The Christmas holiday period is one of the busiest times for truck drivers across the nation. With so many heavy vehicles on the roads, Queensland Rail is reminding motorists how crucial it is to know the height of their vehicle, especially when driving routes with low clearance rail bridges through its Size Matters campaign.
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.
There are many ways drivers can avoid colliding with low clearance bridges, such as planning your route in advance.
Queensland Rail has a list of bridge heights on its website to assist truck drivers in their planning. Every low rail bridge has some form of warning or protection including signage, warning chimes, lights and protection beams. If you’re unsure if your vehicle will fit, it’s always better to turn around rather than risking it – you don’t want to end up stuck.
In the last financial year there were 74 collision incidents with low clearance rail bridges and 233 collisions with protection beams on the Queensland Rail network. This financial year there has already been 28 bridge collision incidents and 110 protection beam collisions with the busiest months still to come.
The hotspot locations for rail bridges strikes are Annerley Road in Dutton Park, Bridge Street in Chelmer, Long Street in Graceville and Margaret Road in Palmwoods.
Apart from the risk to lives, motorists who damage rail infrastructure can be fined and lose demerit points. Queensland Rail actively pursues motorists for the cost of repairs which would otherwise be borne by taxpayers. Transport businesses are further impacted by 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 rail bridges. Preventative measures can vary, ranging from signage to bridge protection beams, such as the recently installed beam at Muriel Avenue, Rocklea.
Queensland Rail hopes through the Size Matters Know Your Trucking Height campaign that drivers plan their journey before heading out on the road to prevent future rail bridge collisions from occurring.
For more information, visit QueenslandRail.com.au/SizeMatters.