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(FOX6Now)   Australia's idea to prevent oversize trucks from crashing into bridges and tunnels is all wet   (fox6now.com) divider line 78
    More: Cool, Australia, stop signs  
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10693 clicks; posted to Main » on 15 May 2013 at 11:51 AM (48 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-05-15 03:40:02 PM

remus: DON.MAC: doglover: That's a cool piece of tech, but would it kill them to just put up wooden polls at the right height. If your vehicle starts hitting poles, you'll stop.

Then they knock off the poles into cars and sometimes it kills people.

Obvious solution:  Put up fricken lasers to cut the excess tops off the trucks before they get to the overpass.


That's a GREAT idea, especially for trucks carrying acetone, petroleum, natural gas, or other inflammable petroleum products! Especially if the overpass or tunnel is near a children's school, nursing home or hospital!

///not
 
2013-05-15 03:46:19 PM

BStorm: Throwing a giant STOP sign right in front of them is somewhat harder to ignore.


I'd prefer a giant stop sign that didn't suddenly appear in a terrifying way that also reduces traction and increases stopping time.
 
2013-05-15 03:51:01 PM

Mr Guy: BStorm: Throwing a giant STOP sign right in front of them is somewhat harder to ignore.

I'd prefer a giant stop sign that didn't suddenly appear in a terrifying way that also reduces traction and increases stopping time.


You forgot to mention that the sign is actually inside the tunnel.
 
2013-05-15 04:01:09 PM

traylor: Mr Guy: BStorm: Throwing a giant STOP sign right in front of them is somewhat harder to ignore.

I'd prefer a giant stop sign that didn't suddenly appear in a terrifying way that also reduces traction and increases stopping time.

You forgot to mention that the sign is actually inside the tunnel.


You know, I didn't notice how far in it was until just now.  I really don't see how anyone who doesn't notice all the OTHER warns is going to stop safely with this.  I have trouble believing this won't end with jackknifing trucks.  I also think a warning for the person BEHIND the person ignoring the signs is in order.  Hey, the person in front of you is about to slam on their brakes because we're going to blind them with water.

//Has driving out of a tunnel on PA turnpike into a wall of rainwater and can honestly say it was one of the scariest driving experiences of my life.
 
2013-05-15 04:02:07 PM

FrancoFile: doosh: I've seen metal poles sticking out sideways in dayglo yellow green at the warning height. Much lower tech, yes, but it costs a lot less too and the trucker gets stopped cold before he causes the overpass any damage.

Did you watch the video?

Lots of flashing overhead signs, bumpers hanging over the lanes, etc.  This is the last-ditch "and this time we mean it" sign.


No no. I don't mean swivel signs. I mean solid metal arms made of metal that would easily slice through the windshield and cut yo' head off kind of poles.
 
2013-05-15 04:07:03 PM

doosh: FrancoFile: doosh: I've seen metal poles sticking out sideways in dayglo yellow green at the warning height. Much lower tech, yes, but it costs a lot less too and the trucker gets stopped cold before he causes the overpass any damage.

Did you watch the video?

Lots of flashing overhead signs, bumpers hanging over the lanes, etc.  This is the last-ditch "and this time we mean it" sign.

No no. I don't mean swivel signs. I mean solid metal arms made of metal that would easily slice through the windshield and cut yo' head off kind of poles.


You know what I think would be better?  Pop up rumble strips.
 
2013-05-15 04:15:35 PM

Mr Guy: doosh: FrancoFile: 
You know what I think would be better?  Pop up rumble strips.


Too slow too take effect.
 
2013-05-15 04:26:24 PM

Eps05: As a truck driver these threads always amuse me. Durr hurr moar trains. Nevermind the logistical impossibility of that idea!

BTW I took a 5 month course to become one. But most places train you for a month top.


Which month of the curriculum did they finally cover reading and obeying highway signs?
 
2013-05-15 04:34:28 PM

doosh: Mr Guy: doosh: FrancoFile: 
You know what I think would be better?  Pop up rumble strips.

Too slow too take effect.


Then you aren't leading the trucks far enough.  Four or five sets of strips over a hundred yards is plenty fast enough.
 
2013-05-15 04:36:09 PM

traylor: Mr Guy: BStorm: Throwing a giant STOP sign right in front of them is somewhat harder to ignore.

I'd prefer a giant stop sign that didn't suddenly appear in a terrifying way that also reduces traction and increases stopping time.

You forgot to mention that the sign is actually inside the tunnel.


If either of you had bothered to actually watch the video and pay attention you'd see that the sign was NOT inside the tunnel, it was at the entrance, which is the earliest feasible location to place it in order to reduce the problem of water on the roadway.

That's brings up the second point: the water is dropped straight down, not sprayed all over the roadway like you seem to imply. There appears to be a grate at the point of the water drop as well which would further minimize the amount of water spashed on the road, so clearly they've taken that into consideration. If the truck is going too fast to stop before getting to the water itself, then they were going to hit the tunnel roof regardless of how wet or dry the road happened to be.

I particularly wanted to punch the guy from the ATA who whined about infrastructure not being designed in consultation with the heavy vehicle manufacturers, as if the problem of drivers improperly loading their vehicles or not paying attention to warnings is the fault of the engineers who originally built the roads years or even decades ago. At some point the drivers have to be responsible for what they're doing.. no amount of safeguards or meetings with industry members are going to prevent a determined idiot from doing idiotic things.
 
2013-05-15 04:40:26 PM

BStorm: That's brings up the second point: the water is dropped straight down, not sprayed all over the roadway like you seem to imply. There appears to be a grate at the point of the water drop as well which would further minimize the amount of water spashed on the road, so clearly they've taken that into consideration. If the truck is going too fast to stop before getting to the water itself, then they were going to hit the tunnel roof regardless of how wet or dry the road happened to be.


I have no doubt they INTEND to take it into consideration, but that's the problem.  It really doesn't look effective.  The demo person was going slow and watching for it, and able to stop safely.  The person they are actually trying to do something about, the person who ignores the signs, is going to get a blinding wall of water just in time to slam into the top anyway, and too late to avoid needing to stop traffic and back everyone out of their way.

Meanwhile, water dumping into a grate DOES spray all over the roadway, especially when it's being dropping in a curtain in front of a tunnel mouth that channels airflow directly across it.  You simply can't have it all disappear into a grate.  Anytime this triggers, it's going to drench the roadway for thirty to forty feet, and be tracked into the tunnel.  That's non-ideal.
 
2013-05-15 04:41:54 PM
Also, what happens if a truck is directly behind another vehicle?  Does it just not warn the truck, or does it dump a ton of water on the vehicle in front of them, regardless?
 
2013-05-15 04:47:22 PM

Mr Guy: doosh: Mr Guy: doosh: FrancoFile: 
You know what I think would be better?  Pop up rumble strips.

Too slow too take effect.

Then you aren't leading the trucks far enough.  Four or five sets of strips over a hundred yards is plenty fast enough.


And what if there are cars in front/back, hm?
 
2013-05-15 04:48:10 PM
I like how they only give him a ticket and send him on his way.  "Carry on doing the potentially dangerous job at which you just completely failed."
 
2013-05-15 05:00:03 PM
should be "regular sized trucks"
tho generally anything carrying too much load to go through is illegally over-weight anyway
 
2013-05-15 05:00:53 PM
Put a huge metal I-beam 'bridge' across roads just prior to a low tunnels or bridges. It should be at exactly the same height as the tunnel or bridge. Also have the usual warning lights, klaxons and hanging chains just before the I-beam of destruction.

If the driver doesn't stop for the warning lights, ignores buzzers and the hanging chains scraping across the top of his truck, the I-beam, not the bridge or tunnel will suck up the damage.

The driver in the story above got a 'warning' for missing all the prior alerts. Truck drivers who ignore lights, klaxons and chains have no business driving a semi, whether they actually hit the bridge or not. It's not a small error. Truck drivers who do this need to be forced into another line of work.
 
2013-05-15 05:05:53 PM
Truckers are not the sharpest crayons in the box.
 
2013-05-15 05:06:43 PM
A troll face in that would look way cool. Or maybe the Joker?
 
2013-05-15 05:41:56 PM
Truck driver here too.  (Phi Beta Kappa too, for those smartasses who look down on the people who you basically depend on for pretty much every aspect of modern life; I do it because I enjoy it far more than being a douche in a cubicle)

Why does this happen?  A big part is inexperienced drivers following the free car GPS that comes on the phone.  And it's really tempting to use it too.  Finding pickup and delivery locations in an unfamiliar city can be hard.  Hopefully you've planned ahead and called the client and worked everything out on a map in advance, but things can and do go wrong.

I took a wrong turn trying to get to a delivery in Queens once while hauling a big 53' trailer that had not even been thought of when they were laying out the city; fortunately some very friendly and helpful NYC drivers on the CB helped me out (and I say that without any sarcasm at all...you guys are great!).

The problem is the car GPS works just fine in 98% of cases, meaning it's reliable enough most of the time.  But those 2% will really mess you up.  That's where you have to watch carefully for warning signs and truck routes.  And if you're inexperienced and so concentrating on a bunch of things demanding your attention, and trying to navigate, and worried about arriving on time, you'd be surprised how easy it is to miss a big yellow sign.

Hell, I was running down I-25 through Denver yesterday and had a car almost change lanes right into my big huge 80,000 lb monstrosity.  Apparently he didn't notice that I was there.  So you all can fail to see some pretty big warning signs too.

There are truck GPS units available, but they tend to be very expensive. And the problem is that the people who need them most, recent trucking school graduates, are usually pretty hard up for cash, and they're just trying to buy the basic stuff they need to survive, like food or tools, for the first couple weeks.  A GPS unit is pretty far down the list of stuff that you get precisely because that car GPS on your phone is mostly reliable.

Honestly, the best possible thing would be for Google to come up with a free truck GPS system, just like they have for cars, transit and bikes that will route you around the hazards like those tunnels and won't give you directions telling you to do things like make U-turns.
 
2013-05-15 05:56:31 PM

Cup Check: ZAZ: How hard is it to just standardize these hights? Trucks can't be over X feet tall, all overpasses must be at least Y feet high... Just seems like common sense...

In America we have a standard big truck height, 14 feet. Overpasses are supposed to have 14 feet 6 inches clearance when new, or 16 feet on the Interstate system. (The six inches allows room to add a new layer of pavement.) Many bridges are older than the uniform height rules.

Simple solution. Just ban big rigs, make companies deliver their goods by rail. Rail companies will prosper, traffic congestion will ease in urban centers. Win/win for everyone


And just how does your beer, chicken wings and barbque sauce get from the rail yard to your grocery store? Not to mention all of the manufacturers who are not located on a rail line. If you bought it, a truck brought it. Nothing in this country gets to it's intended market without a truck being involved at some point. AND let's not forget that wonderful interstate system you drive on to work, vacation etc. It was initially y thought of to move the military and freight quickly from point A to point B. /end rant
 
2013-05-15 06:02:40 PM

Mr Guy: BStorm: That's brings up the second point: the water is dropped straight down, not sprayed all over the roadway like you seem to imply. There appears to be a grate at the point of the water drop as well which would further minimize the amount of water spashed on the road, so clearly they've taken that into consideration. If the truck is going too fast to stop before getting to the water itself, then they were going to hit the tunnel roof regardless of how wet or dry the road happened to be.

I have no doubt they INTEND to take it into consideration, but that's the problem.  It really doesn't look effective.  The demo person was going slow and watching for it, and able to stop safely.  The person they are actually trying to do something about, the person who ignores the signs, is going to get a blinding wall of water just in time to slam into the top anyway, and too late to avoid needing to stop traffic and back everyone out of their way.

Meanwhile, water dumping into a grate DOES spray all over the roadway, especially when it's being dropping in a curtain in front of a tunnel mouth that channels airflow directly across it.  You simply can't have it all disappear into a grate.  Anytime this triggers, it's going to drench the roadway for thirty to forty feet, and be tracked into the tunnel.  That's non-ideal.


What video were you watching? The first example was no 'demo person'. That was a video of the system in action catching someone who wasn't paying attention to the other warning signs, or at best didn't notice them until so late that it triggered the system.

The in-car image was clearly a demo in a different vehicle, considering the angle of the video was taken from a much lower height, but that doesn't make the first example any less valid.

Most of these types of accidents are due to the driver just not realizing their load is too tall as opposed to being deliberately reckless. If those drivers can be warned in time to prevent a worst-case scenario then mission accomplished. If a driver is going too fast or is too zoned out to notice the last-ditch sign then a blinding wall of water is the least of their problems.

The water drop looks to be similar to the systems used at gravel/sand pits to water down trucks that are leaving in order to help keep dust down. The spray on the ground isn't that widespread even without having a grate for most of the water to fall directly through and it certainly doesn't "drench the roadway for thirty to forty feet".

The tunnel mouth supposedly channeling airflow doesn't change things much either unless there's already fairly high winds to begin with.. the presence of a tunnel doesn't generate high wind speeds all by itself. On top of that the water drop isn't continuous, it's momentary, so any water spray blown away by the wind would be negligible and most likely would evaporate rather quickly, especially once traffic begins driving over it again. Even on rainy days it's pretty unlikely for there to be enough standing water to cause an accident on a road that has proper drainage to begin with, and have you ever looked at a busy road during a light drizzle? Chances are there will be lighter 'tracks' where the tires of most of the cars have helped evaporate the moisture, even if it's still drizzling.

Mr Guy: Also, what happens if a truck is directly behind another vehicle?  Does it just not warn the truck, or does it dump a ton of water on the vehicle in front of them, regardless?


If there's a vehicle in front of the truck and the driver doesn't notice the warnings and bring their vehicle to a halt then that's a different problem. If the front vehicle DOES see the STOP warnings and tries to stop but gets hit by the inattentive truck driver, that's still irrelevant to the effectiveness of the specific system in question, since the same thing could happen at a signal light or a stop sign or even with the already in-place warning system.

It seems your primary concern is the possibility of someone getting a light drizzle of water on their car unexpectedly and having an accident themselves. If the bright flashing STOP signs aren't enough to get a driver to pay attention to what is going on around them, then that's their fault. And a competent driver who is being duly cautious is unlikely to be so surprised by a little water that they're going to suddenly panic and send themselves into a wall or flip their car over. It would take a very unlikely combination of extreme carelessness, bad luck, and even worse timing to result in anything more dangerous than a momentary free car wash.
 
2013-05-15 06:03:13 PM

Honest Bender: How hard is it to just standardize these hights? Trucks can't be over X feet tall, all overpasses must be at least Y feet high...  Just seems like common sense...


FrancoFile's 19th Law:  Any time someone asks a question starting with "How hard is it", it's very hard.
 
2013-05-15 06:06:26 PM

Precision Boobery: I like how they only give him a ticket and send him on his way.  "Carry on doing the potentially dangerous job at which you just completely failed."


Eh, that's more than we do to bankers.
 
2013-05-15 06:11:24 PM

yet_another_wumpus: fzumrk: Abe Vigoda's Ghost: Cup Check: Simple solution. Just ban big rigs, make companies deliver their goods by rail. Rail companies will prosper, traffic congestion will ease in urban centers. Win/win for everyone

And how do you propose that we move merchandise from the freight yards to the stores?

Easy, just build everything along rail corridors.  They can throw the stuff off the train as they go by.

Come on, think outside the box.  Teleportation, bicycle courier, bucket brigade all don't require building all commercial and residential buildings next to a rail line.


I'm off to the patent office, I have an idea for stuffing carrier pigeons into pneumatic tubes...
 
2013-05-15 11:25:56 PM
That's pretty badass.
 
2013-05-15 11:46:21 PM
Oh noes!! It gets the road wet!  (even though it's a rare event that only happens when an extremely negligent driver ignores all other warnings.  And the road will be blocked from all other traffic anyways while the truck gets out of there)

On a similar note, it's really hard to steer when airbags go off, so they're a bad idea.
 
2013-05-16 08:36:29 AM

BStorm: It seems your primary concern is the possibility of someone getting a light drizzle of water on their car unexpectedly and having an accident themselves.


It seems likely to me you've never actually driven into a tight tunnel entrance or out of one into a wall of water, with normal rain, let alone an unexpected one.
 
2013-05-16 12:03:48 PM

Mr Guy: Has driving out of a tunnel on PA turnpike into a wall of rainwater and can honestly say it was one of the scariest driving experiences of my life.


Mine is also water related, though not tunnel related. I was on an interstate, and it was pouring rain and an 18-wheeler passed me. The water the wheels kicked up gave me literally zero visibility for several seconds going at highway speeds.

I got off at the next exit and took a different route because I was almost home anyway.

/That was already a disconcerting drive as my car developed a bad wheel bearing a few hundred miles from home, and the least unpalatable option to me was to drive home because the alternative would have been to wait a day or two for a replacement to be shipped to where I was. So I spent that drive hoping that my wheel wouldn't seize and send me into a truck in the next lane.
//Which is why I was driving a bit slower than usual, and why the 18-wheeler was passing me in the first place

Mr Guy: It seems likely to me you've never actually driven into a tight tunnel entrance or out of one into a wall of water, with normal rain, let alone an unexpected one.


Remember, the water sign is an alternative to  crashing into the tunnel. It's pretty easy to be safer than that. :-) As others have said, in another post you said "the demo driver was going slowly enough to stop" or something like that, but it wasn't a demo driver, that was an actual dumbass truck driver.
 
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