Shoddy roadworks with little signage, deep gravel and metal plates to cover holes are a trap waiting to snare unwitting motorcycle riders.
One Gladstone man early on Friday morning crashed his Harley-Davidson in gravel left behind by roadworks where there was no warning signs and no street lighting.
Rider Troy Stuart now wants the council to fix up his un-insured bike as repairs could cost thousands of dollars. As far as we can see, he’s owed that, at least.
“My front wheel of my Harley hit the gravel and just washed out,” said Troy in an interview with the local newspaper, The Observer. “I went straight over the handlebars. I was only going 20-40kmh max. It was no fault of mine. I wasn’t speeding, my bike was roadworthy. I could not be expected to see the gravel when there were no lights or signs telling me it was there.”
It is about time councils and roadworks contractors recognised their duty of care to all road users, especially motorcycle riders who are the most vulnerable to slippery or damaged road surfaces.
Maurice Blackburn Lawyers principal Malcolm Cummings advises that riders can sue those responsible for the roadworks if they crash.
He says roadworks contractors have an obligation to provide a safe alternate route for all road users. “Obviously what may be safe for some road users may not be safe for motorcyclists,” says Malcolm.
It is believed Melbourne City Council is about to released a draft motorcycle plan that acknowledges their duty to provide safe road surfaces for motorcycle riders, free of gravel, slippery metal plates and paint.
Other councils should follow that lead and recognise that they must provide decent road surfaces or sufficient warnings that advise riders of the potential risk.
Have you come across roadworks where the road surface has been left in an unsuitable condition for riders? Have you had a spill in such conditions?