Highway double fatal sparks call for speed restrictions
TOOWOOMBA solicitor Shane Macdonald is pushing to have speed restrictions tightened on articulated crane trucks in an effort to prevent further crashes.
The principal of Macdonald Law said the issue came to head for him when a collision between a crane truck and a family car claimed the life of a mother and her young son at Top Camp on September 16.
He wants the vehicles to be transported on low loaders when travelling outside of city areas.
"I have seen a number of these types of vehicles involved in serious road crashes where people have been killed or injured and insurance claims have resulted from the incidents," Mr Macdonald said.
"In fact, I currently have one matter where an insurance claim has recently resolved and another matter arising from a single vehicle crane rollover is shortly to proceed to trial."
Mr Macdonald said the problem arose due to design of the crane.
He said the vehicle had little or no suspension and the steering was controlled by hydraulic rams pushing the rear of the vehicle one way so that the front of the vehicle would turn the opposite way.
"The design makes the vehicle hard to control at any speed above 50kmh and gets unsettled over bumps.
"Therefore, allowing them to travel on narrow bumpy country roads is a recipe for disaster."
Crane Industry Council of Australia CEO Alan Marshall said his organisation was generally aware of reports of a small number of road incidents involving articulated mobile cranes in recent years.
"Such incidents are collectively a small percentage of the several thousand such cranes on the roads across Australia, which are being driven responsibly by specially licensed crane operators, consistent with manufacturer guidelines," Mr Marshall said.
A spokesman for Minister for Transport Scott Emerson said strict guidelines were in place in relation to the operation of articulated crane trucks.
"Transport and Main Roads is currently assisting Queensland Police Service with their investigation into a crash on the New England Hwy on September 16," the spokesman said.
"We will wait for the outcome of this investigation before making any decisions."
Should speed restrictions be placed on articulated crane trucks?
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