A DUBLIN tram and light rail operator has released shocking CCTV footage of a variety of collisions and near misses.
The footage from the Luas Operator Transdev has been posted online as part of a new safety campaign.
It comes amid a sharp increase in the number of incidents involving collisions between trams and motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.
Transdev is hoping the footage will shine a light on the potentially fatal risks of failing to look left and right or walking out in front of trams despite red light warnings.
"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," the company said.
"Luas drivers continually report the same incidents - pedestrians jaywalking, never looking left and right, often with headphones in and heads down.
"While motorists and cyclists are breaking red lights."
The Luas made 25 contacts with vehicles, nine with pedestrians and one with a cyclist in 2018.
However, between January and April of this year alone, trams have already made 12 contacts with vehicles and a further seven with pedestrians.
"People have become familiar with Luas, and with familiarity sometimes comes complacency," said Seamus Egan, managing director of Transdev said.
"A tram is on a fixed track, it cannot swerve, and it needs 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.
"When a collision with a tram does occur, Luas passengers are left waiting for the emergency services to deal with the incident before the all-clear can be given for the Luas service to resume.”
The warning comes after a man was killed after being hit by a Luas tram in Tallagh last March, on a bend in the track.
Luas offers the following advice to pedestrians and road users:
- 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.