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Yet another crash in the Burnley tunnel involving trucks.

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by smee, May 28, 2008.

  1. nice big pile up.
    Thankfully no one was seriously hurt and no Motorcyclists involved.
    Brendan Roberts
    May 28, 2008 11:02am
    THE Burnley Tunnel has re-opened after a multi-car pile-up that left vehicles trapped and caused traffic chaos.
    Eight vehicles were involved in the incident, including two trucks, just after 10am.
    One person suffered minor neck and back injuries.
    Some vehicles were trapped inside as emergency services rushed to help those involved.
    According to police, the crash occurred in the centre lane after two trucks collided with five cars that had slowed down.
    One of the trucks was a sugar truck, which had spilled its load in the tunnel.
    One witness, speaking on 3AW radio said the crash appeared to follow a lane closure.
    "Everyone appeared to be slowing down, and the truck didn't, he pulled out into another truck which caused a concertina of all the other cars."
    Authorities reopened one lane in the tunnel just after 11.30am.
    The closure caused lengthy delays, with citybound traffic at one stage banked up onto the West Gate Bridge.
    A maintenance crew was at the scene and the right hand lane of the Domain Tunnel was also closed to enable workers to access the accident scene, CityLink spokeman Craig Little said.

  2. On Nein News tonight they said that it involved "lane changing" in a way that this could've been the root cause of the crash.

    From what I could see, going on what the "witnesses" said, what I've read and heard in the media, that the left lane was closed. A driver decided at the last minute to merge right, hitting a car in the middle lane and thus precipitating the mess that followed.

    Now, instead of revisiting the "lane change ban", how about they look at why the driver didn't notice that the lane ahead of him was closed. Was he simply not paying attention? Or was it somehow obscured so that at the last minute he or she saw the merging witches hats?

    What I've also noticed on numerous occasions is that often when a lane closure is ahead and the traffic in that lane has to merge with other traffic, often the drivers in the clear lane will simply ignore peoples' requests to merge (usually indicated by peoples' use of blinkers to signal their attention) because they don't want to give up their spot in the queue, so to speak.

    So, did this happen here? Or did the driver simply try to barge his or her way into the next lane without indicating, or looking, because of panic or whatever?

    to me, that's the root cause that needs looking at. Secondary factors are the drivers behind that were in all likelihood travelling too close to the vehicle in front so they were unable to react in time to avoid a collision.

    Or perhaps a car or two moved in front of the trucks and removed their buffer for braking, which we see all the time when approaching traffic lights.

    Lots of reasons could be the caus of this. Don't just blame lane changing. As it's gonna happen again if they do put a lane changing ban in place and they block off lanes for maintenance.

    One option would be to block the entire lane from a few hundred metres before the entrance to the tunnels. Of course, the retraining of drivers will never, ever enter in the equation, will it?
  3. Or were they using it to try and cut in front of as many vehicles as possible - expecting the size of their truck to intimidate others into letting them in. Seems to be common practice for trucks (and 4wds) whenever a lane's closed in Melbourne.
  4. Are you talking about the truck drivers MJ?
    Article claims 2 trucks collided when one didn't slow down creating a pileup.
  5. had the crash ocurred in the open air, it wouldn't even be newsworthy. most of the cars were drivable, and from the news, cutting all the spin and bs, seems like an open/shut case of an idiot driver fcuking up in heavy congestion... I know, I know, it could have been worse, there might have been a woman with a pram crossing the tunnel, etc etc
  6. Exactly.
  7. It wasn't a biggie and neither was the one last year in which two people died as a matter of fact being in the tunnel minimised the damage as a result of the fire with the deluge suppression system keeping it under control until the MFB arrived to extinguish it.

    These sort of crashes happen EVERY DAY all around Melbourne but because it happened in the tunnel it made the News.

    The bigger issue is the access problems the emergency services had getting to the crash scene. The photo's suggest the tunel was blocked so why didn't they get sent in from the Burnley end. No doubt there will be a review of the collision by the relevant authorities to look into this so we wait and see if anything comes out of it.

    The Calder Freeway in Keilor is currently being widened to 3 lanes by removing the emergency lane and lowering the speed limit to 80km/h just like the tunnels BUT at least for the majority of it there is the grass median & sides to give a bit more space in an emergency (the Maribynong River & Green Gully Bridges will be a bit tight though).
  8. Very, VERY common cause of collisions (and road rage) in Melbourne. It seems to me to be a peculiarly Melbourne behaviour, too. Everyone HATES the arrogant pr*ck that shoots up to the left hand side to gain some places and then expects to be let in. RH laner gets offended and defensive and aggression follows. Unfortunately, it also applies to simpletons who are just too dumb to look far enough ahead to see the need to merge right coming towards them.

    I seem to remember a proposal a few years ago to make it mandatory to give way to a vehicle trying to change lanes. On the face of it it seemed like it might be a solution, but the trouble is it could result in exactly the kind of incident that happened here - vehicle changes lanes abruptly, and following driver can't stop in time.
  9. Reminds me of The Simpsons episode where Homer gets all the sugar from the sugar truck

  10. It could also give drivers an excuse when they move into a lane already being used by a motorcycle they didn't see - ie "but officer I was just changing lanes and the bike failed to give way and hit me. I think they might have been speeding too".
  12. I don't use the tunnels much, but the scariest thing aboout it for me is when they close a lane. There is not enough warning for casual users, and changing lane in time is usually difficult.

    Personally I think that tunnel lanes should never, ever be closed using signs at the tunnel entrance or inside the tunnel. As MJT suggests, if maintenance really is urgently required, they should close the lane well outside the tunnel, and keep it closed all the way through the tunnel.

    Why on earth the designers and managers couldn't work this out I don't know. I have never had trouble in Sydney's tunnels. Lane changes are as easy as on any open road. I haven't seen lane closures in them, when I have used them. Why can't Victoria get it right?
  13. I agree, though on the Domain side heading West they advise of a tunnel lane closure a kilometre or two before the tunnel even starts, 'n "close" that lane outside the tunnel accordingly... though it's usually just a signposted closure, never traffic cones.

    Can't remember if that happens on the Burnley eastbound side or not... I never encountered lane closures heading East when I lived in Melb.

  14. Warning signs on the westgate approach to the Burnley well in advance.
  15. I'm not sure. The article isn't that clear. Whatever, someone merged right and either ploughed into someone else, forcing traffic behind to brake, or maybe someone moved in front of a truck, giving it no room to brake when the traffic slowed.

    Whatever, my point is, don't blame lane changing as the sole reason for this prang. It's not. It's more than just that.
  16. The warning signs may be there, but for myself, as a casual (occassional) user, they haven't been sufficient in the past. I don't recall the details, but they can't have been good enough for me to know when I needed to change lane, in order to avoid being stuck.

    Maybe it is just because the regulars move over early, and didn't leave me space to get over at the same time, so I stayed in the lane until I could find a gap.

    It doesn't matter why or how anyway. What matters is that I, and therefore probably others, found that there was inadequate warning for lane closures. Maybe the signs are too early?
  17. Traffic coming off the Westgate into the Burnley Tunnel (east bound) occupy the right and centre lanes once they get into the tunnel, traffic entering the tunnel from Kingsway or Power Street enter into the left lane and if it's closed MUST merge over to the centre lane into the traffic off the Westgate.

    Not to mention the reverse occuring at the Burley Street exit as you leave the tunnel.
  18. i'd hate to be the foreman/supervisor that was in charge of the Traffic Control Plan used to install the lane closure. they would be getting severely grilled right now, i reckon.
    ATEoTD, it is up to them to explain why the truck wasn't adequately warned of the closure/merge taper, and why their speed was not slowed enough prior to avoid an incident. this is regardless of how much driver error was involved :!:

    been there, done that.