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Thursday 22 August 2019

WATCH: Luas operator releases shocking CCTV of near-misses and collisions as part of safety message

Eimear Rabbitte

Eimear Rabbitte

Luas Operator Transdev has warned Dubliners that only seconds could change their lives after releasing shocking CCTV footage of collisions and near misses.

As part of its new safety campaign, the operator has said that there has been an increase in the number of incidents between trams and motorists, pedestrians and cyclists.

Drivers frequently report incidents of pedestrians not looking left and right and walking out in front of trams, with some motorists and cyclists breaking red lights.

Transdev have warned that mistakes like these can prove fatal.

In an attempt to persuade the public to take added precaution when in the city, the transport company released new CCTV footage showing some near misses, and big impacts, involving pedestrians and cars.

"Luas trams travel on a fixed track; trams cannot swerve, trams take time to break and stop, and coming into contact with a tram can result in a serious injury or fatality," it says.

"Luas drivers continually report the same incidents - pedestrians jaywalking, never looking left and right, often with headphones in and heads down.

"While motorists and cyclists are breaking red lights."

In 2018, the Luas made 25 contacts with vehicles, nine contacts with pedestrians and one contact with a cyclist.

And between January and April of this year, trams made 14 contacts with vehicles and seven contacts with pedestrians.

"People have become familiar with Luas, and with familiarity sometimes comes complacency," said Seamus Egan, managing director of Transdev. 

"A tram is on a fixed track, it cannot swerve, and it needs more time to break than a road vehicle.

"Motorists, who often visibly speed up to cross a road junction as opposed to slowing down, need to be more mindful of the potential consequences of their actions.

"Not only is the motorist gambling with his or her life and the lives of others, a collision with a tram results in significant delays to, or curtailment of service for Luas customers.

"When a collision with a tram does occur, Luas passengers are left waiting for the emergency services to deal with the incident before the all-clear can be given for the Luas service to resume," he said.

In March, a man was killed after being hit by a Luas tram in Tallaght.

The incident happened on a bend in the track between the Red Cow stop and the Kingswood stop, around 30 metres from the Kingswood stop.

Later that month, eight people were taken to hospital following a collision between a Luas tram and a bus in Dublin. And in February, a mother-of-five tragically died after being hit by a tram while crossing between the Belgard and Tallaght Hospital stops.

Luas is 15 years old this June, with passenger services on the Luas Green Line having started on June 30, 2004.

Some 42 million passenger journeys were made on the Luas network in 2018.

Advice from Luas to pedestrians and road users is to always remember to:

-Stay focused

-Always look left and right before crossing Luas tracks

-Slow down coming up to traffic lights

-Don’t assume the tram is going to be able to stop instantly

-Familiarise yourself with the tram lines

-If you see a motorist break a red light report it to An Garda Síochána.

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