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NOT even the installation of laser detectors has been enough to stop trucks getting stuck under rail bridges at a rate of more than one a week in the past year.
Footage provided by Transport and Main Roads shows how flashing warning signs at sites in Indooroopilly and Corinda are being ignored by truck drivers - with dire consequences.
In the 12 months to June 30, the number of rail bridge strikes almost doubled - jumping from 33 the previous year to 60 - resulting in more than 200 train service delays or cancellations.
The increase came despite the addition of infrared laser detectors at eight of the most at-risk locations to read the height of approaching trucks and issue a warning.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said the problem was "idiots" not following the rules.
"They know how big their trucks are, they know how high the bridges are, yet they knock out our public transport system for hours if not days sometimes with this problem," said Mr Emerson.
"They're having a massive impact not just in terms of the damage to the infrastructure but on our public transport system."
INDOOROOPILLY BRIDGE INCIDENT
Indooroopilly Bridge IncidentWatch the problems caused when taller trucks attempt to pass underneath low clearance bridges.
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He said even if no one was hurt in a bridge strike, an inspector still had to assess the structural integrity and safety of the bridge before trains could resume.
"More than 60,000 city network passengers have been delayed by bridge strikes in the past year with 203 services delayed or cancelled due to these incidents," Mr Emerson said.
The amount of money being recovered from drivers involved in bridge strikes increased in the last financial year to more than $330,000, up from $125,000 in 2011-12.
INDOOROOPILLY SECOND INCIDENT
Indooroopilly second incidentWatch the problems caused when taller trucks attempt to pass underneath low clearance bridges.
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On top of paying for damages, anyone who crashes into Queensland Rail infrastructure including bridges can face penalties up to $8800.
"I'm pleased to see that the number of Queenslanders gambling with their lives at railway crossings dropped from 472 near misses in 2011, to 400 in 2012," Mr Emerson said.
The State Government has allocated $1.2 million this financial year to erect "sacrificial beams" in front of bridges that would cop the impact before the actual rail infrastructure.
Queensland Rail has begun identifying sites where the work will be conducted.
The offence is ignoring bridge clearance signage and truck drivers lose four demerit points and are given a minimum $400 fine, which can be up to $8800.
This article first appeared on www.couriermail.com.au
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