Safety focus: look, listen and be alert around trams

**This article is from 2019. Please check newcastletransport.info or contact us for the latest information**

Today marks the start of Rail Safety Week 2019, an initiative to raise community awareness around rail safety.

With light rail in Newcastle up and running for almost six months now, Rail Safety Week offers a timely reminder for everyone to be safe around trams.

Newcastle Transport tram drivers are trained to look out for other road users and pedestrians, and are also urging the community to be safe around trams, after witnessing unsafe behaviours from car drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.

Tram drivers have continued to observe motorists running red lights at Stewart Avenue and Steel Street, as well as witnessing pedestrians stepping onto tracks or trying to cross in front of trams, unaware of approaching trams, distracted by headphones or on their phones

“These behaviours are really dangerous, and it’s really unnerving for drivers” David Jackson, a Newcastle Transport tram driver, said.

“A tram weighs as much as 47 tonnes with up to 200 passengers on board, and this means it can take over 60 metres to stop when travelling at 40km per hour.”

“This doesn’t just put the tram driver, motorist and pedestrian in danger; using the emergency brake could also injure those on board the tram.”

Mr Jackson said there are simple safety tips the Newcastle community can follow, so everyone can stay safe around trams.

“Be alert to your surroundings by taking your head phones off and putting your phone down, make sure you use designated pedestrian crossings and only cross when the green light flashes and finally, just simply follow the road rules.”

Throughout Rail Safety Week, Newcastle Transport Customer Service Officers will be out and about on the network talking to customers about rail safety.