Campaign aims to reduce bridge strikes


A new Queensland Rail safety campaign is reminding motorists that size matters when driving over-height vehicles near rail bridges.

The Size Matters campaign is aimed at preventing vehicle collisions with low clearance rail bridges by educating motorists about the importance of knowing the height of their vehicle and load, before any journey.

In the past financial year, 68 incidents of vehicles colliding with rail bridges were recorded in South East Queensland (SEQ) causing unnecessary and frustrating delays for road users and rail customers. A total of 419 trains were delayed.

On average, each rail bridge collision led to delays of approximately two hours across the network. The largest impacting incident occurred in September 2019 at the Muriel Avenue rail bridge in Rocklea. This serious incident caused 32 train delays across the network for nearly seven hours.

Collisions with low clearance rail bridges are not only hazardous to the driver of the vehicle, their passengers and other road users, but they can also endanger Queensland Rail customers and employees if rail infrastructure is damaged as a result of a collision.

Apart from the risk to lives, fines of up to $10,676 can apply for damaging rail infrastructure and ignoring low clearance signage. Businesses are further impacted with the cost of insurance and the loss of potential income when a vehicle is taken off the road.

To help combat this issue, Queensland Rail has worked to reduce the likelihood of collisions with low clearance rail bridges and improve the response time to incidents across the network by investing in multimillion-dollar programs.

The latest is the installation of a new 15-tonne protection beam at Muriel Avenue, Rocklea. The protection beam will bolster safety at this location and minimise delays to rail customers travelling on the Gold Coast and Beenleigh lines.

Located approximately 44 metres east of the bridge, the new protection beam, fitted with movement sensors and monitored by CCTV cameras, is designed to prevent over-height vehicles from coming into contact with the bridge itself.

Along with the installation of protection beams, Queensland Rail has also rolled out the Structural Monitoring and Alert System. This system notifies response crews of a collision with a rail bridge within one minute of the incident – allowing bridge inspectors to assess the situation sooner.

Now, Queensland Rail has launched the Size Matters campaign to encourage motorists to do their part to prevent future rail bridge collisions from occurring.

Keep a look out for the Size Matters bridge strike campaign appearing on roadside billboards, social media, radio advertisements, Spotify, and in popular industry publications.   

For more information visit QueenslandRail.com.au/SizeMatters.

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