New measures are being taken to introduce warning signs on all Luas trams after various trapping incidents have occurred.
According to the Department of Transport Railway Accident Investigation Unit, a report found that the Luas doors do not detect something as small as a hand. On the 26th of March 2019, a male passenger attempted to enter the Luas at Heuston Station by placing his hand on the door as it was closing.
Each tram is equipped with an obstacle detection system, however on this occasion it did not detect the man’s hand.
The door operation mechanism which operates throughout the world does not operate for the last 10 millimeters of the door closing. The tram departed with the doors closing on the mans hand and only came to a halt four seconds after, when security staff became aware of the situation.
The investigation report stated that the contributory factors associated with the incident were that ‘There were no labels warning the passenger of the risk of attempting to board or exit a tram while the doors are closing’.
This is not the first time this happened as a similar incident occurred on January 22, 2020, when a woman also had her hand trapped between the doors. This took place at the Jervis stop and the woman was dragged along the platform before falling when she eventually freed herself.
Kelly O’Mahoney who uses the Luas regularly said: “I think it’s a good idea to have warning signs introduced because someone could get seriously hurt. There are times where I just about make the Luas but this has made me think twice about risking it”.
The Railway Accident Investigation Unit made a number of safety recommendations as a result of these previous incidents. They suggested that Transdev should update their driver training as “the driver did not conduct an adequate visual check, using rear view monitors and mirrors during or after the door closing sequence”.
They also recommended that the Transport Infrastructure Ireland should conduct a risk-based review in regards to whether CCTV should be placed in areas of high use platforms.
The unit lastly mentioned that they are currently due to install new coloured rear- view cameras and monitors on trams which will help reduce these incidents.
Image Credit: Sean MacEntee