Queensland Rail’s 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 and planning the journey ahead.
In 2020, there were 66 collision incidents with low clearance rail bridges on the South East Queensland rail network, compared to 72 incidents in 2019. While this represents a decrease, it’s still far too many – more than one per week. Rail customers were further impacted with 64 hours of delays.
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, motorists who damage rail infrastructure can be fined $1,067 and four demerit points.
Queensland Rail actively pursues motorists for the cost of repairs which would otherwise be borne by taxpayers. If the matter goes to court, the maximum penalty for causing damage to rail infrastructure is 80 penalty units ($10,676).
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.
Queensland Rail has invested $15.4 million to install 11 protection beams across the network, at key locations including the notorious Muriel Avenue rail bridge in Rocklea.
The new 15-tonne protection beam at Muriel Avenue, Rocklea has bolstered safety at this location and minimised the delays to rail customers travelling on the Gold Coast and Beenleigh lines.
Queensland Rail have also installed 43 detection systems, with sensors and CCTV cameras that provide automatic, immediate detection and enable remote inspections.
This technology has allowed rail services to resume much quicker than before, reducing bridge strike delays to Queensland Rail customers.
Queensland Rail is continuing the Size Matters campaign to encourage motorists to do their part to prevent future rail bridge collisions.
For more information click here.