Crane speed limits considered
THE inquest into the death of a Queensland mother and her six-year-old son has resulted in a call for nationwide changes to the regulation of special purpose vehicles.
Sam Leonardi and son Samuel lost their lives in September 2013 when an articulated crane collided with their ute.
In reviewing the tragic event in October, coroner John Hutton made a number of recommendations in the hope of avoiding similar events.
Notably Mr Hutton recommended a speed restriction of 60km/h on all mobile articulated steering cranes and restricted access to cranes on roads and motorways where speed restrictions could be unsafe.
Further exploration into stability control mechanisms and lateral stability testing was also recommended.
The report, which cited the regulator’s willingness to participate, was critical of the NHVR, criticising previous indications to delay action on speed changes until better quality information was obtained.
“The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator seems to be of the view that if it cannot be statistically demonstrated that mobile articulated steering cranes have historically caused more fatalities on the roads compared to other heavy vehicles, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator will not take action to limit their speed,” the coroner wrote.
In response, NHVR chief executive Sal Petroccitto welcomed a number of proposed recommendations, yet held out on the speed limitation.
“We welcome the coroner’s adoption of our recommendation for a new separate licence class for frame steer vehicles and will write to the National Transport Commission on implementing this recommendation,” he said.
“We are still examining as a matter of urgency the recommendations relating to speed limiting and testing of each make and model of crane.”
POSITIVE REACTION: John Leonardi, who lost his wife and son in the fatal crash, has welcomed coroner John Hutton’s findings and recommendations.