New alarms, traffic signals and variable signs will be installed on the approach to the notorious Napier Street Bridge in a bid to cut the number of over-height trucks striking the railway overpass.
The state government will spend $1.1 million on a safety upgrade that will include alarms that notify authorities and automatic number plate technology to capture the details of drivers disobeying the 4-metre height limit.
The government is seeking expressions of interest to develop new technology that will alert drivers as they approach the bridge and direct them towards alternate routes.
There are already 28 advance warning signs and five height detection devices around the bridge, which has been struck 67 times since 2005.
The spending follows the $600,000 re-alignment of protection beams on both sides of the bridge, aimed at reducing the risk of containers striking cyclists or pedestrians in the event of a bridge strike.
The announcement comes after another peak-hour crash last Monday in which a container truck blocked outbound traffic and caused extensive delays on the train network.
Footscray MP Marsha Thomson said all drivers have a responsibility to know the height of their truck and avoid the bridge of they are over-height.
“This new technology will reduce the likelihood of trucks hitting the bridge and improve the safety of everybody using Napier Street.”
Maribyrnong Truck Action Group secretary Martin Wurt said the funding shows the government knows there is a problem, but argues the solution is in cutting the number of trucks using the route by directing them to the freeway network.
“When you look at the signs and measures already in place, I don’t know whether more bells and whistles will stop this happening,” he said.
Expressions of interest close May 27.