A man suffered life-threatening injuries after being hit by a tram on Northbourne Avenue near Ipima Street around 7.30am on Friday.
The incident threw Canberra's morning northside commuter plans into chaos, with the damaged tram halted at the Ipima St intersection with Northbourne Avenue and all schedules postponed while the injured man was extracted and police conducted interviews with the driver and tram passengers.
The tram's laminated windscreen glass was smashed in on the left side near the front pillar, providing a physical indication of how heavy the impact had been.
A witness said that just seconds before the impact, the tram driver "hit the horn pretty hard".
The injured man was conveyed to The Canberra Hospital with a significant head trauma and on Friday afternoon was undergoing surgery. His age and identity are not known.
Light rail services from Gungahlin were stopped at Dickson for more than two hours, with shuttle buses brought in to transport passengers into the city.
Vehicular traffic both inbound and outbound from the city was backed up for many city blocks and even at 9am, queues of travellers waiting to board the shuttle buses stretched for over 100 metres.
The incident had knock-on effects for commuters for several hours, with drivers asked to avoid Northbourne Avenue.
It is the first major incident involving light rail and pedestrians or cyclists in almost two years, although there have been numerous near-misses involving trams and vehicles.
Two years ago, a pedestrian was taken to hospital in a serious condition after he was hit.
That incident was at the intersection of Northbourne Avenue and Barry Drive.
When the service was set up, there were fears that cars and trams would collide given that vehicles had to cross the dedicated corridors and may become "stranded" at intersections when normal vehicular traffic becomes banked up.
At the time of the incident two years ago, the general manager of Canberra Metro operations, Tilo Franz, said safety around the light rail was critical, due to the large size of the vehicles.
"Light rail vehicles can travel at up to 70km/h through an intersection and it needs longer to brake because it has steel wheels on a steel track, and it needs a longer distance than a car," he said.
Every August during Rail Safety Week, police and Transport Canberra get together to co-promote safer pedestrian practice around trams.
Pedestrians are asked to look both ways and only cross the tracks at designated crossings, to "pay attention and stay alert around LRVs [light rail vehicles], that "headphones, reading, texting or taking photos or selfies can put you at risk", and to "take care with pram wheels or wheelchairs when crossing the tracks".
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.