A campaign warning people of the dangers of ‘tram surfing’ has been launched by police and transport bosses after a spate of incidents.
Young people across Sheffield have been spotted clinging to the back of moving trams to hitch a free - but dangerous - ride.
In May a thrill-seeker took his life in his hands when he decided to hang off the back of a moving tram in Sheffield.
Crouching low to avoid being spotted by the driver, the man is clearly seen holding on to the tram’s windscreen wipers and standing on the rubber bumper.
The tram surfer’s dice with death to gain a free ride were captured at Norfolk Park by Dale Pask, who posted the shocking footage online.
Fifteen incidents of tram surfing were reported between June and December last year. Twenty-five incidents have been reported from January 2015 to present.
Stagecoach Supertram, South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive and South Yorkshire Police have today launched a poster campaign at tram stops across the network and on social media to deter people from taking part in the dangerous activity.
The awareness campaign is being supported by the Twitter hashtag, #LastRide.
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.”