Friday, 18 September 2020

"Driver 'on his first day' rips roof off double decker school bus"

From The Daily Mail:

A driver on 'his first day,' ripped the roof off a double-decker school bus by smashing into a railway bridge - despite pupils' warning shouts, in a crash that has left three children in hospital with serious injuries and 13 more needing treatment.

Around 70 pupils were on board the Stagecoach bus, heading towards Henry Beaufort School, in Winchester, when its roof collided with a bridge just after 8am...

I enjoy a 'bus hits bridge' story as much as the next man, but not when people are seriously hurt. 'Car hits house' stories are inherently not funny.

I really don't get it. All you need is the low tech solution of setting up a gantry before the entrance to the bridge or tunnel (or car park etc) and dangling chains from it so that the ends dangle slightly lower than the maximum height of the bridge or tunnel. The high vehicle hits those first and hopefully the driver gets the message, passengers can scream in good time etc.

There are other more sophisticated warning systems, as explained in this article, but the dangling chains seem to be cheapest and best.


Sobers said...

There's one of these low rail bridges near me, gets hit regularly. Fortunately mostly vans because its very low, so even the dopiest bus and HGV drivers would realise they wouldn't fit. but even so it disrupts the railway as the bridge has to be checked each time. And I came to the same conclusion you have - best solution is a gantry about 50 yards before with heavy chain dangling at the same height as the bridge. If you go through it with a high vehicle it'll make a terrible noise, and you'll stop. And realise that you need to turn around.

For the life of me I don't get why no-one in any position of authority over these things can't see the same. Its almost as if there's some advantage to them for people to keep hitting the bridges. Maybe it keeps such people in jobs, so they have no actual incentive to stop the problem.

DCBain said...

The low railway bridge outside Retford on the way to Gainsborough has had dangling chains for years. Yes, some dimwits still manage not to take the hint!

Bayard said...

Lots of bridge mayhem here
Note that the railway company has erected a girder structure that protects the actual bridge getting hit, also warning lights, which drivers seem to blithely ignore.

Mark Wadsworth said...

S, DCB, B, thanks for comments.

Yes, it appears whatever safety stuff you install, idiots will still hit the bridge. We have to accept that. But if the safety stuff significantly reduce the number of hits, then that's still a worthy aim.