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Friday, June 14, 2024

Call to end low bridge strikes following Boksburg gas tanker disaster

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The Boksburg horrific tanker explosion has sparked calls from truck drivers and the public for local authorities with known low bridges to act to avoid disasters like the country faces now.

10 people died and more than 50 others sustained injuries ranging from serious to minor when a gas tanker truck exploded after hitting a low bridge on Hospital Road in Boksburg on Saturday morning.

“It was just a matter of time before something horrible like this could happen, our government only acts when people die. They should make sure a truck does not even attempt passing under a low bridge,” said one social media user.

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SA Trucker has often posted about truck vs low bridge crashes in the country with the infamous Muizenberg bridge in Cape Town and Knights Bridge in Germiston topping the list.

Muizenberg bridge
The truck eating bridge in Muizenberg, Cape Town

While there are signs warning truck drivers of the low bridges, strikes have continued to occur causing massive damage to infrastructure and on the truck company side.

Residents in the affected areas have for long asked their local authorities to erect more visible road signs or restrictions that could deter truck drivers from attempting to pass below the bridges but little to no action has been done.

SA Trucker calls on communities in areas where bridge strikes are common to act to address the problem before it becomes a disaster as we have witnessed today.

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It is evident that truck drivers do not need only the signs but something that will deter them from taking chances crossing low bridges.

Solution to bridge strikes

Height clearance curtains help trucks steer clear of low bridges. Some of these bridges were built as far back 1882 when trucks were still smaller.

The country is growing and so are the sizes of trucks that travel the South African roads and that calls for local authorities to adjust.

Bridge strikes are inconvenient, costly and very dangerous as seen in the Boksburg tragedy.

Apart from the fatalities and injuries suffered in Boksburg, millions of rands will be needed to rebuild the bridge and the rail tracks.

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Hours, days to weeks of train services will be lost as engineers survey, evaluate and repair the Hospital Road bridge which has been completely destroyed.

It only makes sense to erect height clearance curtains at known truck eating bridges if authorities are serious about saving lives.

SA Trucker says, make height clearance curtains a must on all low bridges!

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