Varadkar launches Luas safety campaign

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Motorists – What’s the Harm?

Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar, Luas operator Transdev, Railway Procurement Agency and An Garda Síochána are today Wednesday June 4th 2014 combining forces to appeal to motorists to stop breaking Red lights.

To show the public “What the Harm Is” the name associated with today’s awareness campaign, Luas has made CCTV footage available to view on- line.

www.luas.ie/ https://www.youtube.com/user/officialluas

Statistics
To date this year, there have been 13 incidents with motorists and trams.
In 2013 there were 38 collisions between motorists and trams.
In 2012 there were 24 collisions between motorists and trams.
See below for more detailed information.

Luas is particularly concerned that the figures are on the increase. The trams are very much a part of Dublin’s transport infrastructure and this type of motorist behaviour is a worrying trend. “What’s the Harm” is an advertising campaign aimed at educating motorists that breaking lights and colliding with Luas may result in serious injury or kill someone.

You may be prosecuted by the Gardaí and lastly you affect the lives of thousands of commuters by putting an unnecessary and unwelcome delay on their journey.

While the majority of motorists drive safely and adhere to the law it is the minority who gamble when the lights turn Red or go through on the Red that we must target to protect the lives of commuters and pedestrians going about their day to day business.

Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar said: “Breaking a red light is one of the most dangerous things any motorist can do, and driving through a red light at a Luas junction is both irresponsible and stupid. There have been 13 incidents between motorists and trams this year, and one loss of life. This new awareness campaign aims to prevent further incidents. Under a new pilot scheme starting later this year, Gardaí will be able to initiate prosecutions using CCTV footage of motorists who break red lights.”

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Brian Brennan – Managing Director of Transdev said “Luas is a very safe system to travel on. Over 30.4m passenger journeys were made last year on the service and the trams covered over 4 million kilometres. Whilst it is important to assure customers how safe the system is to travel on we must now at the start of summer target gambling motorists. We must reduce the number of emergency brakes the trams are forced to make because of reckless motorist behaviour, we must reverse this trend so that we do not face a summer of further pain and suffering.”

Rory O’Connor, Acting CEO of the Railway Procurement Agency welcomed this campaign and all the related efforts of the various agencies involved. “While Luas remains an extremely safe system, 2013 saw a significant increase in the number of road traffic collisions, with the main contributing factor being motorists breaking red lights. RPA regards safety as its highest priority, and this campaign is aimed at those road users who are recklessly putting their own lives in danger.”
In addition to the awareness campaign other steps are being taken to change motorist behaviour.

An Garda Síochána has undertaken targeted patrols of Blackhall Place, Queen St and Belgard Rd (in South Dublin) in an effort to reduce this illegal and very dangerous driver behaviour.

In order to drive the message home to motorists about the potential consequences of breaking Red lights and the impact with the tram Transdev and Railway Procurement Agency have released CCTV footage which can be viewed on Luas Social Media pages;

www.youtube.com/user/officalluas

www.facebook.com/ Luas

www.luas.ie

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Note to editor about Luas
Motorist Safety Facts & Figures

• Since Luas opened in 2004 there have been over 282.4 million Luas passenger journeys.
• In 2013 there were 30.4 million Luas passenger journeys.

• There are over 37km of Luas lines:
o The Luas Red Line is 20.8 km’s long, running from Tallaght or Saggart to Connolly or The Point.
o The Luas Green Line is 16km’s long and running from Brides Glen to St. Stephen’s Green.
o 5.5 km of the Luas Red Line runs through busy city streets.

• Trams operate on both lines from early morning to late at night, with an increase in frequency of tram movements at peak times:
o In 2013 there were over 3.9 million km travelled by Luas.
o Between 2005 and 2013 there were over 30.75 million km travelled by Luas.

• Over almost 10 years from 2005 to date there have been 278 road vehicle / tram collisions
o 90% of road vehicle / tram collisions happened on the Luas Red Line.
o 10% of road vehicle / tram collisions happened on the Luas Green Line.
o 60% of road vehicle / tram collisions happened on the city centre section of the Luas Red Line between Heuston and Connolly stops.
• On a weekday a tram on the Luas Red Line passes through over 800 Junctions controlled by Traffic Lights in a single day of operations.

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• In 2013;
o There were 38 road vehicle / tram collisions.
o 23 were at Junctions with Traffic Lights
o 15 were other road vehicle / tram collisions

• To date in 2014:
o There have been 13 vehicle / tram collisions
o 10 were at Junctions with Traffic Lights
o 3 were other road vehicle / tram collisions

The main junctions where road vehicle / tram collisions happened on the Luas Red Line are;
• Benburb St/Queen St
• Benburb St/ Blackhall Place
• Abbey St/Jervis St
• Bow St Crossing

The main junctions where road vehicle / tram collisions happened on the Luas Green Line are;
• St. Stephens Green/Harcourt St/ Cuffe St
• Dunville Avenue/Beechwood Rd

• The Luas lines are made up of Tram Lanes, Junctions and Shared Tramways:
o Tram Lanes make up 91% of the lines and are where the Tramway is separated from road traffic physically or with road markings.
o Junctions are where roads and road traffic crosses Tramways
o Shared Tramways is where road traffic shares road with tramway.
o Junctions and Shared Tramways make up 9% of the lines.

• More of the Luas Red Line is Junctions and Shared Tramways that the Luas Green Line:
o 75% of the Luas Red Line tramway is Tram Lanes.
o 25% of the Luas Red Line tramway is Junctions and Shared Tramways.
o 95% of the Luas Green Line tramway is Tram Lanes.
o 5% of the Luas Green Line tramway is Junctions and Shared Tramways.

• There are 62 Junctions controlled by Traffic Lights on the Luas lines:
o On the Luas Red Line there are 48 Junctions controlled by Traffic Lights.
o On the Luas Red Line there are 16 Junctions controlled by Traffic Lights between Heuston and Connolly stops.
o On the Luas Green Line there are 14 Junctions controlled by Traffic Lights.
o On the Luas Green Line there are 3 Junctions controlled by Traffic Lights between Charlemont and St. Stephen’s Green stops.

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