Trams being flashed by speed or red light cameras

 
  Metlink Chief Commissioner

Location: Camberwell Station or on Tram 109 or bus 302
I was just wondering what is the policy when it comes to trams being flashed by speed or red light cameras. The reason why I ask is my tram last night travelling on route 16 got flashed by the red light camera 1 stop before the Cotham Road terminus. Does the driver get fined or is it just ignored?

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  Heihachi_73 Chief Commissioner

Location: Terminating at Ringwood
It's the same as if you're in a bus or taxi - tram drivers have also been caught for speeding before, especially with the Citadis trams on the 109 past Balwyn at night. The cops can't impound your tram though! Laughing

The camera only has to pick up the tram number (e.g. 3523) and the time taken and the driver might end up fined. Never heard of it in real life though.
  route14 Chief Commissioner

Yes, a route 72 driver was caught driving a D1 at 57 km/h in a 40 km/h zone, and got fined $215 plus 3 demerit points recorded on her road vehicle licsence.
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
Trams are subject to all normal road rules and driving law except where specific exceptions are signed, signalled or written into those rules.

Any tram driver who sets off a red light camera or is detected speeding may face appropriate consequences and internal disciplinary action.

Remember however that trams are long vehicles.  As long as the front of the tram crosses the stop line with a proceed signal (green aspect or white T-light) then it may continue unhindered.  A red-light camera might be triggered by the rear of the tram moving through the intersection some seconds later and after the light has changed to red.

There are known cases of drivers who have been booked for speeding and failing to observe traffic signals and who have been detected by automatic equipment such as cameras.
  tranzitjim Chief Commissioner

Location: Banned
What if the tram driver does not have an automobile drivers licence?

Are tram drivers required to have an Automobile drivers licence?
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
Melbourne tram drivers are required to hold a valid full Victorian car driver licence.  

If they are then found speeding or running red lights in a tram this licence will accrue points as though they were driving their private car.  If the licence is suspended or revoked for offences then they may not drive trams until it is returned.  A driver not subject to dismissal may be placed on non-driving duties if this happens.

It used to be the case that trammies did not require a motor vehicle licence.  That dates from the early days of tramway history when motor vehicles ere much less common than they are now.

Until around 1965 IIRC this condition still applied but no longer does so.  Those drivers who have been continuously employed as such since the days when no licence was required still fall under those provisions  under the "Grandfather's Rights" legislation.

There are I believe only two remaining tram drivers in Melbourne without car licences working under these provisions.
  route14 Chief Commissioner

The threshold is actually much later than you remembered, 1984.
    Motor cycle licence is also accepted as a valid road vehicle licence before tram driver's qualification.  There is a Preston driver with only a motor cycle licence as his road vehicle licence who cannot drive the car to/from Thornbury for route 112 duties, so the starter has to allocate him a tram as transport car or he might travel on other driver's car as passenger.
  drwaddles In need of a breath mint

Location: Newcastle
So would losing your licence as a civilian mean you can no longer drive trams?
  route14 Chief Commissioner

Yes, but since you've done nothing wrong to trams, they might get you to work as a CSE or TA.
  Boss Chief Commissioner

Location: Caulfield Line
Yes, but since you've done nothing wrong to trams, they might get you to work as a CSE or TA.
"route14"

Rolling Eyes Or even a manager????? Rolling Eyes
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
No.

If you are suspended from driving duties you would find yourself either temporarily rostered as a CSE or on shed work such as cleaning or assisting with the admin side.

There is a precedent set for drivers to be transferred to the TA unit but only for those drivers who were first employed as TA's.  I believe this is due to the different funding arrangements fort Tram Attendants.
  PalmerEldritch Say goodnight to the bad guy

Location: Princes Park, Carlton
Found at: http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,23863281-2862,00.html

Fears for lives at busy Melbourne intersections
Stephen Drill
June 15, 2008 12:00am

ABOUT four trams an hour are running red lights in Melbourne's CBD, an investigation has revealed.

Pedestrians have had to jump out of the way as trams hurtle through intersections on a red light.

But Victoria Police statistics reveal that since September 2006 only two tram drivers have been booked for running red lights.

There have been five deaths, 253 serious injuries and 245 derailments on Melbourne's tram network in the past five years.

A two-hour Sunday Herald Sun analysis of trams in the CBD during the week showed eight trams running red lights at the corners of Collins and Spring streets and Bourke and Spring streets.

In seven of those cases, the lights for traffic in the opposite direction had turned green before the tram had cleared the intersection.

The revelations followed the anniversary of the Kerang rail disaster in which 11 people died.

Public Transport Users Association president Daniel Bowen said traffic light sequences needed to be changed to give trams priority.

He said more platform tram stops were also needed to improve passenger safety.

Opposition transport spokesman Terry Mulder said it was outrageous tram drivers were putting passengers' lives at risk.

"That's outlandish. Tram drivers as well as bus drivers should exercise the utmost of care," he said.

"I'd hate to think they are doing it just to be on time, I would rather be late than have an accident."

A spokesman for the Rail, Tram and Bus Union said: "I don't think any driver blatantly goes through a red light."

Yarra Trams spokesman Colin Tyrus said tram drivers were trained to do their best to be on time, but not at the expense of safety.

He said trams were 30m long and unable to accelerate through an intersection like a car.

He added that drivers could cause injuries to passengers if they hit the brakes too suddenly.
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
Some typical Hun reporting using known statistics to justify an unrelated statement.

The fatality and injury statistics are correct so far as is known.  None of those fatalities resulted from a blameworthy incident where the tram driver has been found at fault.  Many injuries are to road vehicle users or pedestrians.

The figure for derailments is from the official records which are required to be kept by all rail operators and includes minor derailments within depots and sidings.

Now we have those figures in context.

Tyrus is quite correct in that trams (in common with all long vehicles) take far longer to clear an intersection than a standard car.  And just like any other vehicle they are permitted to continue with right of way provided that the driver has passed the signal displaying a proceed aspect.

That will mean either a green light or a T-light or turn arrow for the tram concerned.  Crossing a yellow light is always a subjective decision.  Yellow means "Stop unless you are so close to the stop marking that it is unsafe to do so".  In most cases a tram will easily pull up at a yellow light but not if the yellow comes up just as the tram approaches, nor if the rail is wet and the tram requires a longer distance to stop safely.

It might be the case that the trams allegedly running red lights as noted by the Hun have in fact been complying with tram-only signals and been permitted to pass a red light applying to road vehicles.  It is equally likely that they have been seen crossing an intersection where the front of the tram passed the signal and stop markings legally but has then taken a few seconds to fully clear the intersection during which time the green for the opposing route has come up.

It is a fundamental rule of road use that you only enter an intersection when it is clear and safe to do so.  Therefore if a tram has not finished crossing in front of you when your green comes up the right thing to do is wait until your way is clear.  It is impatience which leads to as many tram : car collisions as anything.

The fact that only two tram drivers have been booked for running red lights in recent years is actually a testament to the fact that they do drive safely and within the road rules at all times; that cannot be said for every private motorist, taxi driver, cyclist / motorcyclist or jaywlkaing pedestrian.
  tonyp Chief Commissioner

Location: Shoalhaven
Any government responsible for a large city in the 21st century either commits to public transport or goes down with the ship.  If traffic management (usually in the hands of the relevant "roads" authority unfortunately) cannot deliver on public transport priority then the government should be looking at techniques ranging from equipping tram and bus drivers with the means to override traffic lights, through to curtailing other traffic in the cbd altogether by congestion tax or whatever means. They should be looking at these sort of issues rather than going after tram drivers for alleged traffic infringements.

And how ridiculous requiring a tram driver to have a car licence.  Surely training as a tram driver alone would include training in the ARR. Perhaps if car drivers were instead compulsorily trained to drive a tram or bus they might appreciate the issues of sharing the road with them a bit better. Off rant!
  route14 Chief Commissioner

Oh yes, pure bureaucratism, as trams are not only rollingstocks, they share the road surface.
  bramt Deputy Commissioner

I can understand the figure for serious injuries, as passengers can be seriously thrown about and concussed when trams brake heavily if a car pulls in front of them (I know someone who has woken up on the floor of a citadis confused after smashing into the glass driver's door). That must happen a few times a week.
But how do 5 people die in tram related incidents? I haven't seen any news report of anything like that.
  tonyp Chief Commissioner

Location: Shoalhaven
^^
I imagine they are just that - off tram incidents that a tram is involved in.

You have a huge traffic management issue to sort out in Melbourne. You simply can't run a tramway with cars pulling in front of trams to turn, that is crazy. If not a hook turn, then cars need to be kept in a lane to the left of the tram and a traffic light either has to hold the tram until the car turns or the car is held until the tram proceeds. There are also other techniques like 'around the block' turns for cars - some of these methods have been used in Sydney for yonks in normal traffic management (and we don't even have mixed traffic trams!). How hard can it be?
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
But how do 5 people die in tram related incidents?


It would be inappropriate to discuss the specific details but in general terms these are most often single pedestrians who have for what ever reason strayed into the path of a moving tram which has been unable to stop in time to avoid the collision.

There are also other techniques like 'around the block' turns for cars

This is something I have been ken on for a long time.  It is widely used in a number of cities around the World including Sydney and London.  To turn right you simply make left turns around the block until you cross your original route.  No-one is blocked.  Trams suffer less delay and so can buses.  

Replacing hook turns with this move and introducing it at all major intersections will end confusion as well as improving traffic flow and road safety.

Hook turns only work safely when all road users understand what the others are doing.  This is very often not the case with regional and interstate visitors to Melbourne's CBD.

Trams already have priority measures in many parts of Melbourne.  They have priority on the road (over all but emergency service vehicles, funeral corteges and vehicles on formal State occasions) enshrined into Victorian road rules.

They also have the benefit of fairways and tram reserves, tram-only signals (T-lights or arrows) at many intersections and in some places there are modified traffic light phases which will hold a green while a tram is approaching or loading until it has cleared the intersection or crossing.

That said there is a lot more which can be done.  VicRoads and Yarra Trams are working together to bring about improvements but a 19th Century tramway the size of Melbourne's network cannot suddenly be rebuilt to 21st Century standards overnight.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Wikipedia has an article on hook turns, it mentions it's use elsewhere in the world, not just Melbourne. What I am still not sure of, is the origin of the Melburnian road rule, and when it was intrduced. When that rule was introduced, how did motorists learn how to do it? In fact, Adelaide has one for busses, where King William street crosses North Terrace, so I have been wondering why they didn't add them along King William street? Plenty of Adelaide motorists should surely know the precedure from seeing busses do it.

Alternative to the hook turn include the New Jersey Jughandle, (Are round-the block turns in Sydney anything like this?), Michigan left (could a left side driving replace some of the right turns at the intersection of Commercial and Punt Roads? Could it also have application on the Burwood Highway and Plenty Road?) and what's called a Bowtie, where roundabouts would replace right turns in left side driving coutries. On a related note, on the Sheffield supertram in South Yorkshire, there are two notable roudabouts with trams, one is a tram tunnel under a major roundabout (I wonder if this one is at the top of a hill) and the other is much like Flemington Junction but atop a large earthworked traffic island with bridges high above traffic (must make trams a comfortable way to travel around town). I wonder if these arrangement, could be used to avoid right turns at nearby intersections, thus making tram priority a much simpler task.
  tonyp Chief Commissioner

Location: Shoalhaven
The bowtie would work well Myrtone. The other two are not relevant, and no, the Sydney one is not the jughandle - it uses existing streets to go round the block as Gwiwer describes.

Trams and roundabouts are a safety no no - I can't imagine what the traffic planners are thinking in Melbourne. You either have to have grade separation or no roundabout and a conventional intersection with traffic lights instead.  You couldn't present better evidence for this than the episode with Shane Warne and the tram on a roundabout!
  connexwest Deputy Commissioner

Location: Waiting for the World's Biggest Divvy Van
The bowtie would work well Myrtone. The other two are not relevant, and no, the Sydney one is not the jughandle - it uses existing streets to go round the block as Gwiwer describes.

Trams and roundabouts are a safety no no - I can't imagine what the traffic planners are thinking in Melbourne. You either have to have grade separation or no roundabout and a conventional intersection with traffic lights instead.  You couldn't present better evidence for this than the episode with Shane Warne and the tram on a roundabout!
"tonyp"


While generally the roundabout comment is of solid argument, you're forgeting about the "super" roundabout about 800 metres past the Vic Market at Haymarket.

Not the best example, but it does show that roundabouts can be used efficently.
  tomohawk Chief Commissioner

Location: Getting The Met to get around
I don't really think that hook turns are that bad of a thing. They'd certainly be quicker than a 'round the block' turn from what I can imagine...
  tonyp Chief Commissioner

Location: Shoalhaven
Even that North Melbourne roundabout I can't agree with use of at-grade. It probably just works at present because it is so big - but what do the ARR say about trams and roundabouts? I'm sure the average interstate driver wouldn't think they had to give way to a vehicle that emerged from the island in the middle of the roundabout. And how would it work if you had 30 m trams crossing it every 60 seconds? (Not that the current Google earth image shows any trams at all but quite a few cars blocking the tramlines!)

Re hook turns I think that depends on traffic volume and the capacity of the intersection (including road width available to store waiting cars). Beyond a certain point you would have to send cars off round the block or through a bowtie.
  connexwest Deputy Commissioner

Location: Waiting for the World's Biggest Divvy Van
It's been a while since I've been past there, but I believe that the Haymarket roundabout has standard "give way to tram" signs, as well as the flashing ones which activates as the trams are approaching/going through it.

Well as for the 30m trams at every seconds- that will never ever happen. As simple as that. But for arguments sake, if we were to get to that point in time, maybe it would be worth grade separating that intersection. Drastic I know, but that would realistically- in my view- by the only viable option.
  Natronomonas Chief Train Controller

The Haymarket roundabout (aka "Wheel of Death" to locals - it's also pedestrian unfriendly) only just works as is. I've witnessed a couple of collisions with cars and trams there, and been on trams when everyone has gone flying when the tram has to brake because some driver ignores the painted red road, flashing "give way to tram" lights and the 30m long tram only a metre to the side of them.

And even then, I can understand why a driver might not have the attention to see the tram - it is unexpected to have a tram run through a roundabout, and the Haymarket roundabout, on account of being so big (3 lanes) is difficult for non-regular users anyway, so there's a lot for people to keep track of. Compound that with peak-hour "dashes" for gaps in the traffic and it's a wonder there's not more accidents.

If the n/s heavy rail tunnel ever goes through, maybe 19 frequency will stay at current levels or drop a bit, which may alleviate the problem somewhat, but otherwise some sort of separation is inevitable - although I keep seeing mini-boom gates in my head  Very Happy

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