13 November 2019

Safety warning as new light rail video shows shocking near misses

| Ian Bushnell
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Light rail near miss

Light rail vehicle drivers are having close shaves. Photo: Screenshot from dash-cam footage.

The message to be alert and safe around light rail is still to get through to some Canberrans if a new near-misses video showing drivers, cyclists and pedestrians taking shocking risks is anything to go by.

Transport Minister Chris Steel has posted a new dash-cam video compiled by Transport Canberra on Facebook of recent incidents drivers have witnessed or had to contend with.

One scene shows a young cyclist trying to cut across the corridor crashing onto the tracks in the path of an oncoming light rail vehicle. Another has a woman with her head turned away stepping across the tracks without looking.

One car actually turns into the light rail corridor in the city before realising it is not the roadway, while a taxi turns across the tracks in front of a light rail vehicle.

Then there is the person pushing a pram down the middle of Northbourne Avenue between the tracks. Someone on a bicycle also rides in a cavalier fashion down Northbourne between the tracks.

Children can be seen dashing across the tracks in Gungahlin in front of the light rail vehicle, needing only to slip for a tragedy to occur.

Mr Steel said rail safety was everyone’s responsibility.

Light rail vehicle

Be alert and be aware or you might be an unwitting star on the next near-misses video. Photo: File.

“If you are a pedestrian, follow the signals and look in both directions before crossing light rail tracks because the light rail vehicles could be coming from either direction at any time,” he said.

“If you are driving around light rail follow the traffic signals and don’t stop across the track, or drive along the tracks.

“We don’t want to see you on the next near misses compilation video.”

For light rail safety tips visit CMET.

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Capital Retro11:43 am 14 Nov 19

Two of the facts of life are that eggs don’t bounce and trams don’t swerve.

Instead of automatically blaming the pedestrians, drivers, cyclists and everyone else involved in these near misses a responsible transit authority must pay attention to its own culpability. The video clearly shows people do not hear the approaching tram and road signage that is confusing and inadequate. But the paid spruikers of the tram would rather blame the public for accidents than admit their own design incompetence.

Stephen Saunders3:43 am 14 Nov 19

Darwin jokes aside, there will be fatalities, and I urge government to do more than videos. There was a short blitz after the last near-fatal in Civic, but there should be a persistent (random, unannounced) blitzes on both drivers and pedestrians.

Well, there’s the quick & the dead and we have to curb population growth somehow ….

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