Drivers are being warned to take extra care around trams as part of a new campaign from the Andrews Labor Government.
The Trams Can’t Swerve campaign follows a worrying increase in collisions between trams and cars over the last few years.
The month-long campaign, which will roll out from Sunday, features advertising on buses, tram stops and social media and radio ads.
There has been more than 920 collisions between trams and cars already this year. In 2018 there were more than 1,000 collisions between cars and trams, up 37 per cent from 2014.
There were also more than 500 near misses in 2018 and 20 people suffered serious injuries requiring hospitalisation – 70 percent of whom were aged over 60.
The campaign comes as Victoria Police launches a crackdown on driver behaviour around trams. The crackdown, which will begin this week, will help reduce the high incidence of collisions.
The operation will see officers monitoring shared roadways to ensure motorists aren’t putting themselves and others at risk by failing to give way to trams or passing stopped trams.
Motorists face on the spot fines of $289, or up to $1,650 if the matter goes to court, for not giving way to trams when turning or merging.
Melbourne’s CBD has five of the top 10 collision hot spots, with Collins Street the number one hot spot with 77 crashes in 2018.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport Melissa Horne
“Trams can’t swerve – too many people are ending up in hospital because motorists don’t pay enough attention around trams.”
“Our tram network is the biggest in the world and 75 per cent of it shares the road with cars, so it’s up to everyone to pay attention when around trams to keep people safe and our trams moving.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020