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Pay attention to low bridges, VicRoads tells truckies

Truck drivers urged to check the height of their vehicles and loads after a number of bridge-strike incidents

By Ruza Zivkusic | July 25, 2011

Truck drivers travelling in Melbourne’s west are being urged to check the height of their vehicles and loads after a number of bridge-strike incidents.

Five trucks have struck the Napier St bridge in Footscray this year but the number could be higher, VicRoads North West regional director Nial Finegan says.

He is urging driver to know the height of their vehicles and load and to plan their route prior to their journey.

“Bridge strikes pose a serious risk to the community and as such are taken very seriously by VicRoads. Depending on the circumstances, charges of dangerous or careless driving may be laid against the driver,” Finegan says.

“Chain or responsibility issues may also arise and lead to action against companies as well as individuals. Penalties arising from a bridge strike range from on-the-spot fines through to possible loss of licence and even jail.”

Finegan says VicRoads and other bridge owners will recover any costs involved in bridge repairs, rail closures and bus replacement services for disrupted public transport services.

“While signage on the approach to low height bridges conforms to standards, we are investigating ways to reduce the number and severity of incidents where vehicles hit bridges,” he says.

In response to earlier instances, VicRoads has instigated a Bridge Strike Prevention Group, which includes VicRoads, Victoria Police, Victorian Transport Association (VTA), WorkSafe, Department of Transport, Metro Trains, Yarra Trams and the Transport Workers Union (TWU).

“This group is developing an overarching bridge strike prevention strategy to address driver behaviour, engineering treatments, enforcement and compliance.”

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