CROYDON: Bus jumped red light before fatal tram smash, says report
11:18am Thursday 8th January 2009 in News
A bus which collided with a tram resulting in the death of a man did jump a red light, an official report has revealed.
But the investigation by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) said the lights directly opposite the bus were showing green because the light casing was broken.
The accident on September 7 led to the death of Andrzej Karcz, 28, who had been sitting on the top deck of the bus and was thrown out of the window, suffering fatal head injuries.
Six other people were hurt in the accident including both the driver of the tram and the bus driver as well as four passengers.
Following the collision on the junction of Park Lane and George Street, Croydon, the bus driver’s accelerator pedal malfunctioned, causing the throttle to be permanently open.
The bus careered along George Street damaging shops before coming to a halt with a silver BMW embedded in its front.
The report revealed report Croydon Council had requested that the Directorate of Traffic Operations change the traffic phasing the day before the accident.
Evidence gathered from nearby CCTV cameras and from those on both the tram and the bus show that while the bus was stopped at the traffic lights on Park Lane, the next set of lights could be seen turning green because the “louvres on that signal were damaged.”
According to the report the louvres fitted to the green signal were intended to prevent this signal being seen by drivers at the opposite lights. But, the report said the damage made them “not effective”.
The report concluded that: “Although not directly related to the accident, it is observed there is a need to ensure effective liaison between the tram operator, the tram infrastructure manager and the traffic authority on matters related to road junction operational challenges and alterations to traffic controllers.”