Get it right on overheight loads, RMS tells trucking

Recent incidents involving overheight vehicles striking tunnels leads to warning from the RMS to the trucking industry

December 4, 2012

Truck drivers are being told to check their loads before hitting the road, following a rise in overheight vehicles striking infrastructure in New South Wales.

The Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) says two incidents last month caused major damage to the M5 East tunnel and the Cooks River Tunnel.

Roads had to be closed while repairs were carried out, and RMS Director Peter Wells says drivers who breach overheight requirements are putting themselves and other road users at risk.

"These incidents can potentially cause thousands of dollars damage to infrastructure such as tunnels and bridges and cause significant traffic disruption," he says.

"Disrupting traffic and other road users by causing significant delays through ignorance or mismanagement around heavy vehicle loads is unacceptable."

Drivers who fail to comply with overheight requirements face $2,052 in fines and six demerit points.

"Others in the chain of responsibility may also face charges attracting $27,500 fines for the first offence and $55,000 per offence for second and subsequent offences. Other fines may also apply for fatigue, mass and dimension offences," Wells says.

Touching on the recent court case on the collapse of the Maitland pedestrian bridge, Wells says businesses face large compensation bills for damaging infrastructure.

"The decision handed down in September was the first time an Australian court ordered damages for road infrastructure caused by negligence but it won’t be the last if these dangerous incidents continue," he says.

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