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Thursday, June 24, 2021

Pedestrian injured in light rail collision

A 61-year-old man was hit by a light rail vehicle near Barry Drive, Acton at approximately 9.12am on Monday 12 August.

The man was transported to hospital in a serious condition after being treated on the scene, while the tram was left with a smashed windscreen.

This is the second recorded incident involving a pedestrian collision with a light rail vehicle in Canberra, with the previous one taking place during pre-testing.

Transport Canberra Light Rail Operations Director Ian McGlinn said the incident was shocking.

“The member of the public has moved across from the western side toward the eastern side and come across the alignment, where the vehicle has come into contact with them.

“The circumstances at that pedestrian movement is people walk with their back to the alignment and then turn right to come across the light rail alignment there.

“The emergency brakes were applied by the driver of the LRV; on this occasion the pedestrian has continued his movement across the alignment.

Mr McGlinn said the driver was shaken by the accident. They were relieved of their duties and underwent counselling at the light rail depot in Mitchell.

ACT Ambulance Service Duty Officer, Operations, Steve Mitchell said the man who was struck suffered numerous serious injuries, including to the head and chest.

“Prior to the arrival of the ambulance service, we had an off-duty ACT paramedic who witnessed the incident, and she provided first aid while the ambulance service was on its way.

“Our intensive care paramedics are trained for all these circumstances, and the patient has received excellent care,” Mr Mitchell said.

A compilation video was released earlier this month by Transport Canberra of near hits and misses with motor vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists that featured at least 10 incidents.

Mr McGlinn said the incident served as a timely reminder, especially as it occurred on the first day of Rail Safety Week (12-18 August), an annual community awareness initiative across Australia and New Zealand. This year’s theme is: Rail safety – it’s everyone’s responsibility.

“We can’t be complacent in any way, shape or form as we interact with the light rail as we see people’s lack of respect for their own personal safety in their movements around rail,” he said.

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