A 50-year-old rider has died after his motorcycle hit a roadside traffic sign in rural Nowra, on the NSW south coast.
Police say that just before 3pm yesterday (14 August 2019) “a motorcycle travelling south on Parma Road at Yerriyong was approaching a bend, when it hit a traffic sign pole”.
The rider was unable to be revived and died at the scene.
A crime scene was established by South Coast Police District officers who are “conducting inquiries into the circumstances surrounding the crash”.
Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report crime via NSW Police social media pages.
UPDATE: 2nd fatality
NSW Police report a second rider has died after his motorcycle left the road and hit a sign.
The accident happened about 1.30pm on Friday (16 August 2019) on the Kings Highway, near Captains Flat Road, Carwoola.
The 71-year-old man was treated at the scene before being taken to Canberra Hospital in a critical condition, where he later died from his injuries.
Our condolences to both riders’ family and friends.
Traffic sign hazards
Despite these reports, wire rope barriers, speed signs and other hazards have proliferated on our roadsides.
While the 2016 report said the road environment accounted for only 2% of motorcycle road deaths in single-vehicle crashes between 1999 and 2003, “certain road elements have the potential to contribute to the actual outcome and severity of the crash”.
It said the first step was to identify roads that pose the highest crash risk to motorcyclists, then perform safety audits.
The report recommended a raft of motorcycle-specific road modifications including:
- install flexible but durable materials or shields underneath barriers (no mention of wire rope barriers!);
- install attenuators or energy dissipaters on posts and poles;
- relocate trees, poles, signs and other roadside objects;
- recommended maximums for potholes, ruts and cracks before repair is vital;
- rapid road repair including quick removal of oil, diesel and other spills;
- fluoro warning signage at known crash zones;
- better-designed crash barriers (read this Austroads view);
- improve road surfaces for skid resistance, road camber, badly located drains, rough edges, etc; and
- add advance stop lines at intersections with filtering lanes for motorcycles to reach the front of traffic.