Date PostedApril 29, 2013

$1 Million Damage After Driver Gets Stuck in Burnley Tunnel



Last week a truck driver breached the height restrictions in the Burnley Tunnel in Melbourne and authorities say that he may be charged.

The driver was driving a truck that was over height and carrying an excavator. He is accused of ignoring the warnings for the height restrictions and driving into the tunnel anyway at about three in the afternoon where he initially damaged lights and fans.

He then proceeded to driver the 5.1 metre high truck into the tunnel where he became stuck about half way – there was about $1 million of damage caused as a result.

Authorities took approximately four hours to free the truck and the excavator was also damaged.

CityLink Media and Communications Manager Kate Murphy said that this was the second such incident with a month and all incidents are a concern with this accident being almost identical to the last.

CityLink has been talking to the Victorian Transport Association (VTA) in an attempt to stop these incidents from happening through providing education especially to the smaller freight haulers.

Kate Murphy said that it is generally the smaller operators that are the problem as the larger companies tend to do the right thing and have checks in place.

She said that all heavy vehicle operator are being asked to ensure their drivers know the height of their load and to know to stop if they see detection and warning signs about height restrictions.

Trucks need to take the nearest exit and not proceed through the tunnel if they are over height because otherwise they may cause damage to the tunnel as well as cause issues for other road users.

Mel Beasly from VicRoads that this type of incident was unusual but because of its location the outcome was significant.

She said that Victoria Police have said that they are getting ready to charge the driver on summons and any penalty will be decided in court.

Peter Cutforth is a Director at Urban E-Learning, a global elearning and web strategy firm based in George St Brisbane. Peter's interests extend to training, safety and compliance, online marketing, and Mobile Apps.

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