Tag Archives: road safety

Multiple material layers are safer for riders

Riding gear with multiple layers usually rates higher for abrasion safety than comparative gear, according to the MotoCAP safety and thermal comfort ratings system for motorcycle jackets, pants and gloves.

For example, leather alone provides about four seconds of protection before failure, but backing the leather with foam, 3D mesh or a leather patch can improve resistance up to 10 seconds.

The Doc explains multiple layer protection

MotoCAP senior researcher Dr Chris Hurren awardChris Hurren and his Honda GB400

Dr Chris Hurren who works at MotoCAP’s National Association of Testing Authorities-accredited laboratory at Deakin University, explains:

The reason it works is because when a garment hits a moving surface it is partially damaged by the initial contact with the road. If there is more than one layer and the outer layer is able to withstand bursting open on initial impact. It then protects any further layers from being damaged and the result is that the combination lasts longer.

MotoCAP, which was launched in September last year, has now rated 201 items of clothing, including 50 pairs of pants, 90 jackets and 61 pairs of gloves.

Last year MotoCAP won a Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) road safety award.

Dr Hurren provides a more scientific explanation for how layers of material offer better rider protection.

Motocap Motorcycle clothing rating system launched targetMotoCAP testing equipment at the Deakin Uni Geelong campus

Physics wise, the failure of protective materials is from ripping out of fibres by the macrostructure of the road. This is the same for leather and textiles as leathers are also made up of fibres.

Abrasion damage is affected most by force and area. A small force on a large area will have low abrasion, the same force on a smaller area will have increased abrasion. So considering a glove our body puts a fixed amount of force down the arm on to the ground. If we have the palm of our hand in contact with the ground then the area involved in abrasion is much larger than if we have only the side of the hand and little finger even though the force remains the same.

This is why a little finger in a glove should have a double layer of leather to better protect it than the palm where the force is spread over a larger area. 

Alpinestars GP Plus 2R glovesAlpinestars GP Plus R2 motorcycle gloves are only the second pair of gloves to be awarded a full five stars for safety by MotoCAP.

When we first hit the road the downward force is very high as we are falling from some height to hit the surface either in a low or high side crash. Of course a high-side crash will have more downward momentum than a low side. This results in large initial tearing of fibres from the surface of the outer material that leads to premature failure.

Once our downward momentum is stabilised and turned into forward momentum only the weight of our body is applying force to cause abrasion. When we have two layers the first one is damaged in the initial hit with the road and then the second layer when exposed is pristine and can withstand a longer abrasion time. It may also have sample of the previous layer present at the early stages of the second layer abrasion further helping abrasion resistance. 

Now all of this does not work if the outer material is weak or really stretchy. In both of these cases the outer layer bursts open on impact and the second layer is loaded up and stressed as well. This is why we see a number of the protective layer lined hoodies and ladies leggings performing poorly in MotoCAP. The outer layer bursts open on impact loading the protective layer up to forces it was not designed to be exposed to.

GoGo Gear Kevlar armoured leggings from BikieChicLeggings

An example of this would be a para-aramid liner gets 3 seconds abrasion time under a piece of denim but only 0.8 seconds under a hoodie fleecy fabric. Stretch causes problems because it lengthens the time and force of the initial road impact causing larger forces to be put through the outer fabric. 

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Alpinestars gloves score top safety rating

Alpinestars GP Plus R2 motorcycle gloves (pictured) have become only the second pair of gloves to be awarded a full five stars for safety by MotoCAP.

The internationally awarded safety and thermal comfort ratings system for motorcycle clothing has added 15 more gloves to its list of tested gear.

The Australian safety intitiative, launched in September 2018, is the first of its type in the world.

It has now rated 201 items of clothing, including 50 pairs of pants, 90 jackets and 61 pairs of gloves.

Of those gloves, only the Alpinestars costing $225 and Ducati Corse C3 ($442) – both racing-style gloves – have scored a full five stars.

Ducati Corse C3 glovesDucati Corse C3 gloves

Only three others scored four stars, five got three stars, 20 received two stars, 23 got one star and the rest were awarded just half a star.

No comfort ratings

While MotoCAP also supplies thermal comfort and waterproofing on jackets and pants, it does not provide a comfort rating for gloves.

That is despite some of the gloves tested having perforations for airflow.

However, they do test for waterproofing.

Comfort is a big factor among baby boomers when selecting gloves, according to a Canstar Blue customer satisfaction survey that also found Millennial riders buy for style.

Transport for NSW says that to measure for comfort a large square of fabric must be obtained.

“There is not enough material in a glove to obtain a sample for the thermal comfort measure,” they say.

All gear rated so far has been obtained through a secretive buying system to guarantee integrity.

Click here to find out how products are selected for rating in secret.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

How to avoid hitting other riders

Two recent crashes involving riders running into each other have prompted us to investigate multi-motorcycle accidents and provide tips on how to avoid them.

In one recent accident, two riders and a pillion were injured when two motorcycles collided head-on (pictured above) and in the other, two riders travelling the same direction collided and one rider crashed and sadly died.

We publish these crash reports to remind riders of their vulnerability, make them aware of different types of crash scenarios and offer safety tips. Click here to find out more.

Multi-bike crashes rare

On a brighter note, multi-motorcycle crashes are actually very rare.

In fact, Queensland University of Technology road safety researcher and Triumph Street Triple rider Ross Blackman says that in Queensland they represent just 1% of all crashes and about 4% of motorcycle crashes.

Ross Blackman QUT road safety researcherRoss and his Street Triple RS

“Of course they’d be much more common in countries with high levels of motorcycle/scooter use,” he says.

“Same-direction collisions are obviously different from head-ons.

“In the former it seems to raise the question of whether they were travelling too close together.”

Same-direction crashes

This can lead to riders banging bars or running into the back of another bike they are following too closely.

Some ride groups enforce a staggered formation as they say it provides greater braking distance to avoid rear-enders while keeping the group together and not strung out.

However, it means a pack of riders are travelling closely together. So if one crashes, it could involve another.

Or in the case of a crash at Kyogle in northern NSW last October, one rider tragically died and three others were injured when a Kias Rio on the wrong side of the road ploughed into their pack. Police have still not charged the driver.

Car ploughed into riders monthKyogle crash aftermath (Image: Seven News)

Group riding tips

We have previously offered tips on group riding which you can find by clicking here.

One of the tips is to appoint a tail-end Charlie.

Myrtleford Police Sgt Paul Evans says a Harley-Davidson rider who recently plunged 20m off a cliff in the Victorian Alps only survived because the group had appointed a tail-end Charlie who noticed he was missing.

It still took them about 90 minutes to find him.

SES RescueSES rescues rider who plunged over cliff

How to avoid head-on crashes

How many times have you almost been taken out head-on by a rider cutting a corner or running wide out of a corner?

To avoid cutting a corner or running wide, you need to have a wide entry to the corner with a late apex. Click here for more details.

If all riders practise this, t will help avoid head-on crashes in corners.

Another dangerous riding behaviour that can lead to a head-on is dangerous overtaking.Overtaking overtake

Many riders sit too close to the vehicle in front, which obscures their vision of what’s ahead.

That makes it difficult for riders to see an approaching car, let alone a motorcycle which has a much smaller silhouette.

And riders shouldn’t assume that an approaching rider will simply move over and let them overtake a vehicle because motorcycles are narrower.

Remember, the approaching rider might not be able to see you if you are too close behind the vehicle you are about to overtake.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Why we publish motorcycle crash reports

We cop criticism from some riders for our motorcycle crash reports — usually after a spate of accidents — but we have to advise readers we won’t be changing our policy.

Rather than going through our reasons, we thought we would cut to the chase and quote the words of Perth rider Sandy Lewis who posted this comment on Facebook after a recent crash report:

“I took my girl for a great run alone today. Thanks to your posts about the sad & regular deaths of riders, I did take more care. I can be a bit radical sometimes.”

Thanks Sandy. You summed up the main reason we publish crash articles; to remind riders that this is a dangerous pastime.

We need to be 100% alert every time we ride because the consequences can be unforgiving.

My blood runs cold every time I see a police report on another crash. It certainly helps me to focus on riding safely.

In the latest report, Queensland Police are seeking witnesses to a fatal crash on Thursday (19 March 2020) at 7.50am in Bundaberg.

The motorcycle hit a stationary car in heavy traffic on Barolin St near the Beatrice St intersection. The 54-year-old local man died at the scene.

Crash reportsconcerns for single-vehicle crash reports negligent

Our crash articles are often accompanied by an analysis of the event or tips about how to avoid crashes in that particular situation.

However, detailed information is not always available from the police and it is difficult to cover crash events from afar.

So sometimes the crash report can be fairly scant on details.

But it is still important to be aware of them.

We also believe it galvanises the riding community to look out for each other.

Readers often comment with a simple “RIP” or short prayer for the fallen.

We may cop some flak from some, but we take safety very seriously and will not be shying away from reporting the stark reality!

We would rather not have to report crashes, but that’s turning a blind eye to a very real problem.

It should be noted that safety is a key issue among riders according to a poll we conducted several years ago.

Consequently, we often publish riding tips and articles about road safety, policing, safe infrastructure, crash statistics, road rules, etc.

News websiteCrash injured accident

Another criticism is that we are a motorcycle website not a news site.

We’re sorry if you got that impression.

At the top of our page it clearly says: “Daily motorbike news, views & reviews.

So we publish crash reports as well as try to follow-up on any charges and court action that follow.

We’re not a sycophant motorcycle website that reviews gear and bikes in glowing terms to appease advertisers.

In fact, we don’t receive any advertising support from any motorcycle companies so we are not beholden to them.

We also do very few bike reviews because some companies won’t supply bikes for test because:

  1. We’re in Brisbane and it is too expensive for them to send them up here; and
  2. Some companies don’t like our honest approach to reviews!

Stay safe and thanks for your support.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Riders auditing roads for motorcycle safety

Road conditions play a significant role in motorcycle safety so some state governments and councils are now auditing thousands of kilometres of roads specifically for motorcycle hazards.

Queensland, NSW and South Australian transport departments have been using a special award-winning motorcycle for the purpose.

Brett Hoskin with TMR auditing bikeQueensland Transport and Main Roads auditing bike

Australian road safety consultancy Safe System Solutions Pty Ltd has also audited several thousand kilometres of road in Tasmania, Victoria, New Zealand and Western Australia. (See a list of audited roads at the end of this article.)

Here is a video they produced about auditing the Lake Leake Road in Tasmania, which is a great motorcycling route but also a hot spot for serious motorcycle crashes.

Road auditing

We recently spoke with Safe System Solutions Research and Evaluations Lead and motorcyclist Dr Tana Tan while he was in Queensland to audit a popular motorcycling road.

He says auditing roads is one part of their three-point strategy to improve motorcycle safety. 

Aussie knowhow helps Thai riders stay safe Safe System Solutions Pty Ltd learn learner novice training licensed licensingDr Tana Tan

The others are: training engineers, road designers and road maintenance crews on what constitutes a safe road for riders through their Making Roads Motorcycle Friendly and Road Maintenance for Motorcycle Safety Courses and their consulting, research and evaluation services for motorcycle safety.

“Our motorcycle road safety audit reports are provided to our clients, generally councils and government departments. It’s then up to the councils and government departments to follow up on our findings,” he says.

Dr Tan says they use various motorcycles to assess roads.

“In Tassie, we mainly use adventure bikes, but I prefer a road bike with firm suspension that picks up the irregularities in the road,” he says.

The bike is fitted with a camera, accelerometer and data collector.Safe System Solutions road auditing

Here is a list of hazards that auditors look for:

  • Uneven surfaces especially on corner entry and exit that can destabilise suspension during braking and acceleration.
  • Removal of roadside hazards such as trees and signs, especially on the exit of a corner. Signs can be repositioned behind barriers or replaced with safer flexible signage that bends on impact. “It is more expensive to install but in the long-run it is cheaper as the signs pop back up and don’t necessarily have to be repaired or replaced after a crash”, Tana says.
  • Road edges with a “bleed” of the road surface over the edge gravel from melting tar and wear.
  • Intrusion of gravel from side roads. This is fixed by surfacing about 100m of gravel on the side road.
  • Road markings should be non-slippery paint or products such as OmniGrip to prevent loss of traction.
  • Appropriate speed limits. Tana says speed is often seen by people as an “easy fix”, but it relies on community and government support, which can be difficult to obtain because of other drivers such as the “economic imperative” of timely transport.
  • Edge lines are important to give riders cues about diminishing or increasing radius. On tightening corners the edge lines seem to converge and the opposite on corners that open up. 

Barrier hazards

Old Pac gets more ‘safety barriers’Lower rub rails on the Old Pacific Highway

One of the most contentious issues with riders is barriers, especially the use of wire rope barriers (WRBs) which some riders describe as “people slicers”.

Tana says that steel W-beam barriers on bends, especially on popular motorcycling roads, should have a lower rub rail to protect riders from impact with the upright posts. 

He says they have no issue with wire rope barriers on straights as riders don’t tend to fall asleep as much as drivers. 

“That’s because we have limited tank range so we stop more frequently, we generally monitor our fatigue better and we have to be alert to ride,” he says.

“The issue is with placing WRBs on curves.”

Wire rope barriers in Tassie on a gradual bendWire rope barriers in Tassie on a gradual bend

Most states comply with Australian regulations that do not permit WRBs on bends of less than 200m radius which is not at all tight. 

Tana says the wire ropes are not the danger to riders, the posts in curves are the danger:

“When you tension the wires on a bend it pulls the poles dangerously inward toward the road,” he says. 

It also creates a jagged line of wires rather than a smooth curve around the corner so wire rope barriers don’t work in corners.

Examples of Safe System Solutions motorcycle audits

Safe System Solutions road auditingCamera view of an auditing bike

  • Auckland, New Zealand: About 100km of urban arterial roads;
  • South-western Victoria: About 300km of roads including some of the Great Ocean Rd and Dean Marsh-Lorne Rd;
  • Eastern Victoria: About 1800km of roads including the Great Alpine Rd and Mount Baw Baw Tourist Rd;
  • Western Victoria: About 150km including Halls Gap Rd;
  • Northern Victoria: About 600km including Murray River Rd;
  • Melbourne region: About 200km including the Black Spur;
  • Melbourne city: about 200km of commuter routes such as Lower Plenty Rd, Hoddle St, Victoria Parade and Rosanna Rd;
  • Tasmania: About 200km including Lake Leak Rd and Hollow Tree Rd; and 
  • Western Australia: About 200km including Toodyay Rd.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Call for less slippery paint on roads

If you’ve ever crashed on slippery painted road markings, you will be glad to hear that an Australian company is helping make our roads safer for motorcyclists with a coloured surface.

SmarterLite’s OmniGrip is not paint, but a coloured aggregate which has the same grip levels as the surrounding tarmac and wears at the same rate.

It is used for bicycle and bus lanes and pedestrian crossings by councils and road authorities in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Main Roads Western Australia. 

Omnigrip on bus laneOmnigrip on bus lane

Slippery when wet

Safe System Solutions Pty Ltd Research and Evaluations Lead, Dr Tana Tan, says it should be considered for use on popular motorcycle routes where a loss of friction between the motorcycle tyre and road surface or painted areas/lines can result in a crash.

The company has audited thousands of kilometres of Australian roads for specific motorcycling hazards, one of which is slippery paint markings.

“Most road markings use polymer-based paints which are slippery in the wet and can increase the risk of a crash for riders,” Dr Tan says.

Aussie knowhow helps Thai riders stay safe Safe System Solutions Pty Ltd learn learner novice training licensed licensingDr Tana Tan

“We’re not as concerned about centreline and edge lines being painted with thermoplastic line marking as compared to line markings which riders are likely to ride over. You shouldn’t be riding on centre and edgelines anyway,” he says.

“But we should consider high friction markings areas such as bus lanes in states where it is legal for motorcyclists to ride in the bus lane and near stopping areas.

“It (OmniGrip or other high skid resistance pavements) doesn’t need to be used everywhere, but should be considered on popular motorcycle routes where a loss of friction between the motorcycle tyre and road surface can result in a crash.

“We have to be smart with where we use it because it is more expensive than thermoplastics but we also need to consider the long-term costs as thermoplastics are not necessarily as durable as OmniGrip.”

Lifecycle cost

Fitzroy tram markings with OmniGrip slipperyFitzroy tram markings with OmniGrip

SmarterLife Director External Affairs Dave Jones says the lifecycle cost of their product is lower than other products. 

“The proven safety benefits are the durability of its skid resistance and retention of its colour, which outlasts cheaper products,” he says. 

“OmniGrip CST lasts five to eight years, depending on traffic. OmniGrip HF, using calcined bauxite, can last more than ten years. 

“In heavily trafficked locations, painted products may be renewed as often as every two years, and they can be of concern to vulnerable road uses like pedestrians, bicycle riders and motorcycle riders because worn painted surfaces can be slippery in damp, wet or dusty conditions.”

OmniGrip products

OmniGrip rumble bars at Point Cook, Victoria sklipperyOmniGrip rumble bars at Point Cook, Victoria

OmniGrip Direct uses a propriety resin to bond a range of synthetic and natural aggregates to a wide range of road surfaces. OmniGrip CST uses specially prepared coloured Australian recycled glass to achieve durable coloured surfaces where safety is critical. 

Where colour isn’t required, but skidding and stopping distance are important, OmniGrip HF (High Friction) uses calcined bauxite for skid resistance. 

VicRoads data says that High Friction Surface Treatments using calcined bauxite reduce overall crashes by 40% and wet-weather crashes by 50%. 

Overseas, studies have found crash reductions in wet weather up to 80%. OmniGrip Direct recommends it for intersections and pedestrian crossings, as well as winding roads where there is a risk of loss of control approaching and on sharp bends. 

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Is ABS the saviour safety experts suggest?

Despite its much-lauded safety benefits, ABS may not be your saviour in a motorcycle crash because many riders don’t have time to even use their brakes before crashing.

That is one of the startling findings of a real-world global report called The Dynamics Of Motorcycle Crashes : A Global Survey of 1578 Motorcyclists.

Written by motorcycle-riding road safety researchers, it collected feedback from 1578 riders in 30 countries, with 126 from Australia, who had all crashed in the past 10 years.

Click here to read more about their findings including that speed is not related to the severity of crashes.Crash speed ‘not linked to rider injury’ saviour

ABS a saviour?

The study found that more than a third of the riders surveyed did not use their brakes, “whether they just did not have time or were unable to because of the circumstances”.

“How this can be addressed is relevant to the fact that in this study a third of the motorcycles were equipped with Advanced Braking Systems while 12% had traction control,” the study found.

The study questions the value of such technology in a crash scenario, considering that the perception/reaction time of the rider/driver is between 0.75 and 1.5 seconds.

“The assumption that technology will save the day may miss the obvious fact that what matters in an emergency situation, is the rider him/herself and his/her ability to control the technology.”

The study does not dispute that ABS could be a saviour when used, only that brakes are not used in many situations.

“ABS can and does make a difference,” says one of the authors, UK Motorcycle Research Analyst Elaine Hardy. 

However, it seems training on the correct use of brakes, particularly with ABS, may be a contributing factor.

Interestingly, it found 37% of riders who crashed with ABS on their bikes went over the handlebars, probably because ABS stops the wheels locking and causing a low-side.

This research expands on a pilot 2016/17 study based on a survey of motorcyclists whose motorcycles were fitted with ABS.

Again, this research involved analysis of feedback from riders involved in crashes, rather than academia simply sifting through statistics.

abs mandatory regulationsABS being demonstrated

ABS criticism

Critics of ABS claim it gives riders a false sense of security that the technology will be their saviour in a crash.

Others say they can brake over shorter distances without ABS, especially slippery surfaces such as gravel and wet roads.

Many modern motorcycles with ABS have a feature to disable ABS.

In 2016, university safety researcher Ross Blackman criticised a VicRoads brochure that stated: “A motorcycle with ABS enhances your riding skills and techniques by preventing the wheels from locking, skidding and sliding under.”

However, no technology makes you a better rider. It only helps compensate for poor skills or in emergencies.

Even then it has no effect if you don’t use your brakes or know how to use it properly.

ABS mandatory

From November 2019, all new motorcycle models sold in Australia over 125cc must have ABS, while bikes with lower engine capacities must have either combined brakes systems (CBS) or ABS.

All previous generation motorcycles sold in Australia must have ABS by 2021. Enduro and trials bikes are exempt.

The Federal Government declared that ABS can reduce motorcycle-related road trauma by more than 30%.

However, that referred to very early estimates of ABS effectiveness in cars more than 10 years ago.

In 2009, an American National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that ABS in cars significantly reduced injury crashes but had “close to zero overall effect on fatal crashes”.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Crash speed ‘not linked to rider injury’

Speed is not necessarily linked to the severity of injuries in a motorcycle crash, according to the first global rider report on motorcycle crashes.

The worldwide study makes a mockery of anti-speed campaigns such as “Every K over is a killer” and the overly simplistic “Speed kills”.

Some 127 riders from Australia last year were among 1578 from 30 countries who participated in the research, rather than academics simply studying data.

The authors of The Dynamics Of Motorcycle Crashes : A Global Survey of 1578 Motorcyclists — all of whom are motorcyclists — say their findings show that “orthodox motorcycle accident analysis” appears to be “looking the wrong way”.

“Typically, motorcycle accident studies have identified human error as the major cause of collisions,” they say in their synopsis.

“Other reasons considered are the lack of training, sports bike riders taking unnecessary risks and riding at high speeds which has been used as a measure for severe injuries.”

Speed not linked

But one of the most important findings is that the speed of a motorcycle involved in a crash is only randomly linked to the seriousness of injuries.

“The speed of the motorcycle when it crashes with another vehicle, road infrastructure or an object or animal does not necessarily determine the severity of the injuries of the motorcyclist,” they say.

“This finding is important because it allows analysts and researchers to focus their attention on what the evidence in this study provides, which is the mechanism of the crash (the trajectory of the rider post-crash and what he/she hits) has far more importance than speed in terms of the type and the severity of injuries.

“In fact, the post-crash motion “topside” occurred in 63% of those cases where the rider collided with a car.”

(By “topside”, they mean the bike was still upright on impact with the rider seated.)

“In terms of injuries, this type of trajectory dominates both the range of type of injuries and the severity.  

“This is an area of research that needs further attention, indeed, the report recommends further research that has been drawn out from the conclusions.”

We hope the authorities pay some attention to this report, rather than making knee-jerk legislation responses to the latest crash statistics.

Riders surveyed

stupidity a factor in motorcycle crashesElaine Hardy

We published a plea in May 2019 from authors Elaine Hardy, Dimitri Margaritis, James Ouellet and Martin Winkelbauer for riders to take part in the comprehensive survey.

The authors say they received a good response from 126 Australia riders.

They say riders who replied came from a varied age range, motorcycling experience, as well as depth of skills and training.

“The new research presented in the report, most importantly involved riders bringing their personal experience and their expertise beyond that of simple academia,” the authors say.

“Riders understand motorcycling in way quite different than that of academia, where statistical analyses of large databases such as police reports and hospital records has displaced research that requires in depth crash scene investigative knowledge.

“The riders’ crash details which were provided through the responses to the questions as well as the comments they offered, brought those stories of personal experiences which included treatment of their injuries, pillion riders and the dynamics of their crash, that in their own words allowed a deeper insight into the dynamics of crashes and the circumstances.

“These could not have been captured in a usual ‘tick box’ survey.”

Authors are riders

The authors say the fact that they are all motorcyclists s important as they are “aware of the dynamics of riding a motorcycle with the potential risks riders face”.

They say this helped them to analyse the responses better as they understood the issues riders face in traffic and out on the road.

“Particular focus most relevant to motorcycles included the use of protective equipment and assistance systems, in particular Advanced (anti-lock) Braking Systems (ABS),” they say.

It follows a 2016 study by UK motorcycle road safety researcher Dr Elaine Hardy into ABS-equipped bike crashes called “Effects of ABS in motorcycle crashes”.

Her study found that simple stupidity, irresponsibility and bad luck were often overlooked as causes of a motorcycle crash.

More segments of this latest report will be published and analysed by Motorbike Writer over the next few days so stay tuned.

Meanwhile, here is an infographic that outlines the survey respondents.

Crash speed ‘not linked to rider injury’

Authors:

  • Elaine Hardy, Motorcycle Research Analyst, UK; 
  • Dimitri Margaritis, Research Associate, CERTH/HIT, Greece;
  • James Ouellet, Hurt Report co-author, USA; and
  • Martin Winkelbauer, Senior Researcher, KFV, Austria.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Roadworks gravel a danger to riders

The issue of the condition of roadworks has flared again with several riders complaining about gravel left on roadworks on the Hume Highway in regional Victoria.

The road was recently reopened with a reduced speed limit before it was completed, leaving about 3km of the road  between Wandong and Clonbinane covered in loose gravel.

Rider complaints

Mick Rider said there was so much gravel left behind that even the 60km/h signs were too high.

“To navigate this dangerous marble like surface safely, I had to reduce my speed to 40km/h, resulting in b-double trucks and other vehicular traffic following dangerously close, and being sprayed with loose gravel and dust by vehicles overtaking in right hand lane,” he says.

Mick says it is the third time he as nearly crashed in loose gravel from roadworks caused by “sloppy work practices”.

Another rider, Geoff Evans, who encountered the section while driving his b-double tanker says he noticed speed limit signs had been knocked over leaving little alert to the conditions ahead.

“I remember thinking to himself, when I got to that last 200m of fine loose gravel, I was glad to be in the truck, and not riding,” says the Harley Breakout rider.

“I looked in the mirror and and you could see the cars behind in the blinding dust blowing up from my truck.”

Gravel residue is ‘common practice’Gravel roadworks

While the surface has now been swept, Motorcycle Riders Association (Victoria) regional member Cate Hughes wrote to VicRoads and the Roads Minister saying it was common for roadworks to leave behind loose gravel.

“This has to stop before a motorcyclist is killed, or seriously injured,” she wrote.

“VicRoads has a duty of care.

“Your contractors must be advised to correctly sign all approaches to roadworks and sweep love grave from surfaces, regardless of whether they are planning to return to complete later.”

Gravel roadworksBumps on lane exit

Cate also complained about one of many sections of ‘shoves’ (raised bumps in a sealed surface) on the first 50m of the Clonbinane-Broadford northbound exit on the Hume. 

“To use this exit as a motorcycle rider, I have to exit last minute from the Hume Highway, which, regardless of indicating to do so, has resulted in cars trying to come up the inside, which is very dangerous,” she says.

“This is not fit for purpose for all road users, and is in urgent need of attention, given the number of motorcycle riders using this exit, not just as commuters, but as leisure riders on weekends.”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Five riders die in tragic five days

A rider has died in a hit-and-run crash with a truck in Sydney this afternoon in a tragic five days on the roads in several states.

Officers from Sydney City Police Area Command have established a crime scene at Ultimo following the latest fatal collision.

The crash happened at 2.40pm (27 February 2020) when the rider was struck by a white truck on Abecrombie Street at Ultimo.

The truck failed to stop after the collision.

The motorcyclist was pronounced dead at hospital.

UPDATE: Police have now arrested a man near the scene at 4.50pm today and taken him to a hospital for mandatory testing.  A truck has been seized for scientific examination.

There are no further details available at this time.

Policer are appealing to anyone who might have been in the area at the time of the collision, particularly anyone who may have captured dash-cam footage is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au

Tragic days

It follows a tragic five days on the roads for riders:

Our sincere condolences to the families and friends of those who died and our best wishes to any injured riders for a full and seedy recovery.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com