Driver fined for motorcycle mattress crash

Driver fined for motorcycle mattress crash

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.Driver fined for motorcycle mattress crash

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.”

Rider hits unsecured mattress in tunnelAustralian 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.Unsecured load police

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.

7 Comments

  1. Is it the motorcyclist’s responsibility not to be around a vehicle with an unsecured load??
    How does one accurately determine if a load is secured or not?
    Is not it the responsibility of the driver to ensure their load is secured??
    The thing is, if the rider had been seriously injured or killed, the penalty would likely have not been much greater!

  2. Rules dictated by unelected bureaucrats are not designed to make sense. Only confusion so as to maximise revenue and control. I have written many letters and all you will get is a template letter that completely avoids the problems you raise.

  3. Andrew K says “Punch it past ….”. That would be the safest option but in the eyes of the law makers that could cop a bigger fine than the idiot who fails to secure the load. What a ridiculous situation.

  4. I have had a bicycle fall off a rack on the vehicle in front of me on our F3 where the traffic was traveling at 110 km/h, on the same freeway the NSW Police officer in charge of mounted police for the 2000 Olympics was killed when a ring of timber came off a truck in front of him

    Police have charges they could lay such as travel in a manner dangerous under most if not all State regulations so to claim there were not other charges which could be laid against the driver are false. Police attempt to use these types of offenses against motorcyclists for standing on the foot pegs so they can do the same with drivers who do not secure loads properly

  5. Currently driving an accident replacement vehicle while my car is repaired following a load fail incident with a vehicle that failed to properly secure its load. A few people have asked me “why are you so calm about it, I would be so angry…”. Because I was supposed to be riding my bike that afternoon, that’s why. Instead I was in a Merc with collision avoidance (which definitively minimized impact and reduced damage to cosmetic) and a myriad of airbags if it was worse. On the bike you have nothing. Glad this guy lived to tell the tale, but even in the car now won’t follow anything with a load. And definitely not on the bike. Punch it past or hang back.

  6. This needs to be taken further. Not tying something down properly on a local road is one thing, in a motorway tunnel it is another thing. What if there had been cars and trucks directly behind the motorcycle rider and it had become a mass pile-up? I think a petition should be started to make an example of this…. happy to be contacted below…

  7. If ever there was an example of the inequity and absurdity of State Regulations this is it

    A driver committing an act which has the potential to kill or injure another road user is fined $275 for not securing their load where a rider wearing a helmet compliant to another standard which is not approved but equivalent to the Australian standards and does not in any way put other road users at risk is fined in excess of $300 in most States for wearing no helmet at all

    The fine for wearing no helmet at all in NZ is $50

    Letters of complaint should be written to all State Ministers pointing out the inequity and absurdity of the State regulations, they are arbitrary, discriminatory revenue raising regulations

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