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Dublin: 2 °C Wednesday 26 February, 2020

'Seconds could change your life': Luas releases video of crashes and near misses

Two pedestrians died after being struck by trams in separate incidents earlier this year.

A VIDEO FEATURING crashes and near misses involving the Luas has been released as part of a new safety campaign.

Two pedestrians died after being struck by trams in separate incidents earlier this year.

The number of times the Luas made contact with vehicles and pedestrians from January to April 2019 saw an increase on the same period last year.

Seven pedestrians were struck by trams in the first four months of this year.

There were 14 incidents involving vehicles, including one serious crash which resulted in the tram derailing. There were no crashes involving cyclists during the same period.

In the whole of 2018, there were 25 incidents were the Luas made contact with vehicles, nine incidents involving pedestrians and one involving a cyclist.

‘Seconds could change your life’ 

A spokesperson for Transdev, which operates the Luas, said the CCTV footage of incidents was released to “appeal to motorists, pedestrians and cyclists to remember that only seconds could change their life”.

“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,” a statement released today said.

Luas drivers continually report the same incidents; pedestrians jaywalking, never looking left and right, often with headphones in and heads down, motorists and cyclists breaking red lights. Not breaking red lights and crossing roads and tramways carefully are basic rules of the road which, when broken, can prove fatal.

Motorists speeding up 

The Luas has been operating in Dublin since June 2004.

Seamus Egan, Managing Director of Transdev, said: “People have become familiar with Luas, and with familiarity sometimes comes complacency.”

Egan added that trams cannot swerve and need 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,” he said. 

Transdev has issued the following advice for members of the public:

  • 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

There were 42 million passenger journeys made on the Luas network in 2018, covering 4.29 million kilometres. Some 1.56 million kilometres were covered by Luas trams in the first four months of this year.

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Órla Ryan

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