BY JENAE MADDEN
Novocastrians mindlessly cutting across tram lines might want to double check next time they cross.
According to Newcastle Transport operator Keolis Downer, a collision with the Newcastle Tram has the same impact as a herd of 30 charging rhinos.
Newcastle Transport’s is trying to raise awareness about the often underestimated danger of the Newcastle light rail as it approaches its second anniversary.
They say there are daily close calls on the network with motorists running red lights and pedestrians stepping out in front of trams.
According to Newcastle Transport General Manager, Mark Dunlop, over the last two years, the emergency brake has had to be used at least once every week to avoid harmful collisions.
“The rhino is a unique way to create a clear image in people’s minds of the size and danger posed by a tram,” Dunlop says.
“Similar to a herd of charging rhinos, trams can’t divert from the tracks to avoid an obstacle and it takes time to stop because of the weight.”
Dunlop went onto say that the drivers operating the trams are doing their best to anticipate dangers but it is up to pedestrians, drivers and cyclists to step up and be vigilant around the light rail.
“Simply, one moment or mistake could be a life changing event for everyone involved.”