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Yarra Trams' quirky Beware the Rhino safety campaign
has lead to a significant decline in the number of pedestrian
incidents with trams.
The number of pedestrians involved in collisions with trams so
far this year (24 to the end of August) is down 25 per cent on the
same period in 2010.
This can be largely attributed to a significant decrease in the
number of incidents in May 2011 - the month that the Beware the
Rhino campaign was launched. This is despite Yarra Trams
running an extra 480 tram services each week when compared to the
same period in 2010.
Young people aged between 20 and 39 are three times more likely
to be involved in a pedestrian incident than any other age
bracket. People under 40 make up over two thirds (68 per
cent) of all incidents (where the age is known).
Yarra Trams has just completed customer research to measure the
success of the Beware the Rhino campaign.
A survey of over 1000 tram users found 84 per cent recalled the
campaign when near a tram or crossing tram tracks.
The quirky campaign used cinema advertising, social media and
university information days to reach the 18-30 year old target
More than 50 per cent of respondents said they have increased
their own awareness of trams when walking near tram tracks which is
a fantastic result.
It may come as a shock to many but almost half of our pedestrian
incidents involve a person walking into the side of a moving
A lack of awareness is particularly dangerous when crossing tram
tracks. Trams weigh up to 50 tonnes - about the same as 30 rhinos -
and can't stop as quickly as a car or swerve when someone walks
into their path.
Pedestrians focused on using their smartphone or listening to
music have compromised awareness of what is going on around
Anecdotal evidence from tram drivers suggests that people using
electronic devices are increasingly putting themselves in danger by
wandering across tram tracks without stopping to check that it's
safe to do so.
Beware the Rhino was promoted across a range of media
including a bright yellow and black tram, outdoor ads on tram
stops, a Facebook campaign and university information
The Beware the Rhino campaign will soon shift to target
another key safety issue on Melbourne's tram network. An
announcement will be made in October.