Title

Exploring road design factors influencing tram road safety – Melbourne tram driver focus groups

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2018

Subject Area

place - australasia, place - urban, mode - tram/light rail, ridership - drivers, ridership - perceptions, infrastructure - bus/tram lane, infrastructure - bus/tram priority, infrastructure - stop, planning - safety/accidents

Keywords

Tram, Tram priority, Road safety, Tram driver, Focus groups

Abstract

Melbourne, Australia has the largest tram/streetcar network in the world including the largest mixed traffic tram operating environment. Therefore, Melbourne tram drivers are responsible for controlling one of the heaviest vehicles on road ranging from shared tram lanes to exclusive tram lanes. In addition to different tram lane configurations, tram drivers need to follow different traffic signal phases at intersections including tram priority signals as well as need to serve passengers at various types of closely spaced tram stops. Despite all these challenges, no research has explored tram driver perceptions of the risk factors on different tram route road design configurations. Therefore, the aim of this study is to investigate how tram drivers’ safety perceptions alter along various tram route sections, signal settings and stop configurations. A tram driver focus group approach was adopted for this research involving thirty tram drivers (4 female and 26 male drivers). The tram drivers’ age ranged from 29 to 63 years, with an average age of 47.6 years (standard deviation of 10.1 years), and their experience of tram driving ranged from 1.17 to 31 years, with an average experience of 12.5 years (standard deviation of 10.2 years). The participating tram drivers perceived that the raised tram tracks and tramways with raised yellow curbing beside tracks are safer lane priority features on the Melbourne tram network compared to full-time, part-time and mixed traffic tram lanes. They regarded ‘hook turns’ as a safe form of tram signal priority treatment at intersections and platform tram stops as the safest tram stop design for all passengers among all other tram stop designs in Melbourne. Findings of this research could enhance the understanding of crash risk factors for different tram route features and thus can offer effective planning strategies for transit agencies to improve tram road safety.

Rights

Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.

Comments

Accident Analysis and Prevention Home Page:

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/00014575

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