Truck gets stuck under CBD rail bridge blocking afternoon traffic

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 04 Oct 2019 13:49
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
Facial identification cameras already operate in Shanghai to issue red light tickets for pedestrians.
Geez, don't tell Dan Andrews that - he'll have them everywhere in no time.
don_dunstan
As long as there not made in China like the ones over here, don and they are now being replaced....Shocked their spying on us apparently, reckon they were in the new hospital.

BigShunter.

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  historian Deputy Commissioner

ON the topic of road safety and the police, I get sick to death of the claim that 'there's no such thing as accidents' and that every single crash can be prevented.

Take this incident last August when two truck drivers lost their lives in tragic circumstances last August in Truro SA during a dust storm - ABC;

The crash came amid a severe weather warning, with conditions along the highway reducing visibility to about a metre, according to police.

The circumstances are still being investigated, but the state's Road Transport Association has rejected suggestions pulling over would have been the safer option, saying it could have put other road users at risk.

However, Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said while the crash was a "tragic collision" and expressed his deepest sympathies for both victims and their families, he said poor decisions were to blame.

"A dust storm does not cause vehicles to crash. It's the decisions of the drivers," Commissioner Stevens said.

"Every collision that occurs on our roads primarily a result of a bad decision by someone using a vehicle.

"In this case, those decisions related to a choice made to continue driving, or driving in a manner which was not consistent with the conditions."

"Airlines don't let pilots take-off when they can't see. If airports are fogged in, or weather conditions prevent safe flying, planes don't take off," Commissioner Stevens said.

"What makes us think we can continue to drive on our roads if visibility is down to zero?

"If zero is the extent that you have visibility, then zero is the speed you should be doing."

The families of the deceased truck drivers criticised the Police Commissioner for that statement blaming the truck drivers for what happened - because as it turns out (from a subsequent investigation) one of the trucks was forced to swerve into the path of the other truck by a motorist who had stopped on the highway (just as Commissioner Stevens said they should have done) but had not pulled fully off the road because of the lack of a shoulder. So in fact the crash was caused by a third party AND the lack of somewhere safe to pull over.

I've driven that road a fair bit to visit friends in the Riverland and its really not a very good road - I'd hazard a guess that the truck drivers may have even been looking for somewhere safe to pull over when the accident happened. For Commissioner Stevens to try and say that they caused the accident by being on the road when there was probably no other safe option at that moment was frankly disgraceful and a kick in the guts to the families of the deceased.
don_dunstan


Ah, sorry, run that by me again...

This accident happened during a dust storm which reduced visibility to less than a metre - you couldn't see to the end of your bonnet.

The visibility was so bad a car decided to pull over and stop, but couldn't pull completely off the road. A following truck driver, in the same visibility conditions, made the choice to continue to drive. That truck driver was travelling fast enough that they couldn't stop in the distance in which they saw the stopped car, so veered onto the wrong side of the road. They collided with a truck coming the other way that had also made same decision about not stopping.

The claim is that decision by the two truck drivers not to stop was correct, because if they had stopped they might have been run into by a hypothetical following vehicle that was hypothetically travelling too fast to stop in the conditions.

Yeah, nah.

If the report as to the conditions were accurate, IMHO the police position was correct.

The following truck driver was driving too fast for the conditions - the legal requirement is that they need to be travelling slow enough to stop in the sighting distance. End of story. If there was no safe sighting distance they needed to have stopped.

The fact that there wasn't sufficient room to fully clear the road was a contributing factor, but did not, in itself, cause the accident. There could have been anything obstructing the road - including another truck travelling slowly to suit the conditions.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Norda Fittazroy
historian has it correct. The truck drivers failed to obey a simple precept that I was taught when young - " if you can't see; don't go."

Doubtless there will be all sorts of excuses put up - the trucks were delivering food; this driver had to get home to take Cyril to soccer training et al ad nauseam. Both drivers failed to observe a basic safety rule, and life was lost.

Time and lives do not share the same value.

We had the Victoria Police Surgeon, the late Dr John Birrell addressing the school assembly at Melbourne High School back in the 50's. He made no bones about it. . . "An accident is something that could not be foreseen or prevented; that's why I refer to road collisions as crashes. They are preventable."

The worthy doctor had studied more road crashes than anyone here has had hot dinners. He knew whereof he spoke, and I have never forgotten it.

Instead of creating excuses, find out exactly what error(s) occurred and learn from it. Commissioner Grant Stevens got it right. The families of the deceased may not like it, but this collision was not an act of God. . . person or persons fouled up.

Please note the choice of word: "collision".  We are not talking about a freak occurrence such as a tree branch falling onto a car.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
ON the topic of road safety and the police, I get sick to death of the claim that 'there's no such thing as accidents' and that every single crash can be prevented.

Take this incident last August when two truck drivers lost their lives in tragic circumstances last August in Truro SA during a dust storm - ABC;

The crash came amid a severe weather warning, with conditions along the highway reducing visibility to about a metre, according to police.

The circumstances are still being investigated, but the state's Road Transport Association has rejected suggestions pulling over would have been the safer option, saying it could have put other road users at risk.

However, Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said while the crash was a "tragic collision" and expressed his deepest sympathies for both victims and their families, he said poor decisions were to blame.

"A dust storm does not cause vehicles to crash. It's the decisions of the drivers," Commissioner Stevens said.

"Every collision that occurs on our roads primarily a result of a bad decision by someone using a vehicle.

"In this case, those decisions related to a choice made to continue driving, or driving in a manner which was not consistent with the conditions."

"Airlines don't let pilots take-off when they can't see. If airports are fogged in, or weather conditions prevent safe flying, planes don't take off," Commissioner Stevens said.

"What makes us think we can continue to drive on our roads if visibility is down to zero?

"If zero is the extent that you have visibility, then zero is the speed you should be doing."

The families of the deceased truck drivers criticised the Police Commissioner for that statement blaming the truck drivers for what happened - because as it turns out (from a subsequent investigation) one of the trucks was forced to swerve into the path of the other truck by a motorist who had stopped on the highway (just as Commissioner Stevens said they should have done) but had not pulled fully off the road because of the lack of a shoulder. So in fact the crash was caused by a third party AND the lack of somewhere safe to pull over.

I've driven that road a fair bit to visit friends in the Riverland and its really not a very good road - I'd hazard a guess that the truck drivers may have even been looking for somewhere safe to pull over when the accident happened. For Commissioner Stevens to try and say that they caused the accident by being on the road when there was probably no other safe option at that moment was frankly disgraceful and a kick in the guts to the families of the deceased.


Ah, sorry, run that by me again...

This accident happened during a dust storm which reduced visibility to less than a metre - you couldn't see to the end of your bonnet.

The visibility was so bad a car decided to pull over and stop, but couldn't pull completely off the road. A following truck driver, in the same visibility conditions, made the choice to continue to drive. That truck driver was travelling fast enough that they couldn't stop in the distance in which they saw the stopped car, so veered onto the wrong side of the road. They collided with a truck coming the other way that had also made same decision about not stopping.

The claim is that decision by the two truck drivers not to stop was correct, because if they had stopped they might have been run into by a hypothetical following vehicle that was hypothetically travelling too fast to stop in the conditions.

Yeah, nah.

If the report as to the conditions were accurate, IMHO the police position was correct.

The following truck driver was driving too fast for the conditions - the legal requirement is that they need to be travelling slow enough to stop in the sighting distance. End of story. If there was no safe sighting distance they needed to have stopped.

The fact that there wasn't sufficient room to fully clear the road was a contributing factor, but did not, in itself, cause the accident. There could have been anything obstructing the road - including another truck travelling slowly to suit the conditions.
historian
You don't seem to understand the conditions that caused the accident. The other truck was not 'following', it was on the other side of the road and the first truck swerved to avoid a car that was not fully pulled off the road and collided with the truck coming the other way. Reports are that both trucks were driving slowly but it was still a double fatality.

The Police Commissioner was trying to say that both truck drivers were at fault when clearly there was nothing that could have been done to avoid that accident. Couldn't pull the truck over as there was no shoulder - that would have caused an accident (in fact the fatalities were CAUSED by someone who had done just that). Couldn't stop in the middle of the road as that would definitely caused an accident so they were both driving very slowly and yet the accident still happened.

Explain to me again how the truck driver was at fault? What would you have done in that situation that would have avoided the accident?
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
...and visibility wasn't a metre as described - it was more like 50-100 metres.
  historian Deputy Commissioner

Ah, sorry, run that by me again...

This accident happened during a dust storm which reduced visibility to less than a metre - you couldn't see to the end of your bonnet.

The visibility was so bad a car decided to pull over and stop, but couldn't pull completely off the road. A following truck driver, in the same visibility conditions, made the choice to continue to drive. That truck driver was travelling fast enough that they couldn't stop in the distance in which they saw the stopped car, so veered onto the wrong side of the road. They collided with a truck coming the other way that had also made same decision about not stopping.

The claim is that decision by the two truck drivers not to stop was correct, because if they had stopped they might have been run into by a hypothetical following vehicle that was hypothetically travelling too fast to stop in the conditions.

Yeah, nah.

If the report as to the conditions were accurate, IMHO the police position was correct.

The following truck driver was driving too fast for the conditions - the legal requirement is that they need to be travelling slow enough to stop in the sighting distance. End of story. If there was no safe sighting distance they needed to have stopped.

The fact that there wasn't sufficient room to fully clear the road was a contributing factor, but did not, in itself, cause the accident. There could have been anything obstructing the road - including another truck travelling slowly to suit the conditions.
You don't seem to understand the conditions that caused the accident. The other truck was not 'following', it was on the other side of the road and the first truck swerved to avoid a car that was not fully pulled off the road and collided with the truck coming the other way. Reports are that both trucks were driving slowly but it was still a double fatality.

The Police Commissioner was trying to say that both truck drivers were at fault when clearly there was nothing that could have been done to avoid that accident. Couldn't pull the truck over as there was no shoulder - that would have caused an accident (in fact the fatalities were CAUSED by someone who had done just that). Couldn't stop in the middle of the road as that would definitely caused an accident so they were both driving very slowly and yet the accident still happened.

Explain to me again how the truck driver was at fault? What would you have done in that situation that would have avoided the accident?
don_dunstan

From your description... The truck following (going in the same direction) the car swerved out to avoid the car as it had pulled to the side of the road and collided with a truck coming the other way. What you said.

And now the story changes. Visibility was 50 to 100 metres, both trucks were "going very slowly" but still the following truck was unable to stop before reaching the car and needed to swerve onto the wrong side of the road.

I don't think your description of the accident is very accurate, and I completely fail to see how you can determine - over the police investigation - that it was unavoidable. Nor do I see that you can claim that the accident was 'caused' by the driver that pulled over, nor that if the following driver had simply stopped this would have caused an accident.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Norda Fittazroy
One question; if the trucks were "going very slowly" how did anyone get killed?

Then; if the visibility was 50 to 100 metres, and the the trucks were going very slowly, there was ample opportunity for the truck coming behind the stationary car to stop and wait until the road was clear before swinging out and overtaking. Right?

Either there was not enough visibility to avoid the crash at the speeds they were going, or there was enough and the truck driver(s) messed it up.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
And now the story changes. Visibility was 50 to 100 metres, both trucks were "going very slowly" but still the following truck was unable to stop before reaching the car and needed to swerve onto the wrong side of the road.

I don't think your description of the accident is very accurate, and I completely fail to see how you can determine - over the police investigation - that it was unavoidable. Nor do I see that you can claim that the accident was 'caused' by the driver that pulled over, nor that if the following driver had simply stopped this would have caused an accident.
historian
I said nothing about 'visibility to 1 meter', go back through what I said.

Admit that you were wrong, there was no way this accident was 'avoidable'. Truck driver pulls over, can't get completely off the road - gets charged with manslaughter for killing the people behind him who couldn't avoid hitting him. Truck driver keeps going slowly trying to look for somewhere suitable to pull over, swerves to avoid a motorist not fully pulled off the road and kills himself and another truck driver.

Not an avoidable thing - completely unavoidable given the conditions of the road and the weather.

I don't understand the lack of sympathy for the truck drivers in that situation - they have an extremely difficult job and just like Commissioner Stevens you are trying to pin the blame on the driver for that terrible tragedy when the conditions at that moment in time were entirely stacked against them.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
One question; if the trucks were "going very slowly" how did anyone get killed?

Then; if the visibility was 50 to 100 metres, and the the trucks were going very slowly, there was ample opportunity for the truck coming behind the stationary car to stop and wait until the road was clear before swinging out and overtaking. Right?

Either there was not enough visibility to avoid the crash at the speeds they were going, or there was enough and the truck driver(s) messed it up.
Valvegear
Because the tonnage that they are towing behind their trucks is massive and even a low-speed collision can be deadly.

As I said to "historian", I can't believe the lack of sympathy for the truck drivers in that absolutely impossible and unpredictable situation. It's a ridiculously hard job, both of the deceased drivers were very experienced and had good records as drivers and yet you people want to somehow condemn them after their deaths (just like Commissioner Stevens) trying to say that the accident was avoidable. It wasn't.

P*ss poor narrow highway with no shoulder at all, nowhere safe to pull over + sudden unpredictable dust storm + unexpected car not fully pulled off the highway + truck coming the other way at that exact instant.

And yet somehow you both still - STILL - want to blame them.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Post-script: If you want to talk about the fact that heavy road haulage is more deadly than rail haulage then fair enough but please have an ounce of sympathy for the deceased and their families and the fact that their job hauling a massive B-double is dangerous and difficult.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Facial identification cameras already operate in Shanghai to issue red light tickets for pedestrians.
Geez, don't tell Dan Andrews that - he'll have them everywhere in no time.
As long as there not made in China like the ones over here, don and they are now being replaced....Shocked their spying on us apparently, reckon they were in the new hospital.

BigShunter.
BigShunter
I heard on the TV news (can't recall which one) that the offending cameras from the Royal Adelaide Hospital with the Chinese "back-door" were simply re-labelled and re-sold - so they're still out there somewhere waiting for the Chinese Communist Party to activate their secret spy feature.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Post-script: If you want to talk about the fact that heavy road haulage is more deadly than rail haulage then fair enough but please have an ounce of sympathy for the deceased and their families and the fact that their job hauling a massive B-double is dangerous and difficult.
"don_dunstan"
I have all the sympathy in the world for the families, but there is no escaping the facts. . . the drivers failed to drive with proper regard for the conditions. QED!
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Post-script: If you want to talk about the fact that heavy road haulage is more deadly than rail haulage then fair enough but please have an ounce of sympathy for the deceased and their families and the fact that their job hauling a massive B-double is dangerous and difficult.
I have all the sympathy in the world for the families, but there is no escaping the facts. . . the drivers failed to drive with proper regard for the conditions. QED!
Valvegear
So your decision would have been to kill motorists behind you by not properly pulling your truck off the road. Got it.

Off to prison with you, 3-5 years for manslaughter. The court says you made the wrong decision without due care for other road users - no sentence reduction on appeal.
  allan Chief Commissioner

Nope. The driver coming from behind would have been completely at fault - failing to keep a safe distance from vehicles in front.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Nope. The driver coming from behind would have been completely at fault - failing to keep a safe distance from vehicles in front.
allan
Incorrect, your vehicle was improperly pulled over and stationery - you're the one at fault even in the middle of dust storm where visibility is restricted because you were improperly parked.

I'll give you another clear example of this scenario. I once interview a tram driver who had to leave that job because of the stress of it. When we chatted about it she (yes, a lady former tram driver) told me about the dilemmas of the job including the following very frequent scenario:

You have a heavily loaded tram with lots of passengers going at a leisurely pace down the street. Suddenly an errant motorist does a U-turn in front of your tram - you glance in the saloon mirror and you see a woman with her baby out of the pram and she's not holding on to any railing whatsoever, neither are several other passengers. Do you:
  • Slam on the (very effective) brakes avoiding crashing into the car but causing the lady passenger to drop her baby onto the floor of the tram?
  • Brake only slightly so your passengers don't go A over T but you slam right into the side of the car injuring the motorist?


What's your decision?
  route14 Chief Commissioner

I know of a driver who got 98% for his driving test.  The points deducted was because he slammed track brake on when faced with an amber at South Audley St.  The comment of the examiner was that you had to consider that there could be standees onboard so if there isn't enough braking distance to stop the tram with service brake AND the path ahead is clear, you just accelerate through.  However that's when facing a signal change.  I'm sure it would be a different matter if collision was about to occur.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Norda Fittazroy
So your decision would have been to kill motorists behind you by not properly pulling your truck off the road. Got it.
Off to prison with you, 3-5 years for manslaughter. The court says you made the wrong decision without due care for other road users - no sentence reduction on appeal.
don_dunstan
Absolute nonsense; you're trying to defend the indefensible.  The statement that "your decision would have been to kill motorists behind you" is just patently absurd.The vehicles  following have to exercise due care.

Incorrect, your vehicle was improperly pulled over and stationery - you're the one at fault even in the middle of dust storm where visibility is restricted because you were improperly parked.
don_dunstan
 Just for once, leave your emotional baggage at the door and face the facts - the truck driver(s) failed to drive in accordance with the conditions. They either went where they couldn't see, or went too fast to react properly in conditions of restricted visibility.  
Nobody likes it; but that's what happened. Looking for a scapegoat isn't going to wash.
  Madjikthise Deputy Commissioner

Post-script: If you want to talk about the fact that heavy road haulage is more deadly than rail haulage then fair enough but please have an ounce of sympathy for the deceased and their families and the fact that their job hauling a massive B-double is dangerous and difficult.
I have all the sympathy in the world for the families, but there is no escaping the facts. . . the drivers failed to drive with proper regard for the conditions. QED!
So your decision would have been to kill motorists behind you by not properly pulling your truck off the road. Got it.

Off to prison with you, 3-5 years for manslaughter. The court says you made the wrong decision without due care for other road users - no sentence reduction on appeal.
don_dunstan
So the last car in a line of stopped traffic should be held responsible for anyone hitting them from behind? Yeah that sounds logical.
  historian Deputy Commissioner

Nope. The driver coming from behind would have been completely at fault - failing to keep a safe distance from vehicles in front.
Incorrect, your vehicle was improperly pulled over and stationery - you're the one at fault even in the middle of dust storm where visibility is restricted because you were improperly parked.
don_dunstan

And have the police charged the car driver involved in this accident with manslaughter? Or even any traffic infringement?
  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner


P*ss poor narrow highway with no shoulder at all, nowhere safe to pull over...
don_dunstan
That seems to me to be the root cause.

Apply the Substitution Test; how would you have reacted in the exact same circumstances, doing your best to ignore your 20:20 hindsight?
  historian Deputy Commissioner

The debate about this accident well illustrates my original point.

Again, the fundamental problem with road safety is there is no safety focussed investigation into the causes of accidents.

The police investigation is fundamentally constrained by their role and the highway rules. Their job is to apportion culpability according to the road rules. They are specifically looking for evidence that someone broke the law, and they cannot look for causes outside the law. Note that even if they feel that a law has been broken, no one will know unless a both the police and then a prosecutor decides that the evidence is sufficiently strong for a conviction. It is well known that depending on rules to avoid accidents is the least effective method of accident control

In this case there might be a coronial investigation. These can be very effective, but they are essentially a court with those inherent limitations. They can only consider information bought before the court, they don't themselves investigate. Consequently, the raw material for a coronial investigation is the police investigation - already noted to be inherently limited - and whatever information the interested parties can raise. So a third party - the family probably - will need to organise their own experts to conduct whatever investigation they can. These experts are limited because they cannot compel witnesses to give statements, nor have any right to conduct tests.

For rail, shipping, and air, there is an independent investigation into accidents by a trained accident investigator. While they do consider the rule environment, they also consider whether the rules are sufficient and appropriate. They also consider the surrounding issues: can the hazard be removed or guarded against?

The lack of a proper independent investigation is even more remarkable when you consider that the ATSB investigates all the way down to crashes of light planes where the only death is that of the pilot - a much less serious accident that the one beind debated here.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Chris, a mate of mine, owns and operates a Panel Shop about 200 metres from my place. His workshop is always full, and he knows he will never go broke.
His reason? . . . the percentage of motorists who drive as though nothing can possibly go wrong.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Absolute nonsense; you're trying to defend the indefensible.  The statement that "your decision would have been to kill motorists behind you" is just patently absurd.The vehicles following have to exercise due care.
Valvegear
No, that doesn't follow. You can't stop your truck because you can't get it fully off the carriageway - YOU are the one responsible for killing the people behind you, even in a dust storm with limited visibility if you are the one with your vehicle still partially in the carriageway then YOU are the one responsible.
Just for once, leave your emotional baggage at the door and face the facts - the truck driver(s) failed to drive in accordance with the conditions. They either went where they couldn't see, or went too fast to react properly in conditions of restricted visibility. Nobody likes it; but that's what happened. Looking for a scapegoat isn't going to wash.
Valvegear
I'm not looking for a scapegoat, I'm doing the opposite of what the police said and I'm saying that the situations was not in any way avoidable.

You don't even know what you're arguing any more.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Post-script: If you want to talk about the fact that heavy road haulage is more deadly than rail haulage then fair enough but please have an ounce of sympathy for the deceased and their families and the fact that their job hauling a massive B-double is dangerous and difficult.
I have all the sympathy in the world for the families, but there is no escaping the facts. . . the drivers failed to drive with proper regard for the conditions. QED!
So your decision would have been to kill motorists behind you by not properly pulling your truck off the road. Got it.

Off to prison with you, 3-5 years for manslaughter. The court says you made the wrong decision without due care for other road users - no sentence reduction on appeal.
So the last car in a line of stopped traffic should be held responsible for anyone hitting them from behind? Yeah that sounds logical.
Madjikthise
In a dust storm with limited visibility you're travelling slowly driving according to the conditions - suddenly a stationary truck half on/half off the carriageway looms ahead of you. You brake but can't avoid hitting it even at reduced speed.

Who is responsible? Take your time and have a good think before you answer.

I notice that nobody wants to touch the tram driver's dilemma either. The answer to that one is the you're going to go to court either way and you'll possibly lose your job even though that scenario presented no safe option for you to react.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
I know of a driver who got 98% for his driving test.  The points deducted was because he slammed track brake on when faced with an amber at South Audley St.  The comment of the examiner was that you had to consider that there could be standees onboard so if there isn't enough braking distance to stop the tram with service brake AND the path ahead is clear, you just accelerate through.  However that's when facing a signal change.  I'm sure it would be a different matter if collision was about to occur.
route14
As I just posted, in the situation I spelled out you will either injure your passengers OR the motorist who cut you off. You're off to court either way.

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