The ACT Government is ramping up its safety campaign ahead of the light rail launch by releasing a compilation of near misses between motorists/pedestrians and light rail vehicles to caution Canberrans to be more alert on the roads.
With light rail coming into operation next week, ACT Minister for Road Safety Shane Rattenbury said interstate experiences show the first few months when a new light rail network opens is when road users and vulnerable road users are most at risk.
In the past month, a pedestrian was hit and a LRV driver ran a red light during the testing phase but as the new footage shows, several near misses have also occurred during this time. The new video released by the ACT Government shows 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.
Mr Rattenbury reminded drivers, 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” when light rail begins on Saturday April 20.
“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.
“This is a really exciting time for our city and we all need to take particular care around light rail.
“The near misses we have seen so far are a reminder that road safety is everyone’s responsibility and the importance of staying alert around light rail.”
Transport Canberra has released video footage of a range of ‘close calls’ between light rail vehicles and motorists as the ACT Government ramps up its safety campaign in the week leading up to the launch of the light rail network.
Posted by Breaking247 on Thursday, 11 April 2019
Despite the light rail system not creating any new road rules for drivers, some Canberra motorists seem to be 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.
“What has changed for drivers is light rail vehicles have priority over cars at intersections and this means lights won’t change in a regular order anymore,” he said. “But if you are obeying the traffic lights you will be safe.
“You must be prepared to stop at an amber light and do not queue across an intersection because a light rail vehicle might be coming towards you.
“For pedestrians, because intersections have changed you may not be able to cross the road in one go anymore. You should always stop before you cross because you may not hear a light rail vehicle approaching and must stop to look.
“Light rail vehicles take longer to stop than cars so be alert and keep your eyes on the road and tracks, not on your phone.”
Mr Rattenbury also reminded cyclists to pay particular attention when crossing the light rail tracks and be careful their bicycle wheels do not get caught in the grooves of the tracks.
He advised cyclists and pedestrians to take advantage of the recently built mid-block designated crossings and intersections and not to dash across the light rail tracks.
“The ACT is committed to Vision Zero – that is, no death on our roads is acceptable,” he said. “We should not accept any road crash that results in injury or death, and we must recognise that all crashes are preventable.”