Pass the aspirin, because it seems that great technology is not, in fact, a foolproof solution, and we mean “fool proof” in the literal sense. Despite the best efforts of the North Carolina DOT, the “can opener”—that low-clearance bridge in Durham, of internet fame—is again causing headaches for truck drivers.
Based on the page visits we still receive, many of you will recall our initial coverage of the 11’-8” underpass from back in January, prompted by a story in The Wall Street Journal that featured a website devoted to videos of trucks and RVs whose drivers didn’t seem to realize their vehicles wouldn’t fit.
See the original gallery of greatest hits
We revisited 11foot8.com in late April when we got word that NCDOT was adding a laser-detection system designed to alert and stop vehicles that are too tall to make it under the railroad bridge. A DOT official said the agency was “pretty confident” the $130,000 laser treatment will put an end to the stuck trucks—and to viral videos.
And the system is pretty cool. The lasers are tied to the stoplight at the crossing, and a huge LED message board alerts the driver “OVERHEIGHT MUST TURN,” plus there’s a bright orange “truck route” sign with arrow pointing left.
But where there’s a Worst Trucker in the World, there’s a way, as this latest video demonstrates.
According to a post on the local Time Warner Cable News page, “NCDOT officials say there's little else that can be done to help truck drivers,” and that the state will continue to monitor the intersection and reevaluate in a year or two.
While the videos haven’t quite become an internet meme just yet, at least one YouTube wise guy has added a message to the overhead sign. Got suggestions of your own? Post them on our Facebook page.