Victorian motorists and pedestrians are being warned about the dangers posed by trams and trains as part of Rail Safety Week.
Minister for Public Transport Melissa Horne was joined by Yarra Trams in the CBD to announce the top ten tram and vehicle collision hotspots and to remind motorists to take extra care around tracks.
Melbourne’s CBD is home to five of the ten hotspots, with 226 motorist-tram collisions in 2018, including 77 on Collins Street, 42 on Flinders and Elizabeth streets, 37 on Bourke Street and 28 on La Trobe Street.
Outside the CBD, there were 52 crashes recorded on St Kilda Road, 40 on Nicholson Street, 34 on Toorak Road and Bridge Road and 28 on Clarendon Street.
The figures also show 97 per cent of the collisions were the fault of motorists with 70 per cent of the incidents caused by motorists not looking for trams when turning right, U turning or merging.
Across the entire tram network, there were more than 1,100 collisions and 500 near misses with motorists in 2018, up from around 970 in 2017. The collisions resulted in 20 people suffering serious injuries.
These incidents also severely disrupt the tram network and impact traffic flow with an average of 10 trams out of service at any one time because of a collision.
Distractions can also be fatal for pedestrians crossing train and tram tracks. The public is being urged to stop using phones and turn their headphone volume down while using pedestrian crossings.
The Andrews Labor Government is improving safety around trams and trains – carrying out kerb separation works across the tram network and removing dangerous and congested level crossings.
Rail Safety Week is a TrackSAFE Foundation initiative. For more information, visit tracksafefoundation.com.au.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport Melissa Horne
“With more trams on the road than ever before, it’s now more important than ever to pay attention when driving near trams or crossing roads where trams operate.”
“Trams don’t have the ability to swerve out of the way of danger, motorists and pedestrians play an important part in helping to reduce collisions with trams.”
Quote attributable to Yarra Trams CEO Nicolas Gindt
“We encourage all motorists to ‘think tram’ when driving along shared roads, and always check before merging or turning right over tram tracks.”