Drivers and pedestrians encouraged to be safer around light rail

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

With Newcastle Light Rail just weeks away from opening, Keolis Downer is appealing to drivers and pedestrians to be safer around the new system.

Newcastle Transport Light Rail driver Corey Moore said he and other drivers had encountered some careless and reckless behaviour since daytime testing started in November.

“It makes sense that people need some time to adjust to the new conditions, however our drivers are seeing some repeated dangerous behaviours which are putting people at risk.

“One of the most common issues we’ve seen is drivers running red lights at light rail crossings, particularly at Stewart Avenue.

“Another regular sight is pedestrians jaywalking across the tram tracks, often not paying attention and looking at their phones.

“Newcastle Light Rail will open to the public next month, and we’re now running multiple vehicles for driver training and system testing, which means it’s especially important to address some of the dangerous behaviours we’re seeing around the system,” he said.

Keolis Downer Hunter General Manager Mark Dunlop said following the road rules and being aware around Newcastle Light Rail will not just keep people safe, but help the system operate to its potential.

“It’s an exciting time with Newcastle Light Rail just weeks away from opening, and none of us want to see an accident or service interruptions because some people are not following the rules.

“Using the tramway as a running track, or queuing over the tram tracks, are behaviours that are not only dangerous, but will affect how Newcastle Light Rail operates once we open.

“We’ve now been daytime testing for about a month, and we’re asking the community to not let some of the recent issues we’ve seen turn into long term habits that will put people at risk and be a detriment to the service,” he said.

Top five safety issues around Newcastle Light Rail

Running red lights at light rail crossings

Vehicles queuing over tracks at crossings

Pedestrians jaywalking

Using the tramway for walking, running, cycling

Vehicles performing illegal U-turns over light rail tracks.

Photograph: vehicles queuing close to tracks at crossings.