Wuxi Viaduct Collapse: Who is Responsible for Overloading?


On October 10,2019, at about 6:10 in the evening, the bridge deck rollover occurred on the cross-bridge section of Wuxi 312 National Highway in Jiangsu Province. As at 11 October 2019, it was understood that, three small cars were pressed under the bridge, one of which was parked (no one, the driver had already found), and two other vehicles had three persons and had died. There are 5 cars on the rollover deck, three of them, and two trucks. The accident resulted in three deaths and two injuries. At 21:45 on October 10,2019, according to the information released by the China Transport Department, the Ministry of Transport and the Jiangsu Provincial Department of Transport and Transport have learned that, in the event of an accident, a severe overload truck runs on the bridge and may be a direct cause of the collapse of the bridge.


Overload refers to the actual loading of means of transportation exceeding the approved maximum allowable limit, most of which refers to freight overload, which is illegal. Overload behavior is very harmful, which will lead to a large number of traffic accidents and then endanger the safety of life and property, and will also cause damage to overloaded roads. The damage and loss caused by overload transportation of freight vehicles are shocking, and the relevant departments continue to emphasize strict management, but they are repeatedly incurable. Up to now, the overload situation has not fundamentally improved, and some places have become a kind of cancer in road transportation. According to the survey of relevant departments, the proportion of overloading and exceeding the limit of all kinds of freight vehicles with a load of 2.5 tons is as high as 3. 0% to 85%. The maximum loading rate of these overloaded vehicles is more than 300%, the maximum loading rate is 760%, that is a truck with rated load of 2 tons has an actual carrier capacity of 15 tons.

Why is it so dangerous, while overloading is still common? First of all, the inaction of the relevant departments causes the hidden danger. Originally, they turned a blind eye to the phenomenon of overload, so that violators profit, law-abiding people suffer losses, so the regular manufacturers also started a large ton of small standards, and fichunally led to today’s situation. Secondly, those who exceed the limit are for the purpose of interests. In order to compete for the source of goods, the carrier competes to reduce the transportation price and attract the consignor with low freight rate. The result of the price reduction is that the transportation price is lower than the normal freight rate level. In order to make up for the economic loss, the car owners adopted the method of overloading to get compensation, which made the contradiction of excess transportation capacity more prominent and could not be pulled. Owners of goods compete for supplies at lower freight rates and reduce losses with more overloading. So they fell into a cycle of “overload-excess capacity-pressure price-overload”, and the cycle became more and more intense. The most serious is the fluke psychology of the ultra-limited. They always think, “it’s okay, I’m not the only one.”, “it’s okay, it’s not going to go wrong.”, “it’s okay…”. This time again and again “nothing” has led to this irreparable “something”.


Therefore, to control the overload of the truck, it must be managed from the source. Firstly, correcting the wrong understanding of the transporters and increasing the publicity of the serious danger of overloading make them aware that the benefits are not proportional to the risks and refuse to overload from the heart. Secondly, to increase the governance make the vehicle cannot be overloaded. Strict enforcement, normalization and long-term governance shall be carried out so that overloaded vehicles have no way to go. At the same time, the governance of modified vehicles should be increased. Third, increase the illegal cost and make the overload unnecessary. Many countries in the world are very severe about overloading. In Europe, for example, the first overloaded driver will be.  Registered, the second time was found overloaded directly into the penalty. We need to learn from this experience and use the majesty of the law to deter overloading attempts. Finally, it is necessary to form a reasonable transportation price system. It is necessary to reduce transportation costs and promote the development of goods transportation to a large scale and specialize by increasing the intensity of tax reduction and fee reduction in the transportation industry, building a freight docking platform, strengthening the management and guidance of the transport market, rationally distributing transportation resources, popularizing container transportation, etc.

Overload is never the problem of a single group, but the result of multi-party synthesis. Therefore, we have to work together and break through one by one in order to really cure the “highway cancer”, restore the health of the highway, and make the collapse of Wuxi viaduct not repeat itself.

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