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Dozens of near misses as Canberra’s first ever Rail Safety Week arrives

Lachlan Roberts 6 August 2019 14

A young cyclist in front of two oncoming vehicles in a screengrab from footage released by ACT Government.

A man falls in front of an LRV.

There has only been one reported car and light rail collision since the service launched.

Transport Minister Chris Steel urged Canberrans to be aware when they’re driving or walking around the light rail tracks.

“Pedestrians need to stay alert and always look both ways before crossing at intersections and crossings. Light rail vehicles can approach from either direction and at any time,” Mr Steel said.

“Motorists should follow traffic signals and make sure not to queue across the tracks at any time.”

Road Safety Minister Shane Rattenbury highlighted the severity of potentially being hit by a light rail vehicle.

“With each light rail weighing around 40 tonnes, it’d be like getting hit with six elephants at once,” Mr Rattenbury said. “Please take care around our big, red light rail vehicles, Canberra!”

Canberra Light Rail near misses

? Ahead of rail safety week – here's the latest near misses compilation as a safety reminder to pay attention around light rail. Pedestrians – Stay alert and always look both ways before crossing at intersections and crossings. Light rail vehicles can approach from either direction and at any time.Motorists – Follow traffic signals and make sure not to queue across the tracks at any time.

Posted by Chris Steel MLA on Sunday, 4 August 2019


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14 Responses to Dozens of near misses as Canberra’s first ever Rail Safety Week arrives
Gilavon Gilavon 4:39 pm 09 Aug 19

The electronic “clanger” audible alarm isn’t satisfactory, needs to be louder with more alarm about it. It’s only a matter of time before someone is skittled.

Gilavon Gilavon 2:08 pm 09 Aug 19

So six elephants weigh around 40 tonnes? Why not say “Being hit by 40 tonnes of tram is an unpleasant experience”?

Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 1:05 pm 09 Aug 19

The danger is increased if the path runs parallel to the track. It's harder to see what's behind. That's a very dangerous way to build paths that cross. The safest crossings approach straight, directly to the track, with good signage, both beside and on the path.

Peter Mackay Peter Mackay 11:23 am 09 Aug 19

Get those things off the roads. Either that or make them noisier.

Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 10:29 am 09 Aug 19

If necessary I guess boom gates, similar to the boom gates on the footpath that crosses the rail line near Bungendore Station could be used. But more expense. Best if people learnt to look before they cross and take off those ear phones. And the trouble with boom gates is that the sort of people who don't look, are likely the same sort of people who would ignore the boom gates and go around them. I hope the crossings have sounds for the sight impaired.

Brett Griffiths Brett Griffiths 7:30 am 09 Aug 19

I’d like to see all the other ones where the tram runs the red lights etc too!

Stephen Saunders Stephen Saunders 9:39 am 08 Aug 19

On Northbourne, Canberra drivers routinely run red lights and turn in front of traffic, AFP doesn’t police it. Maybe after the first few fatalities?

Steve Berg Steve Berg 7:41 pm 07 Aug 19

The crossing looks like a zebra striped crossing on a road where pedestrians (ie this kid) have right of way.

    Hugo Young Hugo Young 8:31 pm 07 Aug 19

    Steve Berg Nope, the main crossings across the lightrail tracks have traffic lights for pedestrian traffic.

    Steve Berg Steve Berg 12:00 am 08 Aug 19

    Hugo Young yep, have a look at the picture of the kid crossing.

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 8:58 am 09 Aug 19

    Steve Berg is that the one on the bike above? The one where he would have ridden across the road controlled by lights, then done a left right dog leg past the post that has the button to activate the lights. That one? And on the ground it looks nothing at all like a pedestrian crossing

    Steve Berg Steve Berg 9:22 pm 09 Aug 19

    Yep on the bike bud. Explain all that to a kid then re read the article and try to understand why a child might have done that. I'll wait.

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 5:26 am 10 Aug 19

    Steve Berg not sure what is am meant to read in the article. But try this on for size. Hey kid when you cross the road at an intersection with traffic lights there are two coloured lights you look for. One with a red man one with a green man. If the man is red don’t go. If it is green look and go if it is safe. Not bloody hard.

    The fact it is crossing a light rail track makes no difference what so ever. I am sure kids of this size cross the other few hundred traffic light controlled intersections in Canberra many times each day. And note I didn’t say cross safely as I know kids don’t always cross safely at those intersections either and could well get run over by a car, truck or bus.

Ed N Joanne Towner Ed N Joanne Towner 1:55 pm 07 Aug 19

Heavy vehicle, and relatively silent, people being inattentive, or thinking they have time to get across will result in near missed or not misses.

ACT transport are going to have to keep up the safety warnings regularly in particular in the period people are becoming accustomed to their constant presence.

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