A fatal motorcycle crash on a corrugated road surface has sparked a new training program for inspectors to look out for specific road hazards that endanger motorcyclists.
VicRoads Safe System Road Infrastructure Program director Scott Lawrence says the training for existing surveillance officers would help road crews “better identify imperfections and other potential road hazards for motorcyclists”.
“The program has been designed by leading road safety experts with extensive motorcycle safety knowledge to help identify road imperfections and other hazards and ensure these are remedied as soon as possible,” Scott says.
“The surveillance officer teams, some of which include motorcyclists, are committed to reducing road hazards including surface imperfections (particularly on bends and on the approaches to bends), debris and other environmental factors that could destabilise riders.”
He advises that motorcyclists can also call 13 11 70 to report a road hazard.
Fatal road hazards
Victorian Motorcycle Council media spokesman John Eacott says the move is a direct result of “a fatal motorcycle accident involving a pavement shove (corrugations) which destabilised the bike”.
He says the training “can only be seen as a positive”.
“The VMC support this and look forward to more road safety initiatives that make riding safer,” he says.
“One such initiative which is long overdue is an extensive campaign to educate all road users about motorcycle lane filtering and both its safety and congestion-relieving benefits.”
Former No 1 member of the Motorcycle Riders Association of Australia, Rodney Brown suggests motorcycle riders have input into the new VicRoads training.
“VicRoads needs to undertake a proper training needs analysis in partnership with motorcycle riders, pillions and other stake holders,” he says.
Dean Marks, the independent rider representative on the Motorcycle Experts Advisory Panel to the Roads Minister, questions the ability of VicRoads to respond fast enough to road hazards.
“VicRoads has not really done any sort of serious advisory work to notify riders and drivers of this number and process. It is something you need to search for,” he says.
“As we know, road conditions that may be suitable for four-wheeled vehicles may have a very different and fatal outcome for riders.
“Should riders stop and call every time they encounter unsafe road conditions, they would be lucky to cover 200 metres in a day.
“We are yet to see what will be done in the form of response to any hazard called in. We already have a plethora of situations where VicRoads have been advised of serious hazards and they still remain unmarked for elongated periods of time.
“I honestly feel that riders are treated with a great deal of contempt. In any environment where safety is paramount, education and proactive actions are first and foremost.”
The VicRoads training initiative is part of a recent $1 million road safety package funded by the Victorian motorcycle safety level.
The package also includes:
- An extension of the bus lane trial in Hoddle and Fitzgerald streets to include the Eastern Freeway inbound from the Chandler Highway to Hoddle Street, and Victoria Parade between Hoddle Street and Brunswick Street;
- Developing a learner and novice rider pack containing tips, resources, a high-visibility vest and other “safety” equipment; and
- The MotoCAP motorcycle protective clothing star rating system will be “further promoted to help riders make better choices when it comes to buying safety gear”.