Based on the State Coroner’s findings regarding tow accidents that involved wide loads, the Queensland government has decided to review the regulations that govern the haulage of wide loads on the states roads.
Michael Barnes, the State Coroner, recommended that changes to the system be made because of the findings regarding the deaths of Kenneth Owens and Queensland Police Sergeant Daniel Stiller, who were involved in separate crashes associated with wide loads on the Bruce Highway.
Read about the recommendations that he made in his report at http://www.fullyloaded.com.au/:
Amongst other things, Barnes recommends permits be granted to trucking operators as a last resort, suggesting oversized loads could be shipped between ports of Gladstone and Mackay, and that permits should also be denied unless the load being transported is indivisible.
He was also critical of the signage used on oversized loads for not providing information on the size of the load or what approaching motorists need to do.
“We will carefully consider the coroner’s recommendations as part of a review involving Transport and Main Roads and the Queensland Police Service into the transportation of excess dimension loads,” a departmental spokesperson tells ATN.
Owens died in a collision with a miner’s hut that was being transported at Glenorchy while Stiller died when a combination in a convoy traveling in the opposite direction jack-knifed.
Barnes wants the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, which will assume control of managing permits for wide load escorts later this year, to consider his findings when developing any regulations or guidelines.
Transporting wide or oversize loads on any roads requires precise timing and a strict adherence to the governing regulations.
A risk assessment needs to be conducted for every step of the journey and site inspections conducted to ascertain any potential hazards that may prevent the load from passing safely.
The time of day needs to be considered and often it is best to conduct the transport of any of these types of loads at times where there is minimal traffic on the roads to be traveled.