Sent to all outlets:
6th November 2015
The ongoing saga with bridge strikes.
Firstly some good news. The Price Street Nambour rail over road bridge is to get some beam protection. This is a very precarious bridge and the protection is well over due.
See Sunshine Coast Daily --> Beams to protect rail bridge at Nambour in firing line
Beams do help protect the actual bridge itself. However vehicles still drive into the protective beams, as has been seen recently at Indooroopilly and at Palmwoods and other locations since beams installed.
These beam strikes still result in grave risks to any bystanders and vehicle occupants, disrupt the road transport system and has we have noted, still affect the rail network. Trains have been stopped even though bridges themselves not struck, just the protective beams.
So action, more than just engineering solutions needs to be carried out. We suggest:
1. First offence, 3-6 months automatic licence suspension with fine, and cost recovery. 2nd life. This might focus some minds.
2. Education campaigns, bridge protection and warnings in all its guises, transport company be responsible for ensuring drivers have safe routes as well as the driver acknowledging their height and loads, and documented route selection. The placement of more protective beams will stop strikes on actual bridge structures themselves, but vehicle operators still manage to drive into them with chaos following. Repetitive bridge strikes might well weaken structures to a point of unpredictable collapse.
3. In cab warning devices if all else fails - alarm, preferably a loud klaxon sounds in cab if truck approaches a low level bridge, be it rail over road, or road over road, pedestrian over road.
It is time to support Queensland Rail and get cracking. The behaviour of road users generally is deplorable.
RAIL Back On Track http://backontrack.org
Robert Dow @Robert_Dow
Latest: ' Bridge Strikes '
@MarkBaileyMP @jackietrad @TMRQld @AnnastaciaMP