Friday 17 November 2017

Watch: Irish Rail tell truck drivers to 'wise up' as bridge collisions increase

Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

Irish Rail has warned truck drivers to be more aware of their vehicle heights as the number of bridge collisions increased this year.

In 2014 there were 85 bridge strikes across the network, however this year to date there have been 68 incidents.

Irish Rail said that large vehicles hitting bridges is one of the greatest safety risks they face.

The DART has seen the largest increase in the number of collisions with 25 taking place this year already, in comparison to 12 last year.

Last week two separate bridges in the Grand Canal area were hit by two different vehicles within the space of two hours delaying trains and causing “traffic mayhem”.

A spokesperson for Irish Rail said “The basic intelligence and competence of drivers involved in these incidents must now be called into question. We have endeavoured to inform and educate drivers, we have advertised, we have improved our signage, we have seen prosecutions and we have introduced new technologies – the message has to get through.  It is basic safety for truckers to know the height of their vehicles and the bridges on their routes.”

They said bridge strikes can cause significant delays to both rail and road services, as it must carry out a structural assessment of the bridge before allowing trains to pass over following a hit, and road traffic can end up severely backed up.

“Not even the added deterrents of penalty points and hefty fines have prevented repeated strikes on bridges, particularly in the south of Dublin City.”

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