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Near misses of Sydney's new trams by motorists and cyclists have prompted the state government and police to warn people to "ditch the distraction, follow the road rules and pay attention" as testing along the light rail line ramps up.
The warning came as a tram reached the end of the 12.7 kilometre line at Circular Quay for the first time on Tuesday, completing the wire-free section of George Street in the CBD.
The government released footage on Tuesday showing motorists and cyclists cutting directly in front of trams, in flagrant disregard of traffic signals. In one incident, a car drove along a section of the line directly beside a light rail stop at Randwick.
Transport Minister Andrew Constance said the arrival of the first tram at the northern end of the light rail line signalled the start of regular testing on George Street from Town Hall to Circular Quay at night, ahead of day-time testing in the CBD within weeks.
At 67 metres long, the trams are among the longest in the world and each capable of carrying up to 450 passengers – the equivalent of nine standard buses.
NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy said there had already been a number of near misses during the testing, including pedestrians, cyclists, and cars and utes "taking on the trams, going through traffic lights and causing a potential danger for a lot of people".
"The message for all road users is the same: ditch the distraction, follow the road rules and pay attention," he said. "Keep your head up around trams."
This article first appeared on www.smh.com.au
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