Truck height information call after cycle fatality


Details should be noted inside all cabins to prevent drivers from running into low bridges, expert says

By Ruza Zivkusic-Aftasi | August 20, 2013

The height of trucks should be noted inside all cabins to prevent drivers from running into low bridges, truck driver and Director of Safe Cycling Australia David Sharp says.

A Brisbane man was killed over the weekend when a truck clipped a rail bridge at Dutton Park and crushed the 40-year-old.

Sharp, who is a passionate cyclist and has been driving trucks since 1998, says more needs to be done to prevent future incidents.

He has expressed dismay over the truck rollover, saying it is the driver’s responsibility to ensure they know the height of the vehicle and the route they take before each job.

"I make a point of checking the height of everything that I get behind the wheel of and I strongly believe that every truck driver has the same responsibility to know not only the width of the truck, which is usually fairly standard, but also the height of the truck," Sharp says.

"It’s just ridiculous in my view that this has happened.

"The fact that the truck driver tried to overtake the cyclist heading under that bridge certainly didn’t give him anywhere near enough room judging by the way the truck was rolled on its back wheel.

"We don’t think there was a lot of thought process there by the driver by any stage."

Transport Workers’ Union of Australia State Secretary Peter Biagini says linked bike paths, particularly on heavy vehicle routes, are needed.

"This is just happening too often," Biagini says.

"I’ve been talking to the owner of the transport company this morning; the driver is an absolute mess.

"It’s not only the cyclist and the family but it’s also the driver as well that is touched by this tragedy and I think we have to do something about the infrastructure and make sure the bridges are built higher."

The driver had been driving for many years but had started driving on a new route only a few months ago.

He was delivering empty glass bottles to a warehouse at the time.

"It’s a very good company – I’ve known the owner for a while, he’s very safety-conscious but everything is possible and he’s devastated by this," Biagini adds.

"It’s one of the most safety-conscious companies we deal with and does everything right but at the end of the day the driver took the wrong way to get to his destination and he wasn’t familiar with that bridge."

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