A 57-year-old truck driver was detained June 1 after loads of potatoes were found spilled on a key bridge linking two Danish islands, police have said. The driver was held on suspicion of causing reckless endangerment to life.
A first spill was reported on the westbound side of the Storebaelt bridge at 6:35 am, police spokesman Kenneth Taanquist said. The bridge connects the island where the capital, Copenhagen, is located to the rest of Denmark.
A similar incident happened on the eastbound side a short time later, Tanquist added.
“It looks weird,” he said. “We are working on two hypotheses: it is either an accident or it is something that has been done deliberately.”
Police said the roads had become slippery and urged drivers to drive slowly. According to the Danish Road Directorate, lines of vehicles were reported on either side of the roughly 18-kilometer bridge and tunnel link between the islands of Funen, where Odense — Denmark’s third largest city — is located, and Zealand, where Copenhagen sits.
A third incident of potatoes on the road was reported near the town of Kolding on the Jutland peninsula. Kolding is near the Storebaelt bridge.
New diesel tax
Danish public broadcaster DR noted that the potato spills occurred on the same day as the Danish parliament passed a law to tax diesel trucks transporting heavy loads.
The new measure has drawn protests from truck drivers. In recent weeks, they peacefully blocked highways and main roads throughout the country, claiming the tax will make their livelihoods unsustainable. A majority in the Danish parliament argue it is vital as the continued use of gas and diesel-fueled trucks is environmentally unsustainable.
As of 2025, the drivers of gas and diesel-fueled vehicles over 7,716 pounds will be taxed 1.3 kroner (16 cents) per kilometer driven.
Torben Dyhl Hjorth, a spokesman for the protesting truckers, said on Facebook that they “strongly distance themselves from today’s ‘stunts.’” He added that they plan protests at a later stage that ”can be felt but without risk to people’s lives and wellbeing.”
Source: The Canadian Press
Traton sales, Brenner congestion, DAF power
In other global trucking news:
- Traton Group sold more than 300,000 vehicles and generated more than 40 billion euros (US$42.8 billion) in revenue in 2022. Details were revealed during an annual general meeting in Munich. Following a strong first quarter, the OEM raised its outlook for 2023 at the beginning to May. Unit sales and sales revenue are expected to increase a respective five to 15%, year on year.
- German and Italian transportation minister are sounding the alarm about congestion on the Brenner pass – a key route connecting northern and southern Europe, where traffic queues tend to stretch 70 km long. They brought concerns to their European Union counterparts, during a meeting of the Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council in Luxembourg. Austria Mobility Minister Leonore Gewessler confirmed that 2.5 million trucks passed through the Brenner pass in 2022.
- DAF is including the 6.7-liter Paccar PX-7 driveline in its 4×2 XD day cabs. Other cab variants will follow. The redesigned six-cylinder engine includes a compacted graphite iron block and cast-iron cylinder head, low-friction pistons, and an enhanced compressor and turbo charger. Available ratings offer 230, 260, 290 or 310 hp.
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