Dashcam footage shows the horrifying moment a highway sign fell onto a car
An massive overhead road sign became dislodged and fell onto a moving car on the Tullamarine Freeway near Melbourne, Australia. Dashcam footage captured the horrifying moment, as the sign struck the road and the car slammed into the sign. We drive by those signs every day without considering how big they are, or imagining the possibility that they could come loose.
9 News reports that the 53-year-old driver was taken to Royal Melbourne Hospital for neck and hand injuries, but is otherwise okay. That's pretty lucky, considering the amount of damage to the car. Had that sign fallen a few seconds earlier, it could have landed directly on the vehicle, slicing the roof. And now I'm going to have irrational fears about road signs falling on me whenever I'm on the freeway - thanks a lot, Australia!
Police don't know what caused the sign to fall and are studying the dashcam footage to see if it can provide any information. Also, they are inspecting other road signs in the area to make sure they are secure. "We are taking it very seriously and I can assure you we're doing a very thorough investigation to understand why this happened," Graeme Chambers from Major Road Projects Victoria told ABC. They do not believe wind was a factor.
The incident occurred during rush hour, shortly before 6:00pm on a Tuesday night. The sign measures five-by-four meters (16-by-13 feet) and was hanging over the inbound exit for Bulla Road and Bell Street. "There were a lot of other cars on the road, she's the only one that's been hit by the sign," said Acting Sergeant Jason Lane from Fawkner Highway Patrol. "It is unusual. I haven't come across it before."
Major Road Projects Authority delivery director Graeme Chambers speculated that the problem might have been the sign's connection with an overhead gantry. "The gantry would have been designed by an engineer," Chambers told ABC. "it would have been proof engineered, it would have been independently reviewed and would have been quality certified, so we're going through all that documentation as part of the investigation."
VicRoads reportedly conducts a six-month checks on all signs, gantries and bridges, in addition to checking the freeway network twice a day for hazards, plus thoroughly reviewing roads every two to four. There is no explanation for why the sign fell, but authorities assure motorists that the freeway is safe to drive on.
Australia is known for its brutal outback heat and plethora of dangerous animals, such as snakes, crocodiles, jellyfish, cassowaries, and totally ripped kangaroos. This has led to the running joke, "In Australia, everything is trying to kill you." Well, now you can add highway road signs to that list. In the Land Down Under, even the inanimate objects are trying to kill you! Basically, visiting Australia is like being inside a Final Destination movie.