POLICE have issued a plea to Hunter drivers to take care around light rail after a spate of incidents, including a driver caught driving towards an oncoming tram.
Traffic and Highway Patrol Command and Newcastle police have been patrolling the 2.7-kilometre system since it began operating in earnest on February 18.
On Thursday they released footage of several drivers disobeying road rules around the new system.
The most egregious shows a ute turning off Hunter Street at Worth Place and into the path of an oncoming tram. The driver swaps back to the Wickham-bound train line and continues slowly through the Honeysuckle station before pulling over on Steel Street.
Several others show drivers rolling through red lights in Newcastle East and on Hannell Street.
Northern Region Traffic Tactician Chief Inspector Amanda Calder said officers have observed a number of dangerous incidents that put the lives of drivers, bystanders and light rail commuters at risk.
"The light rail has been up and running for more than a month and the vast majority of people are aware of the changed road network and have adapted to the changes," Chief Inspector Calder said.
"There are some drivers who are not paying attention and are making serious mistakes with their actions endangering themselves and others along Hunter Street and Stewart Avenue.
"Officers from Traffic and Highway Patrol have observed several near-misses during this first month of operation, with the most common offences being vehicles driving on the tram tracks; running red lights at light rail crossings; and pedestrians - who are often distracted and looking at their phones - jaywalking across the tracks.
Chief Inspector Calder said it was simply a matter of drivers using common sense, taking their time and adapting to their surrounds.
"We're asking the community to not let these issues become long term habits, be safe and alert at all times when near the light rail network," she said.