Spate of power pole crashes sparks warning to holiday drivers

A ute collision with powerlines

After a horror run on Queensland roads, Ergon Energy is warning drivers to take more care around power poles and stay line aware to help save lives.

“We’re really concerned about the number of vehicles hitting power poles and wires, which could lead to serious injury or death,” Ergon regional field manager Chris Hooper said.

“We want to prevent these accidents from happening in the first place, but it’s also important people know what to do in an emergency.”

This year there have already been hundreds of incidents where vehicles have contacted the electricity network. 

With more Queenslanders than ever opting for road trips these school holidays, Ergon is encouraging drivers to be aware of what to do if they’re involved in a vehicle accident that brings down powerlines. 

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“When someone’s in a car accident, often their first instinct is to get out of the vehicle and move away from the scene,” he said.

“But if there are powerlines down over the vehicle, the safest place to be is inside. Remember these steps: STAY in the vehicle, CALL 000 and WAIT for help.

“Inside the vehicle is the safest place because there’s a good chance the electrical asset you’ve struck or the powerlines over your car are still live and, if you try get out, the moment your foot touches the ground the electricity will run through your body, potentially killing you instantly.

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“In the unlikely event that a vehicle catches fire, jump from it being very careful not to touch the car and ground at the same time, then hop or shuffle away for at least 10 metres, ensuring both feet remain together and in contact with the ground at all times.”

He said it was also human nature wanting to help others who’ve been in a vehicle crash, but if the accident involves electricity you have to keep your distance, keep others away and leave it to the experts.

“If you come across an accident scene where there are powerlines over a car or it is touching anything electrical, never walk up and touch the vehicle,” he said.

“If it is you stuck in the car and you see people approaching to help, urge them to stay at least 10 metres away.

“The best and safest way to manage this kind of situation is to call triple zero and wait for emergency services and an Ergon crew to make the scene safe.”

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