Motor Transport Avoid Bridge Strikes

E-learning specialist Road Skills Online has launched a free module to help fleet operators and drivers avoid bridge strikes.

The Bridge Strike Toolbox Talk is available 24/7 from any PC or mobile device. Those who register are taken through a quiz to prove they are up to date on the latest training.

RSO explained that negligence and poor training are often cited as the main cause of bridge strikes and that traffic commissioners now expect drivers, operators and transport managers to make use of the guidance that is publicly available on how to avoid them.

Offending drivers can expect to be called to a hearing and may face a period of suspension. The Traffic Commissioner will also consider the culpability of the operator and transport manager and they may be called to attend a public inquiry.

Closures, delays and repairs from bridge strikes cost Network Rail in excess of £20m a year and the company is keen to see all operators minimise the risk to the public, improve driver safety and reduce insurance claims.

“It has been clear for some time that the Traffic Commissioners' office has got frustrated with the lack of progress that hauliers, in particular, are making in reducing the incidence of bridge strikes," said RSO MD David Somers. "We have a methodology and approach, which is proven to make a difference in awareness and professional development, so I felt it was incumbent on us to step in.”

Somers developed a Professional Development Plan for his drivers as an owner operator and over the last 20 years has been a champion for their use across all transport sectors and disciplines.

“Personal Development Programmes utilising ‘bite sized learning’ are now recognised by training professionals to have the biggest impact on retained learning and delivering clear changes in driving behaviour,” he added.

“I felt so strongly that all of our sector needed a better set of tools to support driver development and give operators a way of both developing and retaining key team members that I created Road Skills Online and I am delighted today that we can offer something back to an industry that has given me so much.”

Commented Lesley O’Brien OBE FCILT, Freightlink Europe, Freight People, Freight Train: "The free Bridge Strike Toolbox Talk currently offered by Road Skills Online is a not to be missed offer and one which we shall be promoting throughout the Freight People Community and at the Freight People forum, live at this year’s TiP-Ex Tank-Ex, hosted by Road Transport Media – why wouldn’t you take advantage of this amazing offer?”

Added Wincanton group HSEQ director Dean Clamp: "We are strong supporters of Network Rail’s initiative to raise awareness of bridge strikes and their work with the transport industry to reduce incidents. As accidents are by their nature unplanned, a bridge strike can always be avoided and innovative tools, such as the RSO Toolbox Talk for Bridge Strikes, are a welcome intervention to support us all on our road to continuous improvement.”