HEADPHONES, smartphones and other distractions continue to plague pedestrians and other road users around light rail, Newcastle tram drivers say.
Rail Safety Week began on Monday, prompting a renewed look at precautions around Newcastle's light rail.
Keolis Downer marked the occasion with a video featuring the trams' drivers and footage of heart-stopping near-misses along the line.
They include a pram nudged by an oncoming light rail vehicle near the Civic station and a daredevil fare evader taking his life in his hands, clinging to the exterior of a tram as it pulls away from Honeysuckle station.
Another shows a child stepping off the platform as a tram approaches, with a quick-thinking parent quickly pulling them out of harm's way.
Several clips catch motorists and cyclists rolling through red lights, sometimes narrowly missing the nose of the perpendicular red tram.
Drivers report motorists running red lights at Stewart Avenue and Steel Street as the trams approach, pedestrians crossing in front of them, illegal u-turns performed in their path and bystanders stepping onto tracks unaware.
"These behaviours are really dangerous, and it's really unnerving for drivers" driver David Jackson said.
"A tram weighs as much as 47 tonnes with up to 200 passengers on board, and this means it can take over 60 metres to stop when travelling at 40 kilometres per hour.
"This doesn't just put the tram driver, motorist and pedestrian in danger; using the emergency brake could also injure those on board the tram."
It comes months after police pleaded with drivers to take care, releasing footage of several near-misses.
In March Northern Region Traffic Tactician Chief Inspector Amanda Calder said police had seen a number of dangerous incidents, including a driver following the curve of the light rail lines from Hunter Street past Honeysuckle station, less than a month after services began.
Inattention had been a factor, Chief Inspector Calder said at the time. "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," she said.
Traffic and Highway Patrol officers at the time reported vehicles driving on the tram tracks, running red lights at light rail crossings, and distracted pedestrians jaywalking as the most common offences.
Mr Jackson urged people to take off headphones, put phones away, use designated crossings and follow road rules near the light rail tracks.
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