By Liam Houlihan
December 20, 2005
COWS are being decapitated in the Burnley and Domain tunnels.
Drivers of oversized trucks are routinely ignoring height restrictions and smashing up their loads and the tunnels, CityLink has said.
More than a cow a year has lost its head from rearing up in uncovered loads every year since CityLink opened in 2000. Some staff estimated a cow parted with its head as often as every month in the tunnels. Special runs are even organised for the cows' heads to be picked up by CityLink instant response vehicles.
Revelations of the bovine beheadings come as CityLink urges big load drivers to stay out of its tunnels. Oversized trucks are given a warning thump by suspended rubber strips if they are too tall to enter the tunnels. But some over the 4.65m limit proceed and knock out overhead signs.
The CityLink tunnels are monitored around the clock for traffic hazards. Instant response staff are regularly deployed to fill up cars that have run out of fuel, clear the tunnels of drunks and wandering dogs, and stop homeless people camping in emergency bunkers.
A CityLink spokeswoman said it was unusual for cows to lose their heads. Cows tended to jump above the level of the load if kicked by another cow or as part of a misguided escape bid. But she said the cow's number really had to be up to jump up at the exact moment an overhanging sign approached.
Now that sounds like a hell of a job. I can just imagine having to go through this thing and scoop up cow heads once a month. Not to mention it must be hilarious for other drivers to be trucking along in those tunnels and then see a bloody cow head pop up in their headlights. It must also be lotsa fun for whoever has to unload the cows at the end of the trip and finds a bloody headless corpse.
This sorta reminds me when I had student insurance at the U of C and it had a mandatory death/dismemberment policy attached. I remember reading how that would function no matter where I was in the country or even if I were abroad. It's nice to know that if I died my corpse wouldn't have to worry about whether it had insurance coverage or not if I was off vacationing.