TRANSPORT bosses and police have teamed up in an awareness campaign to warn about the dangers of ‘tram surfing’.
Following a number of incidents, when young people have been witnessed clinging to the end of trams whilst they are in motion, Stagecoach Supertram, South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) and South Yorkshire Police have today (10 June 2015) launched a poster campaign at tram stops across the network and on social media to deter people from taking part in the dangerous activity.
Fifteen incidents of tram surfing were reported between June and December last year. Twenty-five incidents have been reported from January 2015 to present.
The poster shows an animated picture of a person clinging to the back of a tram. The destination of the tram reads ‘Accident and Emergency’ and the vehicle is flanked on one side with a police car and on the other with an ambulance. In the background passengers can see the skyline of Sheffield and the headline reads “Don’t be a fool. It may be the last ride you ever take”.
South Yorkshire Roads Policing Inspector, Steve Askham, said: “This sort of behaviour is completely irresponsible. Not only could you seriously injure yourself, you are also putting other road users at risk.
“You could also take up significant time and resources of the emergency services should your behaviour result in a collision.
“I would strongly urge anyone considering behaving in this manner to think about the consequences.”
Stagecoach Supertram Head of Customer Services, Claire Ansley, said: “By launching this campaign we are trying to send a clear message to those involved that this activity is not safe and is totally unacceptable. If you decide to tram surf it’s not only your own life you’re putting at risk. It’s also the lives of other road users who may have to swerve to avoid you, should you fall. It’s irresponsible and selfish.”
SYPTE Interim Director General, David Young, said: “We strongly discourage this reckless behaviour. It is not clever or funny, and could lead to someone getting seriously hurt or worse. Anyone that witnesses tram surfing is urged to report it to the tram driver at the next safe location or at travelsouthyorkshire.com/safe.”
The awareness campaign is being supported by the Twitter hashtag, #LastRide. The posters will appear at tram stops and in police station waiting rooms from today.