This National Road Safety Week we take a brief look at reducing the risks associated with bridge strike incidents for HGV/PSV operators, logistics companies and fleet and transport managers.
Vehicle bridge strikes can involve highways, canals, and rivers, but the majority of bridge strikes affect railway bridges. Between 1 April 2020 and 31 March 2021 there were 1,624 bridge strikes reported across the rail network (Source: Network Rail), with a cost to the taxpayer of over £23 million per annum.
Bridge strikes inevitably cause damage to property and infrastructure but can also cause injury and even death.
Even in minor bridge strike incidents, fleet operators can face regulatory action by the Traffic Commissioner that could affect their operator’s licence, transport managers face a loss of good repute or disqualification for the CPC holder, while drivers could face action being taken against their vocational driving entitlements.
Significant incidents can see criminal prosecutions for both operators and drivers.
Vehicle and Trailer
Know your vehicle and trailer heights
Driver Training and Competence
Operators should have a company Health and Safety Policy on the Management of Risk of Bridge Strikes and a training programme for drivers and other staff that includes driver certificates of professional competence, and periodic training and safety briefings that should include the prevention of bridge strikes and additional training on:
If you need assistance with your Health and Safety Policy on the Management of Risk of Bridge Strikes, or incident response, our specialist transport and logistics lawyers in our Crime and Regulatory team would be pleased to assist.
For more information, please contact Rebecca Stanton.
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