Rhino safety campaign prompts reduction in collisions

Friday 10 May 2013

Data recorded by Yarra Trams shows that there were 64 vehicle to tram collisions between 8 April 2013 and 7 May 2013.

This is a reduction of 19 per cent compared to the same period in 2012 (79 collisions) and also down 11 per cent on the previous month 8 March 2013 to 7 April 2013 (72 collisions).

While the first month's results are a positive step, Yarra Trams is urging motorists to be vigilant when driving on or near tram tracks so that the number of collisions continues to decrease.

Dean Matthews, Director of Safety & Environment, said: "It is pleasing to see a reduction in the number of vehicle to tram collisions but it is vital that we continue to raise awareness of this potentially fatal issue.
"We thank motorists for their vigilance as we strive to reduce the number of serious incidents on the tram network as part of our commitment to Zero Harm."

A tram can weigh as much as 30 rhinos and the consequences of being hit by a tram travelling at speeds up to 60 km/h can be fatal.

As revealed at the campaign launch, the most common circumstances for vehicle to tram collisions are when motorists are making a U-turn, a right turn or when driving through a median opening or cut through.

Collins Street in Melbourne has the most vehicle tram collisions, while Friday afternoons are statistically the most common time for these incidents to occur.

Near collisions also present the risk of injury as tram drivers apply the emergency brakes, which can result in on board passenger falls.