Victoria launches tram safety campaign

·1-min read

With 250km of track and 5000 services daily, Victorians should appreciate the merits of safely negotiating the state's tram network.

But with more than 2600 near misses on the system last year, they apparently need some reminding.

"Seventy-five per cent of Melbourne's tram network is shared with other road users, so motorists must take extra care ... because even low-speed collisions with tram passengers can have fatal consequences," Transport Minister Ben Carroll said on Sunday.

"My message to motorists is simple - when a tram stops, you stop."

The slogan belongs to a new safety campaign on the heels of data showing there were 2632 "almost accidents" in 2021 despite drivers being required to stop for passengers getting on and stepping off trams.

Victoria is home to the world's largest network, accommodating more than 500 trams.

At all roadside stops, motorists must stop behind carriages until the doors close and pedestrians finish crossing.

At that point, they can drive past at 10km/h.

"Every year we see far too many incidents and close calls when a driver fails to stop behind a tram when its doors are open and passengers are boarding or alighting, which is incredibly dangerous," Yarra Trams CEO Julien Dehornoy said.

Failing to comply with the rules can attract an on-the-spot penalty of up to $462 and three demerit points.