“Every day, we avoid between ten and fifteen accidents”

“Every day, we avoid between ten and fifteen accidents”
“Every day, we avoid between ten and fifteen accidents”

“A 40 or 50 ton train doesn’t stop like that. » Following the collision between a car and the Nantes tram, Stéphane Péron, driver since 2015, sheds light on his profession. “It requires constant concentration, insists the 43-year-old from Herblin. Over the course of a day, we must avoid between ten and fifteen accidents. » His last fear? “A pedestrian who slipped from the sidewalk just in front of the train, at Moutonnerie. »

From its cabin, the tramino uses its peripheral vision. “We work like a radar. We are constantly evaluating the situation. This is called driving on sight. » On the lookout for traffic hazards, “we try to catch everyone’s eye. » Here a pedestrian, there a motorist or even a cyclist. With the gong as the only warning. “A stressful job. »

“It hits or not”

“By bus, we have the possibility of avoiding, recalls Stéphane Péron. On a tram, the only option is to brake. When a motorist burns the R24 (the flashing red light imposing an absolute stop on everyone), it hits or not. » He knows the fear felt by his colleague: “I support him 100%. »

“It could happen to anyone at any time.estimates Stéphane Péron, blown away by the intensity of the collision. I have rarely seen a train derail so much. There was only one bogie left (the moving part on which the axles and wheels are fixed) on rails. » At the Dalby depot, the damaged train underwent a first inspection: damaged nose, star-studded windows and crumpled metal.

“By tram or bus, the environment has become more complex, observes Stéphane Péron. With an increased number of vehicles: scooters, bicycles but also pedestrians. » Among his colleagues, he notes “chronic fatigue”even more accentuated when “the tram days are piling up”. Moreover, around thirty drivers have “frozen” their authorization to only be assigned to buses. Stéphane Péron alternates between vehicles to relieve tension.

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