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Bridge strike incidents “alarmingly high”

The number of bridge strike incidents in the UK remains alarmingly high, according to the Traffic Commissioners Office. Network Rail reported 1624 bridge strike incidences in 2020/21.

20 January 2022

Bridge strike incidents “alarmingly high”

In November, the Government updated its advice for drivers and operators:


To minimise the risk of poor road choices always:

  • Make sure your satnav is a commercial vehicle satnav, not one designed for a car! Planning a route on a device that thinks you are driving a car has too many risks. Make sure your device is up to date. Roads and maps are constantly changing. It is your responsibility to plan correctly.
  • Make sure that if satnavs are provided to drivers, they are trained to use them and, importantly, the correct checks and procedures are in place to ensure they do! They must know how to set the alarm if they run close to an obstacle.
  • Have a satnav policy within your operation. Set rules for use of personal satnavs and ensure they are fit for purpose.
  • Don’t assume you know the restrictions on a road, check first!
  • Double check on an up-to-date map. You could use Google Street Views to get a sight of an unfamiliar route or junction, including delivery or pick up points. Operators should establish whether there are any localised issues that impact on routes and include this in customer information notes for drivers.
  • Know your vehicle height, width, and weight, and ensure your drivers do – provide height conversion charts.
  • Even when your vehicle is ‘not in service’ your route must still be planned. Taking unsuitable shortcuts back to the depot or when going for maintenance is a risk.


The Government guidance continues, “The traffic commissioners expect operators and drivers to treat this issue seriously and take responsibility. Any failure to do so could lead to an operator or driver having to appear before a traffic commissioner.”

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