Thursday 6th Aug, 2020

Queensland Rail warns motorists over bridge strikes

Photo: Queensland Rail

Queensland motorists are being urged to be more aware of their vehicles’ height after 65 vehicles collided with rail bridges last financial year.

While this is a 30 per cent decrease from 2017/18, transport and main roads minister Mark Bailey is still concerned too many motorists are not paying enough attention to their surroundings.

Bailey said while Queensland Rail has invested in new infrastructure to reduce the likelihood and impact of bridge strikes, it is also up to motorists to play their part.

With every low clearance bridge in south-east Queensland now fitted with warning signs and regular police enforcement, the message to motorists is simple.

“Know the height and load of the vehicle you’re driving and steer clear of rail bridges where your vehicle or load is too high,” Bailey said.

“In recent years, Queensland Rail has rolled out a multimillion-dollar program to install protection beams on approach to low-clearance rail bridges across South-East Queensland, which prevent over-height vehicles coming into contact with the bridge.”

These protection beams proved crucial in an incident at the Annerley Road bridge in Dutton Park in July, when a truck collided with the beam.

CCTV footage of the incident showed the truck’s load completely detach after striking the beam, which caused lengthy delays for motorists waiting for the road to be cleared.

Fortunately, the protection beam prevented the truck from hitting the rail bridge itself and disrupting the rail network.

As well as creating delays to on both the road and the tracks, motorists who damage Queensland Rail infrastructure can cop a hefty fine of $1067 and four demerit points.

Queensland Rail CEO Nick Easy identified motorists who are not used to driving high vehicles, such as rental truck drivers or people with new caravans, as an at-risk group on the road.

“Before you head on the road, learn your vehicle’s height and plan your route accordingly, steering clear of any rail bridges where your vehicle is over-height,” Easy said.

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