Auckland will trial smart signs at intersections that alert drivers to the presence of riders as part of a four-stage motorcycle safety strategy for New Zealand’s largest city that could have wider applications.
The smart signs will consist of flashing studs in the road and electronic message signs at selected intersections.
It is the third step in a four-stage Auckland Transport plan to reduce motorcycle crashes at intersections where 40% of all motorcycle injury crashes occur.
Between 2014 and 2018, 29 people died and 515 were seriously injured (excluding state highways) as a result of motorcycle crashes in the Auckland region. The most common crash factors were failing to give way/stop, and poor observation.
AT data shows that many crashes involving motorcyclists occur when a car is turning right into a side road.
The first stage last month involved painting yellow “keep clear” road markings (or hatched road-markings) across the intersections of Dominion Road and 14 side roads.
AT hopes these will improve visibility for drivers and motorbike riders when approaching an intersection.
The second stage next month involves AT’s Road Safety Team reviewing video to analyse traffic behaviour in the wake of the new line markings.
Analysis of this video will be compared to recordings in November 2019.
This will help the team understand what worked, what didn’t work, and any other issues that came up.
After the smart signs are installed in April, a Road Safety Team will review the results of the three safety methods in May.
AT chose Dominion Road as it has the highest risk for crashes involving motorcycles.
The 14 intersections included in this trial are: Bellwood Avenue, Ewington Avenue, Prospect Terrace, Burnley Terrace, King Edward Street, Grange Road, Paice Avenue, Milton Road, Wiremu Street, Rocklands Avenue, Halston Road, Tennyson Street, Queens Avenue and Kensington Avenue.
We welcome these motorcycle safety initiatives and look forward to the results. Hopefully they will be rolled out across the country as well as Australia.
It will be interesting to see if the signage conditions drivers to be on the lookout for riders, or whether they will come to rely on the signage and forget to look on other occasions.