The number of pedestrians hit by trams has skyrocketed
Image: Jason South/The Age
Incidents of trams crashing into pedestrians and other vehicles are on the rise.
According to Transport Safety Victoria there were 51 reported incidents of trams colliding with people last year, up from 35 in 2014.
Two pedestrians were killed after being struck by trams last year.
The number of reported tram collisions with other vehicles has also increased, with 1122 accidents last year, up from 818 in 2014.
Daniel Bowen, Public Transport Users Association spokesperson, said more needs to be done to improve safety around trams.
“We could do with more tram lanes to properly separate trams from other road traffic,” he told 3AW’s Tony Jones.
“It would improve safety as well as improving the reliability of tram services.”
Mr Bowen said motorists often fail to recognise that trams should have priority on the roads.
“You often see other road vehicles pulling out in front of trams,” he said.
“Remember trams do deserve priority on the road. A tram could be carrying 100 or even 200 people, and that’s a lot of cars off the road.”
Harold Scruby from the Pedestrian Council of Australia said mobile phone usage is to blame for the increase in the number of pedestrians struck by trams.
He called for a ban on using the phone or wearing a headset while crossing roads and a $200 on-the-spot fine for those caught doing so.
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