On Thursday 08 June a Midland Metro tram collided with a taxi on New Swan Lane level crossing. The taxi was pushed across the junction and collided with a stationary lorry. The two occupants of the taxi were taken to hospital with minor injuries, while the tram and both road vehicles suffered minor damage in the collision.
The immediate cause of the accident was the tram driver failing to stop at the signal, anticipating it would change before the tram reached the crossing. A contributory factor was the driver’s decision not to apply the hazard brake when realising the signal was unlikely to change. The underlying cause behind this decision was the view amongst drivers that use of the hazard brake was discouraged by the organisation. In addition, a lack of familiarity with the performance of the hazard brake and previous briefing on the possibility of causing injury to passengers and damage to the tram contributed to the driver’s decision.
RAIB has made two recommendations aimed at:
reviewing the driver training programme; and
reviewing the arrangements for reporting and follow up on use of the hazard brake.