Dangerous Goods a no-go for Northbridge Tunnel

Road block targets heavy vehicles using the Northbridge Tunnel
Date: Thursday, 19 November 2015

An incident that injured 21 people in a Korean tunnel last month was a powerful reminder of the risks dangerous goods can present to road users.

A truck was travelling through the Sangju tunnel near the city of Changwon when it crashed causing its load of paint thinner to spill and ignite.

Department of Mines and Petroleum Principal Dangerous Goods Officer Peter Xanthis said the dramatic footage was an example of what can happen when dangerous goods and confined spaces combine.

“This is why the department and other agencies continue to focus on vehicles using the Northbridge Tunnel,” Mr Xanthis said.

Late last month Dangerous Goods officers from DMP took part in a mutli-agency road block targeting vehicles using the Northbridge Tunnel.

“We were targeting drivers possibly transporting dangerous goods through the tunnel,” Mr Xanthis said.
“The team stopped and searched more than 50 vehicles to check if there were any dangerous goods being transported.

“I am pleased to say that there were no dangerous goods breaches found during the operation.”

Mr Xanthis said the department has conducted a number of similar operations in the past 18 months.

“This was the fourth time we focussed specifically on the Northbridge Tunnel, and it was the first time we haven’t had any dangerous goods breaches,” he said.

“I think it’s an indication that most people and companies are doing the right thing.

WA Police, Main Roads transport inspectors and Department of Transport vehicle examiners all took part in the road block.

Mr Xanthis said it was an example of a whole-of-government approach to road safety.

“It’s a good training exercise for everybody involved in these operations. You learn about the roles of different agencies,” he said.

“It is also an opportunity for multiple agencies to look at vehicles during a single stop.

“It’s more efficient for the agencies involved and also for the drivers.”