Number of 'near misses' between Luas trams and pedestrians on the rise

By Mary Dennehy

WHILE Luas has recorded fewer incidents with motorists this year than in 2017, near misses with pedestrians are on the rise.

Luas at Square 05

According to figures provided by Luas operator Transdev, there has been 223 emergency brake applications so far this year in relation to pedestrians suddenly entering the tramway.

Last year, there were 203.

According to Transdev, which issued a safety message this week: “Pedestrian behaviour, as observed by Luas Drivers in recent years, is most interesting; earphones in, head down, and thumb firmly fixed on screen.

“More and more people don’t even look up, yet alone look left and right.

“Commuters are distracted. Walking out in front of an oncoming tram is a common experience.”

Luas phone compressor

Image: Luas video

According to Transdev, Luas drivers have an excellent safety record and are trained in defensive driving, and to anticipate this type of behaviour.

“When it happens, the driver applies the emergency brake, the tram stops and the distracted pedestrian, while startled, runs away”, Transdev said.

“But on occasion it is more serious, and a pedestrian is taken to hospital with a serious injury.”

So far this year, there has also been 266 emergency brake applications in relation to motorists, which is down on last year, and 61 emergency brake applications involving cyclists. 

Luas car use compressor

Image: Luas video

Transdev said: “Road Safety Authority research clearly show motorists are four times more likely to be in a collision when using a mobile phone while driving. Texting or messaging while driving is on the decline, but it is still happening.

“This safety message is a reminder to pedestrians and motorists that it takes time for a tram to stop.

“The use of emergency brakes is not a pleasant experience for those on board.

“Think of the injury you could sustain as a pedestrian or the damage you could do to your car as a motorist.

“Even minor damages cost. Replacing phones cost.

“So, was your text, post, tweet, DM, snapchat or LOL message really worth it?”

So far this year, Luas has clocked up 1,822,346km on the Red Line and 1,662,617 on the Green. 

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