Trucks are an important part of the country’s economy, with around 329,000 heavy rigid trucks registered around the country, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
However, for all the benefits of heavy vehicles, trucks present a constant danger on the roads. Not only are they heavier and wider, motorists and pedestrians will come off second-best in a collision.
This risk was again highlighted in two incidents on October 6 as outlined by the Traffic & Highway Patrol Command. In both examples, truck drivers tried to enter Sydney’s tunnels with load issues.
Airport tunnel crash
In the first example, which occurred in the Airport Tunnel – south bound, a “Low Loader” style heavy vehicle hit the roof fire sprinklers while transporting an excavator. The excavator’s arms broke the sprinklers off, which also activated them, and also damaged a number of steel beams and fittings along the roof.
Initially, the driver didn’t realise what had happened, driving on for another 100 metres before stopping. The delay slowed traffic for a considerable amount of time as authorities assessed the damage and cleaned up the water released from the sprinklers.
“The Airport Tunnel incident created a response from police, the RMS, and Fire & Rescue NSW, all of which created significant delays for road users while the truck and its load were removed and repairs made to the tunnel emergency sprinkler system,” Assistant Commissioner John Hartley explained.
“The Police and the RMS are there to ensure that over height, over mass, and wide-loads are conducted safely for the benefit of all road users.”
M5 Tunnel at Bexley incident
In the second example, the truck didn’t enter the tunnel, but set off prior height warning sensors. When police responded to the situation, the truck’s height was cleared, as the issue was associated with debris in the trailer load.
However, police found a number of safety concerns throughout their inspection and believe the trucking community could do more to improve road safety. The truck also held up other vehicles as it had to be turned around, creating a safety risk for motorists.
NSW car accident compensation
If you are involved in an incident with a heavy vehicle and suffer a whiplash injury, you could be eligible for compensation. The motor accident compensation scheme extends to most motorists including drivers and pedestrians.
It is important to contact a car accident compensation lawyer as soon as you are well enough. They can offer advice about your possible claim and discuss the circumstances around the accident.
For more information about this process, contact us on 1800 004 878 today.