Truck rollover proves need for barriers, MRA says

MRA calls on Victorian Government to install striker bars at Melbourne's low bridges to decrease truck collisions

Truck rollover proves need for barriers, MRA says
Truck rollover proves need for barriers, MRA says
By Ruza Zivkusic | November 1, 2010

The Motorcycle Riders Association (MRA) is calling on the Victorian Government to install striker bars at Melbourne’s low bridges to decrease truck collisions.

MRA Vice-President Grant Delahoy believes today’s rollover of a truck in South Melbourne could have been avoided if striker bars were present.

Two people were taken to hospital after a truck slammed into the bridge at the corner of City Road and Ferrars Street.

The truck rolled onto a car after trying to overturn it just before 8am.

Delahoy is lobbying VicRoads to install a bar or chains before the bridge so trucks have warning to stop.

"It gives them the time to stop; when they hit the bars they know they’ll hit the bridge so they can hit the brake," Delahoy says.

"There’s already been one truck driver die on this bridge and many people have been seriously injured, there should be an allowance there for some sort of active warning system to be installed before someone else gets killed.

"I’ve spoken to some drivers of the trucks and some of them admit they don’t know the height of their truck, some say they’re following a GPS and some admit they don’t believe the height listed on the bridges," Delahoy adds.

The 3.8 metre bridge has been the scene of at least eight truck accidents in the past four years, and Delahoy says he has been anecdotally told of many more.

"How many more people have to die? It’s so blatantly obvious what the problem is, there’s other bridges in the area that trucks keep hitting. It’s not enough to say the truck driver should know better, everyone knows that and yet it keeps happening," he says.

In correspondence with Delahoy, VicRoads’s traffic operations central team leader Jason Stakic states VicRoads is "putting steps in place to implement improvements that would reduce the number and severity of incidents when such bridges are stuck".

"In the short-term, VicRoads will replace the existing black and yellow ‘low clearance’ signs and ‘low bridge detour’ signs on the three approaches to the City Road bridge with fluorescent yellow-green signs to make the signs more prominent and improve driver awareness," Stakic writes.

It is due to be implemented by December, he adds.

"Although the existing signage and height detection equipment surrounding the City Road bridge conforms to current standards, VicRoads is developing a project to implement further improvement treatments," Stakic says.

"The treatments being considered are intended to be more prominent than existing static signs and incorporate advanced electronic signs and height detection treatments and establishing detour and contingency detour routes for over-height trucks."

VicRoads is also finalising a study incorporating other low-clearance bridges which will see the implementation of improvement treatments, Stakic adds.

"It should be noted that these low-clearance bridges, including the City Road bridge, are not VicRaods assets," he says.

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