In Brussels, collisions between pedestrians and the trams have declined over the past few years. Nevertheless, with 43 incidents in 2013, “each accident is still one accident too many,” recalls the Stib (Brussels Intercommunal Transport Company) in its new campaign on Friday. The campaign “tram priority” is for all road users, particularly vulnerable road users. “Pedestrians are the main ones in charge of their safety,” says Cindy Arents, from the Stib communications office.
Posters, radio spots, newspaper inserts and messages on the tram all recommend everyone to “always be careful when you cross” because “the tram has the right of way.”
STIB reminds the public that the tram is not like other vehicles. Because it runs on rails, it can not deviate from its course to avoid obstacles, and because it has poorer adherence than the vehicles with tires, the braking distance is therefore longer.
In 2013, 43 tram/pedestrian accidents were reported, seven fewer than the previous year and 23% less than the average for the last six years. “The campaigns have had a very positive impact,” said Cindy Arents. Moreover, “the drivers are trained in defensive driving and many markings are placed in sensitive places.”
The IBSR (The Belgian institute for Traffic safety) supports the STIB campaign as part of its own “Go For Zero” campaign.