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Uber driver tells of near miss with Canberra light rail vehicle that ran red light
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A Canberra Uber driver, who was forced to slam on the brakes to avoid his car being struck by a light rail vehicle whose driver ran a red light, said he "felt very unsafe" after the near miss.
Khawar Jadoon was headed towards the intersection of Randwick and Flemington roads on Saturday when a green light indicated he could continue.
A few seconds later he saw a light rail vehicle headed north, with no sign of stopping.
Dash cam footage recorded at 8:30am from within Mr Jadoon's car showed him stopping suddenly and the light rail vehicle travelling across the intersection in front of him.
The vehicle came within metres of the front of his car.
Canberra Metro confirmed on Wednesday the driver had "traversed" through a red T-light on Flemington Road and had been suspended.
"Review of the CCTV footage from the vehicle has confirmed driver error to be the cause of the incident," a Canberra Metro spokeswoman said.
"Safety of the public and our staff is Canberra Metro's highest priority and we regret that on this occasion this founding principle of the Canberra light rail project has not been upheld.
"Following the rules of the road is the key to staying safe around light rail and this applies as much to ourselves as it does other road users."
Driver said he was saved by being 'alert'
Mr Jadoon said he was angry when he realised how close he had come to a serious collision.
"I was approaching on a green light on the intersection and, as soon as I get there, I suddenly saw a tram coming towards Gungahlin on Flemington Road," Mr Jadoon said.
"And I just stopped my car instantly and I just freaked out about what to do.
"I could have crashed with that tram, but I was focusing on my driving and I was really alert."
The Canberra light rail service is not yet taking passengers, but testing has been under way for some weeks and vehicles have been seen travelling the route from Gungahlin to the city, via Northbourne Avenue.
Within the hour before Mr Jadoon's near-crash, a man walking in the city centre was hit by a light rail vehicle when he failed to see the red pedestrian signal ahead.
The pedestrian was taken to the Canberra Hospital in a stable condition, with an arm injury.
Transport Canberra said it was investigating both incidents but did not comment on Mr Jadoon's footage.
Safety 'paramount': Canberra MetroCanberra Metro said safety remained an "essential element" of the light rail project as it continued to be tested ahead of its launch in April.
"Now, as we approach the launch of the first stage of Canberra's light rail service, the safety of our workers, operators and members of the public remains our highest priority," the spokeswoman said.
Safety features were installed at intersections and crossings, the spokeswoman said.
She urged Canberrans to refer to the "Are You Rail Ready" campaign.
Mr Jadoon said he had driven with extra care since the incident.
This article first appeared on www.abc.net.au
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