An interesting article has been released by austroads.com.au that highlights work has commenced on assessing the risks of carrying dangerous goods through tunnels. With the increase of population, congestion on our roads and continued time pressure demands on logistic company's some states are considering allowing bulk dangerous good through Tunnels.
I believe this may lead to confusion within the logistics industry as 'What is allowed', 'What Quantities are allowed' and travelling interstate 'who has accepted these changes'? Even today, company's and third-party drivers are struggling with the current legislation such as the Australian Dangerous Goods Code Edition 7.6 for the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road and Rail.
There have been several tunnel fires over the years where there has been multiple fatalities including Mont Blanc located between the French and Italian boarders on the 24 March 1999, where 39 people lost their lives and close to home the Burney Tunnel in Melbourne on the 23 March 2007 where 3 people were lost.
Unless our tunnels have been designed with adequate emergency access and egress for emergency services, ventilation and the evacuation of personnel in the timely manner, I for one would not feel comfortable entering these tunnels knowing that there may have several trucks beside me loaded with dangerous goods.