herald

Wednesday 18 October 2017

Shocking footage shows 71 'misses' on Luas this year

THERE have been 71 hair-raising near misses where pedestrians were almost hit by Luas trams so far this year.

The operators of the Luas have released video footage of a number of people in Dublin who have mistakenly walked in front of a tram.

In one shocking incident, the tram driver is forced to slam on the breaks as a man in a red jacket walks straight in front of the vehicle without looking.

The footage was taken from the cockpit of the tram on April 9 this year.

And the pedestrian seemed completely oblivious that his life was in imminent danger as he stepped in front of the tram on at Beresford Place on the Luas red line.

In another incident filmed in June, a man was about to walk in front of a tram but realised with seconds to spare the danger that he was in.

CCTV footage taken from the driver's cab has also shown pedestrians walking out in front of trams engrossed in conversation, on their phones, or deafened by their music.

In other cases, people were simply blinded by their hoodies and didn't look left or right before they crossed the road. The outcome has been a near miss - or worse - actually hitting a tram.

Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe, Luas operator Transdev, and the Railway Procurement Agency have launched a campaign to curb the worrying trend of pedestrian behaviour.

The aim is to remind people to stay focused and carries the message: Is being in a hurry or distracted really worth your life?

"Whilst I know, and Luas drivers know, mobile phones keep us all connected, our message is stay focused - think safety.

These images taken from the drivers' perspective show just how close some people came to being hit by the Luas
These images taken from the drivers' perspective show just how close some people came to being hit by the Luas

"Being distracted is dangerous and can be fatal. Listen out, the phone can wait, watch out for trams," said Brian Brennan, managing director of Transdev.

Dangers

The minister said that many people do not view the dangers associated with trams in the same way they do a bus or a car, with people regularly seen absent-mindedly stepping out onto the tracks.

Over almost 10 years of Luas operations there have been 145 tram contacts with pedestrians.

To date in 2014, there have been 78 pedestrian safety incidents with 71 tram near misses where an emergency break was used. There have been seven tram contacts with pedestrians.

hnews@herald.ie

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