Another famed bike road drops speed limits


Speed limits on parts of the famed Oxley Highway will decrease from next Monday, September 19, 2016, after a road safety audit.


It will join several other great motorcycle roads in Australia with reduced speed limits in an apparent effort to reduce motorcycle crashes. The infamous list includes Mt Glorious Rd, The Great Ocean Rd, The Putty Rd, Bells Line Of Road and The Great Northern Rd.

A Roads and Maritime Services spokesperson says speed zones will change at three locations in the 30km stretch between Wauchope and Long Flat “to improve safety for all road users”.

“The need for these speed zone changes were identified in the Oxley Highway Route Safety Review.”Oxley Highway speed limits

The Oxley Highway runs 450km from Port Macquarie on the coast through Tamworth to Coonabarabran, but the motorcycle nirvana stretches 160km from Wauchope to Walcha.

The RMS spokesperson says the speed zone changes are part of a NSW Government $60 million investment “to improve safety along the Oxley Highway”, so we can expect there will be more changes to speed zones along the remaining 120km of motorcycling nirvana.

Don’t believe it won’t happen. The speed zones were gradually reduced on Mt Glorious Rd until now every zone is 10-20km/h lower.

Oxley Highway speed limits
Motorcycle nirvana

We also expect that as soon as the speed limits are lowered, police will begin enforcement.

The speed limit reduction follows the July 2105 Oxley Highway Route Safety Review that found the highway has just over twice as high a casualty crash rate as other NSW country roads (30% v 14%).

Of the 415 casualties from 2008 to 2012 on the Oxley, the majority were drivers (49%), motorcyclists (24%) and motor vehicle passengers (21%).

Motorcycles were involved in 96 casualty crashes from 2008 to 2012 with one fatal in 2013.

Just over three quarters (78%) of all motorcycle injury crashes involved a single vehicle and more than half (56%) of the riders involved were locals.Oxley Highway speed limits

The review made 14 recommendations including removing roadside hazards, adjusting barriers, better line-marking, improving the road, expanding mobile phone coverage and an education campaign particularly targeting riders.

It also recommended reviewing speed zones.

Guess which won!

Veteran motorcycle journo Mick Matheson says the Oxley Highway is a road all riders should travel at least once in their lives.

He produced this video extolling its virtues.

“There are about 300 corners, the traffic is usually light, and the experience covers more than just the ride because of the character of the places you visit along the way,” he says.

This weekend may be the last time you can ride the full length of the road within its speed limits and still have fun.

We feel sorry for the tourist operators along the route who will lose out as a result.

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  1. After being pulled over for a “random” identity check I asked the pOliceman “what is more dangerous? “Riding at a self assessed speed for the prevailing conditions, or using my phone whilst driving to play mortal kombat with a friend in Vietnam”
    “um ah that’s not point” was the reply.

    Can we now have distraction detection cameras and speed limits recommended for people who aren’t watching the road?
    Obviously sent via instant text to the offending drivers.

  2. It won’t be long until the same happens out at the wonderful motorcycle haunt in the ACT known as The Cotter. Every weekend (a minority of) motorcyclists seem determined to screw it up for everyone by using it as a race track. I’m not talking about 20 – 40 km over, I’m talking serious fuckwicks going so fast they can’t stay on their own side of the road. So many near misses, it’s only a matter of time until we all get closed down.

  3. 60 million dollars, how much will be put into the road surface!? My bet will be bugar all, more signs and crap which we take no notice of anyway. About time the goverments let everyone take responsebility for the own actions, NSW is getting as bad as Vic, speed limts on every good road, just as well cops can’t police them all.

  4. OH! Feck!
    Lets all get 125cc motorcycles with 80 km’s limiters and all ride flat out.
    Or even 80cc motorcycles, Electric push bikes oh Feck!
    I wonder why i drink,this country is going down the gurgerler so fast my head is spinning.
    Please legalise pot so i can spend the rest of my 67 years on this planet in some sense of truth.

  5. Lets slow down all the roads to 40km/h – then everyone in this nanny sate will be safe.

    Hey – we should go back to the horse and cart – I’m sure this will save lives to.

  6. Do they have any data to support these reductions? I’ve been trying to find out. I know that in macro studies, the results have not been at all conclusive, except those run by agencies themselves. Go figure.

  7. The last thing I look at when riding the Oxley is my speedo! And if I did check it would be to make sure I’m doubling the corner speed signs.
    But I ride dirt mostly now anyway. Riding at any speed you want without fear of getting hounded by the cops is great.
    I was recently in outback S.A doing 120kph in sand, not sure what the speed limit was but is sure was a lot more fun than riding hard on an S100RR on the Oxley.

  8. It just means people will be more over the designated speed limit when they get pinged by the Plod.
    Also means more revenue.
    Surely the Government and Councils have an obligation to make the roads safer by keeping them in a good state of repair with all the revenue ??
    Hey if I get pinged for speeding at least fill a bloody pothole with the proceeds you maggots.

    WTF is wrong with Australia !
    Too many laws many of which are Draconian.
    Not enough consistency from one State to another.
    Over Policed.
    Too many cameras including the GoPro type of recreational type. It’s hard to go for a crap nowadays without being filmed !

    Ever noticed how some forces wear leather jackets and funny caps, reminds me of the Gestapo.

    The undercovers on bikes are the lowest form of life. They are NOT there for safety.
    How come a Copper can chase you and book YOU for speeding when HE has just been “speeding” in order to catch up ?

    Glad I lived through a time when the Cops would just give a friendly “slow down” wave as you went the other way doing 130 in 100 zone.

  9. The issue of the “Speed Kills” mentality has been around for over 50 years so much now that traffic cops imagine it is holy writ! We all know how that slogan is just an excuse to have more fines .
    However reducing speed limits is not even a reasonable bandaid if there is concern about safety ( another good stalking horse) the thing required is to improve the road itself to make the ROAD MORE SAFE and not to project the use of it as the unsafe thing.Of course the state governments want to blame the citizens because the pollies are never to blame and they don’t want to spend money on roads( cause then they could not fund arts festivals, and other gala events for the few) although these are about the most fundamental parts of our infrastructure.

  10. “speed zones will change at three locations in the 30km stretch between Wauchope and Long Flat”

    Not such a big deal, still a great ride to be had over the mountain within the unchanged speed limits.

  11. The more they lower speed limits the easier it is to catch offenders and gain some desperately needed revenue. But I’m sure that’s got nothing to do with it. It’s purely for Safety!

  12. I predict the default speed limit on our roads will be dropped to 80kph over the next few years.
    110/100 being reserved for Freeways and major highways…I really hope I’m wrong… :/

  13. Moronic government led by the worst Premier ever in NSW advised by shiny butts in Sydney who never leave the office to get some fresh air in their faces.

  14. Government again folks, doing what it does best: curtailing your freedom little by little. Of course in a country as big as Australia it makes complete sense to reduce speed limits, even as motor vehicle technology and safety improves. But you know what, my fellow Australians love being told what to do. When I posted something similar in a mainstream media forum I’d say that around 70% of the replies to my comment were favourable to government reducing speed limits. So there you go – Australians love government, they must do, they have enough of it.

  15. Every year a thousand people die during surgery let’s ban surgery to save a thousand lives a year!
    What about the ten thousand who will die without surgery ?
    That’s a statistical anomaly that the MACURISCZDTNAY have accounted for in their white paper.

    Above is the speed kills mentality applied to something that highlights how wrong it really is.

    If speed limits were made an advisory ; EG suburban streets 40kph advisory 70kph if safe people wouldn’t be staring at their speedos and they probably wouldn’t go over 50 kph in most cases and like me slow down to as low as thirty or less when it’s obviously dangerous to go faster. But with fixed limits we get idiots who will drive at that limit regardless of how appropriate it is or other idiots who will do 90 in the fast lane on a 110 road because they think their making it safe.

  16. “Of the 415 casualties from 2008 to 2012 on the Oxley, the majority were drivers (49%), motorcyclists (24%) and motor vehicle passengers (21%).”

    Remembering that a pillion passenger is a motorcyclist, not a passenger – so one car with a driver and passenger ‘looks’ (and is) like one accident, where a rider and pillion are ‘two motorcyclists’ which ‘looks’ like two accidents.

    Point being – its true that motorcyclists are over represented in road accidents, but the way the stats are painted makes it look worse than it is …

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