1. The Land Transport Authority (LTA) will conduct a trial along Upper Bukit Timah Road to test if a warning system can help to alert drivers of over-height vehicles so that they can take necessary measures to avoid hitting overhead road structures with a 4.5m clearance, such as pedestrian overhead bridges and gantry signs.
2. The new system should be able to detect an approaching over-height vehicle and display a visual warning to warn the driver that his vehicle may hit the structure. LTA is inviting contractors with the relevant expertise to develop such a system.
3. This one year trial is expected to start in the first quarter of 2013 along Upper Bukit Timah Road before the former KTM railway bridge.
4. While incidents involving over-height vehicles hitting overhead structures are relatively low, a damaged overhead road structure can pose significant danger to the vehicle drivers as well other road users. Since 2009, there were 15 cases of overhead road structures hit by vehicles that go over the height limit. Many of these incidents can be prevented as they were caused by drivers who forget to retract the cranes on their lorries before driving off.
5. Similar warning systems have been used in cities such as Perth, Australia and in Virginia and New Jersey, USA.
Enforcement and public education effort
6. This trial will complement LTA’s existing enforcement and public education effort. Besides enforcement, LTA carries out public education through the distribution of brochure and stickers to remind drivers of heavy vehicles to retract their machinery when on the road.
7. Those found guilty of hitting road structures will be fined a maximum of $5,000 or can be jailed for up to two years. Apart from the penalty, the owner or driver of the vehicle will also have to pay for the repairs of the damaged road structure.
8. It is also an offence to drive a vehicle exceeding 4.5m in height without a police or auxiliary police escort. Those found guilty can be jailed for at least a year. The maximum penalty for this offence is three years’ jail and a $2,000 fine.