The Transport Accident Commission (Victoria Australia) speed propaganda program is supported by calculations of reaction and braking distances. One of their advertisements illustrates a pedestrian being struck by a driver traveling at 65km/hr but having not being affected if the car had been traveling at 60km/hr (relying on 25m reaction being 1.5s and 20m braking). Conveniently for their argument the pedestrian was 45m away when seen. That’s the gist of the campaign.
Getting hit by a train or tram is no less damaging that by a car, so presumably they should travel according to the same requirements. Allowing a railed vehicle deceleration of 1m/s, the same reaction time, ignoring grade and train braking system delay, the distance would be given by D=RV + VV/2A (V=velocity, R=reaction time, A=deceleration).
Applying the 45m theory which is apparently vital with regard to cars seeing pedestrians: 45=1.5V+VV/2.
This gives a safe speed for trams and trains of V=8.1m/s or 30km/hr (~20m/hr).*
Trains and trams in Victoria routinely travel a lot faster than 30km/hr thus severely endangering pedestrians according to the TAC’s theory. So where is the campaign to get them to slow down? Good for the goose but not the gander?
*Actually it will be generally lower due to brake delay and more so in the case of downgrade. Alternatively under emergency braking (e.g. 2.8m/s) it will be greater, although at the risk of wheel and track damage, with the allowable speed increasing to 12m/s or about 43km/hr (27m/hr).