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Sydneysiders are being reminded to take caution around the light rail after hundreds of terrifying near misses prompted a fresh warning from the state’s transport minister.
“What we’re seeing is unacceptable,” Transport Minister Andrew Constance said.
“Almost every day we are seeing some really risky behaviour around our light rail vehicles.”
As part of an educational campaign, the NSW Government released new footage that shows drivers, cyclists and pedestrians all failing to adhere to traffic signals with motorists even caught driving along the light rail tracks.
The timing of the new warning aligns with the idea more people will be moving across the city as workers return to the office in the coming weeks.
On average, a tram travels up George St every four minutes, or two minutes if you consider both directions, and it takes at least 15 metres for them to come to a stop.
Sydneysiders are being reminded to take caution around the light rail after hundreds of terrifying near misses. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied
“To save yourself a few seconds by running a tram light is just not worth it, you could end up dead,” Mr Constance said.
“They’re big machines and you will come off second best.”
Speaking alongside Mr Constance, Transport for NSW chief operations officer Howard Collins said trams were efficient but quiet, and people needed to have their wits about them.
He said he was still shocked about risks motorists took around trams, attributing incidents to panic and unawareness.
“There seems to be a bit of a panic attack when they (motorists, pedestrians and cyclists) get into the area of the trams. And they seem to think they’re a tram. Or they’re driving around the network not looking at the basic traffic signals,” he said.
“Take a breath, look, check where you’re going.”
More than 30,000 people use the tram network in Sydney each day, and there have been hundreds of near misses because people simply are not paying attention.
Transport Minister Andrew Constance says almost every day there is risky behaviour around our light rail. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Jeremy PiperSource:News Corp Australia
Mr Collins said pedestrians were the number one offenders but motorists had been caught “doing some crazy things”, noting that unlike Melburnians who have been living with trams for years, Sydneysiders need educating.
The main problem areas include South Dowling St and Anzac Parade.
“We will continue to look at this (pain points), particularly South Dowling St, and one or two other locations,” Mr Collins said.
The light rail system has been criticised for being slow. For instance, the journey from Randwick to Circular Quay takes about 50 minutes by tram compared with 30 minutes by bus.
But Mr Collins argued there were now sub-40 and 30-minute journeys on some lines, with trams available every four minutes.
This article first appeared on www.news.com.au