A driver has been fined a measly $275 for an unsecured load after a mattress fell out of his ute and hit an Ipswich rider.
Aaron Wood is lucky to be alive after the incident last week (March 28, 2017), in the Clem 7 tunnel.
A police media spokesperson said the driver could be charged with “Fail to ensure load on private light vehicle complies with requirements” and face a $243 fine.
However, Aaron says they told him the driver, who was located by CCTV footage, would only get a $275 fine for an unsecured load.
When Aaron hit the mattress at 80km/h, it caused an “endo” so severe he tore the grips off the bars of his Honda CBR1000RR.
The video above shows another motorcyclist going past just before the mattress flies off the back of the ute.
Had it come out earlier, it might have taken out two riders.
Luckily Aaron was not injured, but he says his fairing is broken and the airbrushed panels are ruined.
The mattress was lodged under the bike near the exhaust and began to smoulder before being pulled out.
Aaron has contacted solicitors to try to recoup the money from the driver.
The next driver behind Aaron stopped and helped him pull the mattress out of the bike. He was lucky not to be rear-ended.
“I have been riding for 20 years and never had something like this happen,” he says.
“I had luck on my side. I’m ok, not sure, depends on if he pays for my bike.”
Australian authorities receive tens of thousands of callouts a year to collect debris from our roads.
It includes household goods, building materials and green waste, causing road closures, disruptions, injuries and deaths.
Most vulnerable to these unsecured loads are motorcyclists.
Most riders have witnessed all sorts of things flying off the backs of trucks and pick-ups, but the worst culprits seem to be tradies.
Perhaps they are in a rush to get home or to the next job, but too many don’t secure their loads properly.
Take a look at the side of our freeways. They are littered with tradies’ hard hats, rubber boots, gloves and tools.
Other motorists to avoid are weekend gardeners taking their load to the dump in a hired trailer. They are not professional transport operators, so they don’t know how to secure a load properly. Give them a wide berth.
It’s not as if the police and authorities don’t care about unsecured loads.
Police frequently blitz for unsecured loads and the fines range from several hundred dollars to several thousand, depending on the risk level of the spilt load.
However, a fine won’t help a rider recovering in hospital from hitting a loose load. Instead, it’s our responsibility to stay away from any vehicle with a loose load.
And if you see a dangerous load, report it to the police.
This video of an American rider crashing into a load that had fallen off the back of a boat trailer being pulled by an SUV is a lesson in never following vehicles with dodgy looking loads.
Rider Brendan Jankowski, 20, doesn’t seem to be following very closely, but it is close enough for him not to be able to avoid the load of rolled-up foam that falls off. He hits it square on and flips over.
Luckily, he only received minor injuries.
It’s a good lesson to be aware of trucks and pickups carrying loads secured only by ropes and ties.