Dangerous roadworks remain

Win for riders on Mt Tamborine roadworks

Riders are warned that dangerous “tar snakes” remain on Mt Tamborine this weekend despite causing three motorcycle crashes and one bicycle crash last Saturday.

When TV and local press media arrived for a press conference called on the site today by Motorbike Writer, Main Roads crews were already on the scene photographing and surveying the site.

They wouldn’t say what they were doing except that a call had been received from the Main Roads Minister’s office to inspect the scene following our article yesterday about the dangerous roadworks.

A statement was expected to come from Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey today, but his office now says they will make a statement on Monday.

“The Minister is aware of the issue and has asked TMR to immediately investigate the surface condition of the road,” his office says.

For now, hundreds and possibly thousands of riders will pass the dangerous roadworks this weekend.

One of the crashed riders, primary school principal Lex Bowden, said he was hopeful that the presence of Main Roads workers meant something would be done about the roadworks.

“What happened today may just have save the life of a father or mother,” says Lex whose Hayabusa skidded off the road and down a steep embankment.

Win for riders on Mt Tamborine roadworks
Lex points to where he and his Hayabusa ended up

The tar snakes, or liquid tar crack sealant, are on a hairpin corner of Mt Tamborine Rd, about 1.5km north of the Canungra turnoff.

A recent Austroads report says crack sealant has low skid resistance and may be more dangerous to motorcyclists than the cracks themselves.

Motorbike Writer inspected the site today and saw the tar snake Lex hit and the marks left by his tyre followed by the scrape marks of the bike.

Mt Tamborine Goat Track crashes
Lex’s Busa in the bushes

He was on the inside of the corner, apexing exactly where he should. There is an imprint of his front tyre in the slippery tar which probably also had some morning dew on it. The bike immediately went down, leaving scratch marks on the road to the point it wen over the cliff edge.

From the entry point of the corner you can see the whole road, but because the tar snakes are in shade, it is impossible to see them until you are almost on them.

Opposition Road Safety Minister Andrew Powell said the Minister should “have a conversation with motorcyclists about a stretch of road that claims too many Queensland lives”.

“The LNP has a strong track of working with motorcyclists – for example, delivering the new lane-filtering rules – and we are keen to continue that relationship in the interests of improving road safety.”

Win for riders on Mt Tamborine roadworks
News crews on the scene

The Motorcycle Riders’ Association of Queensland has described the Mt Tamborine patch-up repair job as “careless”.

“The long crack repairs are a problem but more so the large area repairs that have been done with the liquid tar fill because they now make a greater single area of low traction which will cause a two wheel vehicle to loose control,” an MRAQ statement says.

Win for riders on Mt Tamborine roadworks
Scene of the crashes

“This system of road maintenance is a low-cost one aimed solely at preventing water entry into the road surface which could cause further deterioration.

“However little or no consideration of vulnerable road users appears to be taken into consideration when this type of repair is done and in this particular instance the repair type appears to have been done in excess of any reasonable limit.”

The statement says Main Roads is using high-traction aggregate mixtures to resurface other roads with tight corners such as the M1 turn-off to the Gateway.

“Unfortunately it appears only to be used on higher-volume road surfaces,” the MRAQ says.

Mt Tamborine Goat Track crashes
Tar snakes

“Consideration of the traction quality of the road surface and in particular when performing any repairs must be part of the final solution mix and the MRAQ calls upon all levels of government and road construction contractors to have much greater consideration of the whole vehicle fleet that use our roads when formulating any program of road repair or construction.”

The MRAQ also expressed concern about “excessively large areas of road profiling left unfinished when resealing or resurfacing is being performed” and loose material left behind after road repairs.

“A greater duty of care needs to be considered by all those concerned with the building and repair of Queensland roads,” the MRAQ says.

11 Comments

  1. In my area all the roads are full of breakups. Some are completely dangerous or I should say all are. One in particular was and still is on an corner in town when you turn off to Canberra/Boorowa at Cowra. It has a large break-up that no matter which way you came into the corner you could not be avoided.
    I emailed the local council about the situation. A reply came to me 6 weeks later by letter! It said it was a main roads department issue!
    As I have said before and keep saying, we have CRAP roads in Australia.
    If all this money that is sent overseas is stopped for one year we could fix these problems and more.
    I better stop now, my blood pressure is going up.

  2. Hi, The situation that caused this ( and others ) accident really is unacceptable. Surely the contractor and / or authority responsible for initiating the repairs must have some duty of care, as the accident was predictable and foreseeable in a risk assessment scenario?

  3. Every rider, whether on the bike or in the car should ring the local council as soon as they see shoddy repairs. Your mobile will log the call being made, and ensure you keep a name of the person contacted. Call the local police, they are the authority for traffic control around road hazards. On some web site, club page or even better a special web site logging dodgy roads and when they were reported would give riders a resource to check if the repair had been reported and if so sue that %$@%$ council and road crew. Imagine councils seeing a web site listing dodgy repairs and the details of it being reported for all to see. The civil cases would soon build up. Motorbike writer, you up for it?
    Pete

  4. Minister Bailey, being a good man that he is, may have got some crew out there quickly by the power of his voice down the phone, but just wait till the ‘Machine’ of his Dept. gets into him later during the week. He’ll soon pull his head in when they frighten him with the on going potential $$$ costs through “admitting guilt by his subsequent actions”.

  5. Rode Northbrook Parkway today, down from Glorious. Seversal examples of substandard repairs works. Not tar sankes, but panels of new bitumen leaving lengthways ridges along the traffic lanes. Potentially very dangerous for bikes.

      1. Hi Mark,

        As you may know, a road authority cannot be sued for injury and/or loss arising from a road defect of which it is unaware, but it can if it is, or alternatively if it undertakes faulty repairs. However the authority and their insurers often have greater resources and infinite patience which can wear down the individual biker. Cheers P.

  6. Thanks for a great piece. Seems the authorities do not think they have a “duty of care” visa vie these repairs.
    Hopefully they will fix this before another rider goes down, and they find themselves before the courts fighting a negligence suit.

  7. Great article, many thanks. I was going up there this weekend, but will give it a miss. That one photo above is ridiculous. No wonder the guy went down.

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