Melbourne rolls out new ‘tram safety’ awareness campaign

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With 250 miles of track and 5,000 services a day, Victorians should appreciate the benefits of safely negotiating the state’s tram network.

But with more than 2,600 near misses on the system last year, apparently they need some reminder.

“Seventy-five per cent of Melbourne’s tram network is shared with other road users, so motorists need to be extra careful… as even low-speed collisions with tram passengers can have fatal consequences,” Transport Minister Ben Carroll said on Sunday.

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“My message to motorists is simple: when a tram stops, you stop.”

The slogan comes with a new safety campaign on the heels of data showing there were 2,632 “near misses” in 2021, despite drivers having to stop to allow passengers to get on and off trams.

The world’s largest network

Victoria is home to the world’s largest network, accommodating more than 500 trams.

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At all stops along the road, motorists must pull behind the carriages until the doors close and pedestrians have finished crossing.

Then they can drive past at 10 km/h.

“Every year we see far too many incidents and close calls when a driver doesn’t stop behind a tram while the doors are open and passengers are getting on or off, which is incredibly dangerous,” said Julien Dehornoy, CEO of Yarra Trams.

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Failure to follow the rules can result in an on-the-spot penalty of up to $462 and three penalty points.