Reference number
RR2021-00084
Date reported
Published date
Mode
Affected operation/industry
Concern subject type
Concern summary

Modifications to microphones and electronic gongs on [letter] class trams 

Reporter's deidentified concern

The reporter raised a concern regarding modifications to microphones and electronic gongs on [letter] class trams. The reporter advised that to accommodate the new low-profile microphone, the line breaker button has been moved to where the gong button was historically positioned. The reporter's concern with this, is that experienced drivers who need to immediately use the gong button for an emergency situation will inadvertently push the line breaker button, and this could waste valuable seconds in sounding the gong. In situations where the line breaker has tripped (and as a result the tram has lost acceleration), muscle memory may cause the driver to reach for the existing line breaker reset button location, increasing the time taken to reset the tripped line breaker and restore the tram to normal driving operation.In addition, the reporter held concerns regarding replacement of the existing mechanical gong with an electronic gong. The reporter advises that the sound of the electronic gong is a noted change from the sound of the mechanical gong (pitch/tone). The reporter is concerned that road users and pedestrians (especially those that are vision or mentally impaired) have become accustomed to the particular sound of specific tram types.The operator and the regulator advised that they were satisfied the appropriate risk management, management of change, human factors and consultation procedures of the SMS were conducted. 

ATSB comment

The operator and the regulator advised that they were satisfied the appropriate risk management, management of change, human factors and consultation procedures of the SMS were conducted.