Queensland reviews wide load system

State Coroner's findings in two deaths promps new look at handling of over-dimension cargo

March 27, 2013

The Queensland Government is looking into the State Coroner’s findings on two accidents involving wide loads.

State Coroner Michael Barnes recommended changes earlier this month as a result of inquests into the deaths of Kenneth Owens and Queensland Police Sergeant Daniel Stiller, who were involved in separate crashes associated with wide loads on the Bruce Highway.

Amongst other things, Barnes recommends permits be granted to trucking operators as a last resort, suggesting oversized loads could be shipped between ports of Gladstone and Mackay, and that permits should also be denied unless the load being transported is indivisible.

He was also critical of the signage used on oversized loads for not providing information on the size of the load or what approaching motorists need to do.

"We will carefully consider the coroner's recommendations as part of a review involving Transport and Main Roads and the Queensland Police Service into the transportation of excess dimension loads," a departmental spokesperson tells ATN.

Owens died in a collision with a miner’s hut that was being transported at Glenorchy while Stiller died when a combination in a convoy travelling in the opposite direction jack-knifed.

Barnes wants the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, which will assume control of managing permits for wide load escorts later this year, to consider his findings when developing any regulations or guidelines.

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