Denain english summary
At 2:01 p.m. on 8 October 2009, a tram on the Valenciennes tramway line, travelling in the towards the “Espace Villars” terminus, ran into a car on the intersection with the Rue Jean Jaurès situated in the municipality of Denain (Nord).
The car was pushed forward in the impact and crushed between the tram and a traffic light support post. The tram derailed for a distance of 14 m and crossed over the adjacent track, coming to rest just on the platform of the “Jaurès” station situated in the immediate vicinity of the intersection.
One person was seriously injured in this accident and eight others were slightly hurt.
The direct and immediate cause of the collision was the failure of the light vehicle to stop at the R24 traffic light, which was flashing on red.
Three factors may have contributed to this collision :
The road user’s poor perception of the tramline crossing and the associated traffic light
The poor visibility for both the tram and the vehicle arriving at the intersection, which could delay the perception of an immediate risk of collision
The peri-urban environment in which the tram was travelling, which may have given its driver an impression of reduced danger.
In addition, two factors contributed to the derailment and the tram’s incursion into the adjacent track and platform :
The tram’s sensitivity to derailment in collisions
The non-crumpling nature of the traffic light support post into which the light vehicle crashed.
The accident analysis led BEA-TT to issue five recommendations concerning the four following topics :
Improvement of the visibility and traffic light system at the intersection of the Rue Jean Jaurès and the tram line
Improvement of the safety of intersections crossed by tramlines in a peri-urban environment
Consideration of risks of derailment in collisions with road vehicles at the tram design stage
Preventive replacement of obstacles installed in the vicinity of danger areas.
Furthermore, to coincide with the analysis of this accident, BEA-TT renewed both recommendations that it had already made on understanding, obeying and assessing the effectiveness of the R24 traffic lights installed at intersections crossed by tramlines. These recommendations had been issued after the investigations conducted into the collisions that occurred in Saint-Herblain on 4 June 2007 and Orvault on 27 April 2010, in the Nantes conurbation.