The NSW Government has announced that fines for drivers of over height trucks hitting tunnels will be increased to 12 times its current amount and the Government will convene a special Tunnels Taskforce to find ways of eliminating occurrences.
On 1 August 2010, the Government will increase the fine to $1776 from the current $141 and the offence will incur the loss of six demerit points.
The Tunnels Taskforce will include experts from the RTA, motorway and tunnel operators, the NRMA and the freight industry who will compile a report to be tabled in August that will consider:
• Technological and infrastructure measures such as dangle bars, barriers and other potential early warning signals;
• legislative options, including whether the current road rules and relevant penalties are in line with community expectations;
• educational programs to raise awareness of tunnel heights, penalties, safety precautions and alternative routes; and
• diversionary options for traffic flow in the event of a truck striking a tunnel.
New South Wales has experienced many instances of over height trucks striking tunnels causing extensive damage and interrupting traffic flow.