Take further steps to protect covered walkways from cranes

I read with dismay that yet another covered walkway, this one in Bukit Batok Street 52 between Blocks 504 and 506, had been damaged after a crane attached to a lorry ran into it on July 20 ("Covered walkway damaged by lorry crane in Bukit Batok"; ST Online, July 20).

Apparently, the crane boom was not retracted properly when the lorry drove under the walkway.

There was a similar incident last month, when a lorry crane toppled a covered walkway and crushed a car in Bukit Batok Avenue 6 on June 17 ("Lorry crashes into walkway shelter at Bukit Batok, causing it to collapse on car"; ST Online, June 17).

Fortunately, there were no casualties in both incidents.

However, the accidents could have been prevented by correct route planning, supervision and checking for height limits before the lorries with cranes attached move off.

Insufficient consideration and assessment of ground conditions such as overhead structures are surely a major cause of these incidents.

Currently, most covered walkway structures in HDB estates have a posted height of 4.5m for vehicles passing through.

Owners and drivers must be aware of the dire consequences of their vehicles hitting walkway structures in the heartland.

It is time to seriously look into the drivers' credentials, speed calming measures such as road humps, and road marking prior to the covered walkway to alert drivers to drive at an appropriate speed when approaching it.

Safety for residents is paramount, so perhaps the road pavements should also be coloured. In high-risk locations, zones can be created, much like the enhanced school zone scheme.

All stakeholders have to be mindful of their statutory obligation to all the relevant legislation, codes, standards and technical advisories on the safe use of lorries attached with cranes, particularly keeping to the height limits on the roads.

Loong Chik Tong