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Michael Jul 17 '09 2:14am

News Flash
 
http://au.news.yahoo.com/a/-/mp/5732...on-qld-bridge/

Highlights:
Brisbane motorists can expect lengthy delays on a major arterial road where stray cows have caused traffic chaos.

A truck rolled on the Gateway Motorway about 7pm (AEST) on Thursday before catching fire.

Several disoriented cows from its load wandered across the Gateway Bridge to the toll booths, police said in a statement.

The driver escaped the wreckage uninjured, but so far 13 cows have died.

...."The cattle have obviously run off in fright into surrounding scrub.

"Also there's a lot of creekways around that road and they've gone into those low-lying areas.

"Our inspector is out on the job as we speak. He's been out all night and he's trying to locate all those cattle and get them onto a truck."
--------------------

Have the families of the dead cows been notified? Hands up anyone that wants the rounding-up-cattle-inspector job

Roi Jul 17 '09 2:37am

Those poor cows....
*spends a moment in thought*
"Well then, rare, medium-rare, or burnt?"

Lucheiah Jul 17 '09 5:21am

I live in Brisbane, and honestly, they're going about "upgrading" the Gateway the wrong way. They've closed all but 3 lanes of the bridge (it WAS the major thoroughfare for traffic heading from Sunshine Coast to Gold Coast) and removed any facilities to pay the toll by cash - if you wanna go via the Gateway, you have to have one of these stupid e-toll thingies, which cost like, $50 to install initially, and you have to keep them "topped up" with no less than $15 on them at all times - which might be great if you do the commute via the Gateway EVERY day, but for someone who goes that way like, 3 times a year, it's BULL$H!T. So we have to go the long way....

This isn't the first (or even the 50th) truck to roll there. It's not a safe place for trucks to be, but they don't really have a better solution (typical!). I think everyone in Brisbane is related to someone who has been witness to/involved in an accident on the Gateway...

Michael Jul 20 '09 9:40am

Great looking bridge though. Fun to ride over. As for etoll, I support it! maunal toll gates suck big time. There are overhead toll arches in Sydney (and all over Singapore) where you don't even have to slow down.

In Singapore, your toll pass thingy gets you into and out of the car parks as well. And you can use the card on trains and buses.

Nocturnal Jul 20 '09 10:57am

That's funny... Our toll road photographs your license plates, references the car against the owner, and sends you a bill. You get discounts if you use their subscription service or install the "e-toll thingy." I think it used to be free for tourists but now I believe they bill the rental company who pass the bill to you. There are no gates to stop you, just a big warning sign before the onramp that you're entering (or exiting) an electronically tolled road and will be billed.

Lucheiah Jul 20 '09 1:28pm

It must take a huge amount of infrastructure to keep that system running! We saw, first-hand, the failings of the e-toll system tonight. My friend had it and had set it to automatically top up when she went below $10, but the system failed and didn't top her e-toll thingy up like it was supposed to, and it was bad; we got where we were going with only about 50c left on her e-toll thingy.

I can see that it might be an excellent idea, but they should keep one manual gate for people who use the bridge like, once or twice a year and for whom it isn't worth getting an e-toll pass. The way they're going about the upgrade is kind of foolish too, because they've introduced a new toll system at the same time as they're closing half the lanes to do roadworks... so it's pretty chaotic.

ninjaguineapig Jul 20 '09 5:52pm

I used to live in New York, and I believe that there toll passes usually have 3-4 lanes, 2-3 for manual pay, and 1-2 for auto (E-Z Pass, I think it's called)

Nocturnal Jul 21 '09 2:03am

A private corporation built that toll road so they already poured in a huge private investment in infrastructure. The information infrastructure I imagine was trivial compared to building the highway itself, though there are barely a handful such systems in the world yet. People like me who use it rarely just get the invoice in the mail (and then get tremendous fees stacked on top of it if we forget to pay promptly.) Hmm, my car is actually still registered to their database so it costs me a little less if I ever choose to use it, but I don't have a transponder so it costs me a little more than it could.

It's a profitable business.

If anything, the advanced surveillance system used for billing raises privacy concerns, as the government will one day inherit it but now the road is still privately operated. I just read up on it and it's kind of creepy.

Lucheiah Jul 21 '09 3:56am

Sounds creepy, but they use the same kind of system for speeding tickets and red light tickets, don't they?

Michael Jul 22 '09 4:28am

I'll never understand this creepy big brother is watching you stuff. I think George Orwell has alot to answer for. In countries with totalitarian regimes in which the populace are heavily "watched" (USSR before it collapsed, China, North Korea), they don't have any of this modern technology at all, and they are/were far "scarier" places to live.

Despite all the hyperbole and hooplah over "privacy" because someone took a picture of your license plate, I have yet to have anyone give me a demonstrable example of how, and more importantly why, it would be used against me. Realistically this kind of info can be used to better design highways and population centres. Absolute worst case scenario is someone tells an ad agency where I like to travel and I start receiving spam mail.


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