Urgent action is needed to cut the number of over-height trucks crashing into Footscray’s Napier Street rail bridge following yet another collision last week, according to Maribyrnong mayor Nam Quach.
A B-double freight truck hit the four-metre- high rail overpass on July 22 but stopped in time to escape any major damage to its cargo or the bridge.
This latest incident bumped the reported collision tally up to 44 since 2010, with dozens having gone unreported.
Cr Quach took to social media to document the latest in a long history of crashes, many involving shipping containers falling from trucks onto footpaths, crushing fences and street signs.
“A fatality avoided but how much longer will this go on? It’s time to look at stricter curfews,” Cr Quach Tweeted from the scene.
And he told Star Weekly: “No one has been injured yet, but anyone walking along the footpath could be killed if hit by a container.”
About 3000 trucks travel under the bridge every weekday, many transporting containers to and from the Port of Melbourne.
Cr Quach is seeking curfews on Buckley and Napier streets and a rise in the $738 fine for failure to obey a low-clearance sign.
“Council has had discussion with VicRoads over many years on this issue and despite various signage and flashing light treatments trialled, it hasn’t improved,” he said.
VicRoads metro north-west director Vince Punaro said there were five height-detection devices and 28 signs on both approaches to the Napier Street bridge.
“We continue to work to increase awareness among truck drivers through the upgrading of signage,” he said.