along the tracks at peak hour, with the next LRV due to arrive soon.

The car is shown driving along the light rail tracks at Gungahlin just before 6 pm. Photo: Facebook (Steve Ward).

A Transport Canberra spokesman said that the car ended up reversing off the tracks of its own accord and did not cause any incidents or disruptions to light rail services.

However, Transport Canberra does not yet know why the car was on the tracks and is investigating the issue.

Meanwhile, a new image from LRV dash-cam footage has been released to Region Media which shows just how close the LRV came to hitting a taxi which was stopped in its path along Northbourne Avenue on April 11 (prior to the April 20 official launch).

In this incident, the taxi driver finally realised the danger and just managed to drive off the tracks before being hit.

The two incidents have brought a strong warning from ACT Road Safety Minister Shane Rattenbury that road safety is everyone’s responsibility and Canberrans need to take more care.

“Incidents like these should remind all Canberrans to be safe around light rail,” Mr Rattenbury told Region Media today.

“The vehicles are big and red—the tracks are fixed in the ground—so there’s no excuse for getting in the way of light rail,” he said.

“Fortunately in these instances, the drivers quickly rectified their mistakes and no-one was injured.”

The two incidents are among a series of accidents, near misses and safety issues to plague the light rail project, which have included a pedestrian being hit and a LRV driver running a red light just during the testing phase of the project.

On April 12, the ACT Government ramped up its safety campaign ahead of the light rail launch by releasing a video compilation of near misses between motorists/pedestrians and light rail vehicles to caution Canberrans to be more alert on the roads.

The video showed cars failing to obey the signals and entering intersections in front of the LRV as well as pedestrians making a mad dash in front of the moving vehicle.

At the time, Mr Rattenbury said interstate experiences show the first few months when a new light rail network opens are when road users are most at risk.

Mr Rattenbury asked riders, pedestrians and cyclists to share the road with light rail, take road safety seriously and not to take dangerous risks so they don’t “become a statistic”.

“Everyone must be patient as they adjust to sharing the road with light rail, especially during peak hour when a light rail vehicle crosses an intersection every four minutes,” Mr Rattenbury said.

Despite the light rail system not creating any new road rules for drivers, some Canberra motorists are obviously having trouble navigating the road since the introduction of the new public transport system.

Mr Rattenbury said the public needs to recognise that all crashes are preventable and they must continue to obey all signs and traffic signals around the tracks.

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94 Responses to Car driven along light rail tracks in Gungahlin and taxi near miss as safety concerns continue
Kevin Read Kevin Read 5:44 pm 09 May 19

I don’t think it’s the fault of the tram network, more a statement about the quality of driving in Canberra at the moment.

    Renea Hazel Renea Hazel 1:37 pm 11 May 19

    Agree. The number of people I've seen go through red lights crossing Northbourne is astounding, not so easy to get away with now.

Julia Rose Julia Rose 5:38 pm 09 May 19

Sarah Barrington-Smith saga continues...😂

Corey Karl Corey Karl 5:30 pm 09 May 19

Considering half the ACT population can’t even drive into work and back without hitting something I’m hardly surprised !!

Lucas Anasdow Lucas Anasdow 5:17 pm 09 May 19

I saw an Ambulance go from the MacArthur stop to the city yesterday mid afternoon

    Kieran Angus Kieran Angus 6:47 pm 09 May 19

    Lucas Anasdow legal under urgent duties driving conditions.

    James Blake James Blake 2:59 pm 10 May 19

    Emergency vehicles often do this in Melbourne. It's a great way to get them where they're going faster, potentially saving lives

Christopher Mawbey Christopher Mawbey 4:42 pm 09 May 19

Stop running red lights no more near Mises more red light cameras please

Michael Gorham Michael Gorham 4:36 pm 09 May 19

Jacquelyn Betts this is how we avoid the Gungahlin traffic, become a tram

Bill Darkwood Bill Darkwood 4:08 pm 09 May 19

Give the LRV big bullbars and fog horns, people will learn faster that way.

Stephanie Johnston Stephanie Johnston 4:05 pm 09 May 19

Stephen seriously?

Alan Brown Alan Brown 4:00 pm 09 May 19

get over it......been running trams in Melbourne for many a year....Canberra is soft.

Michael Camplin Michael Camplin 3:58 pm 09 May 19

We drive down the tracks here in Melbourne ;)

    Alison Brittliff Alison Brittliff 6:40 pm 09 May 19

    Michael Camplin we have an off road network so not the same

    Michael Camplin Michael Camplin 6:56 pm 09 May 19

    yep, I know. CBR seems to be having enough fun with a simple system controlled by traffic lights, imagine if you had a combined system like Melbourne with lights, and the various rules about when you can/can't go on lines, when to stop etc etc!!

    John Cottis John Cottis 9:20 am 10 May 19

    Alison Brittliff not so ‘off-road’, there are cars all over it by these reports!

    Malcolmd Davies Malcolmd Davies 9:15 am 11 May 19

    Hmmmm there's a thought - like Melbourne, let's have J-turns at tram intersections in Canberra ... oh wait, we are not even capable of doing a right-hand turn at ordinary traffic lights in Canberra without an arrow!

    Shamila Galbally-Desborough Shamila Galbally-Desborough 1:48 pm 11 May 19

    Michael Camplin I know right canberra divers would be f&cked if they introduced the system we use in Melbourne.

    Shamila Galbally-Desborough Shamila Galbally-Desborough 1:48 pm 11 May 19

    Malcolmd Davies oh can you imagine if we had hook turns here in Canberra hahaha

Shaun Hazell Shaun Hazell 3:56 pm 09 May 19

One thing ive noticed you certainly dont get much for your 1 billion dollars anymore.

Liz Hampton Liz Hampton 3:48 pm 09 May 19

You only do it once

Sarelle Woodward Sarelle Woodward 3:43 pm 09 May 19

Canberra drivers are just so used to toddling along, expecting others to give way. You see it all the time when one lane ends. So many drivers treat it as a merge rather than give way.

They are then extending that lack of foresight to the LRV. The difference is the LRV can’t get out of their way - they are on a fixed course!

Canberra drivers are used to Sunday driving. Heaven help them if they move interstate.

    Greg Hunt Greg Hunt 8:41 am 10 May 19

    Sarelle Woodward ok, so where do you drive?

    Lee Powell Lee Powell 3:45 pm 10 May 19

    Probably not on the tram tracks 😅

    James Dof James Dof 10:14 pm 14 May 19

    it makes due sense when you are merging on a none form one lane such as merging on to something like the tuggeranong parkway canberra drivers don't know how to do it and revert back to the form one lane rules, if there is traffic give way and wait for a gap. the same rules don't apply

    James Dof James Dof 10:18 pm 14 May 19

    you see it both ways ,people who don't know the rules or difference between a merge and or form one lane and both interstate and canberrans are guilty of this, canberrans think a merge is a form one lane, while interstate think it's the right lane on a form one lane which is merge laws

Matthew Dickson Matthew Dickson 3:35 pm 09 May 19

How the hell does someone drive down the tracks and think this is where I should be?

David Macca Essex David Macca Essex 3:33 pm 09 May 19

Surely a professional taxi driver would never be involved in a near Miss!!!

    Kerry Crampton Kerry Crampton 11:03 pm 10 May 19

    Are taxi drivers really that professional though? Lol

    Malcolmd Davies Malcolmd Davies 9:12 am 11 May 19

    David Macca Essex - agree 100% - if only every taxi driver in ACT was a professional ...

Paul Leins Paul Leins 3:27 pm 09 May 19

Trams are obviously very unpredictable

Andre Poidomani Andre Poidomani 3:20 pm 09 May 19

With all the warnings signs/lights up for the tram how much more do people want.

Just let nature take its course and if these fools get hit by the tram so be it. 1 less tosser on the road.

Huge fines should also be imposed.

I can’t believe I’m actually defending the Light rail, send a doctor.

    Andre Poidomani Andre Poidomani 8:59 pm 09 May 19

    Peter Gersbach fit the teams will bull bars see how quick the twits move 🤫

Racheal Green Racheal Green 3:15 pm 09 May 19

I can’t believe people could be so stupid. It’s not like it magically appeared overnight and people have not had time to adjust.

Grimm Grimm 3:10 pm 09 May 19

The idiots in peak hour holding up traffic by turning right off Northbourne at walking pace certainly aren’t helping the situation. Had one in front of me the other day also stop in the middle and almost trap several cars on the tracks as the light went red. Seemed amazed when people started hitting the horn at him.

Michael Babb Michael Babb 3:07 pm 09 May 19

Just stop warning everyone and let Darwin run its course 🤣🤣🤣

    Alex Nicolai Alex Nicolai 3:16 pm 09 May 19

    Michael Babb amen!

    Claire Majella Claire Majella 4:50 pm 09 May 19

    Michael Babb I hear you. But not quite how evolution works. If the person who gets killed has already had kids, they’ve already passed their genes on.

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