Thirty rhinos is the weight of a tram, that’s the message to motorists

COLLINS Street is Melbourne’s worst road for vehicles colliding with trams, recording 253 collisions in the four years to 30 June 2012.

This latest data revelation has forced Yarra Trams to reinstate a campaign first seen in 2011 to frighten motorists about the weight of a tram when collisions occur.

Almost 900 motorists in Melbourne each year ignore the risks, resulting in collisions with trams that can weigh as much as 30 rhinos.

trams 3-thumb-400x266-61518The 2011 campaign reduced the number of tram to pedestrian collisions by 27 per cent, thanks to Yarra Trams safety mascot, Spike.

The rhino returned today with a message to stay clear of the yellow line and always check for trams before turning.

Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder MP and Yarra Trams Chief Executive Officer Clément Michel launched the campaign by issuing a strong warning to all road users.

“Trams are a Melbourne icon and a great way to get around the city, but people must recognise that because of their size trams need to be treated with respect,” Mr Mulder said.

In each of the past four years, around 30 per cent of vehicle to tram collisions have happened in the CBD.

Drivers are urged to always obey the yellow line and take particular care when making a U-turn, a right turn or when driving through a median opening or cut through.

Motorists in the suburbs face potentially greater consequences – on arterial roads a vehicle to tram collision can be fatal due to the higher speeds reached by the tram.

Near collisions also present the risk of injury as tram drivers apply the emergency brakes, which can result in on board passenger falls.

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