motorcycle-friendly safety rails a game changer
| NZ Transport Agency:
Waikato & Bay of Plenty
rails especially designed to protect motorcyclists
if they crash have been installed on New Zealand
roads for the first time.
The new rails have
been added to existing roadside safety barriers
along a 130km state highway route called the
Coromandel loop. Popular with riders, it passes
through Kopu, Whangamata, Waihi and Paeroa.
around four per cent of fatal motorcycle crashes
involve collisions with the traditional roadside
barriers, which are designed primarily to protect
people in cars.
The new system
works to reduce serious injuries and deaths by
redirecting the rider along the barrier and away
from the guardrail posts if they come off their
The initiative has
been funded through the Motorcycle Safety Levy (MSL)
and is the latest in a range of safety improvements
that have been rolled out under the Safer Rides
motorcycle safety project.
Over the past year
the inter-agency project has seen a whole range of
improvements to the scenic route, from wider
edge-lines and more forgiving covers for concrete
pipes through to rescue helicopter landing pads.
Chair of the Motorcycle Safety Advisory Council (MSAC),
which advises ACC on where the levy should be
invested, says the game changing new safety rails
will be in place at 19 sites by the end of January.
studies have shown motorcyclist safety rails are the
most effective way to prevent serious injuries, as
the motorcyclist is redirected away from the
unforgiving barrier posts,” he says.
“Making our roads
as motorcyclist-friendly as possible is a top
priority for us. Quite simply, the more forgiving
the roads and roadsides, the more survivable the
crashes and the more lives saved.
creating a more forgiving roadside environment so
that motorcyclists who crash will sustain less
the changes in place before and after at a site near
About Safer Rides
The Safer Rides
project is a New Zealand first and focuses on the
130km state highway route called the Coromandel
loop, which passes through Kopu, Whangamata, Waihi
Crash data over
the five year period before the project started
(2009-2013) shows that motorcycle riders were
involved in 42 per cent of the fatal and serious
crashes along this stretch of highway, yet they make
up only two per cent of the road users.
project sees the NZ Transport Agency, Motorcycle
Safety Advisory Council, ACC, Thames-Coromandel and
Hauraki District Councils, Waikato Regional Council
and the NZ Police working together with the aim of
reducing the number of motorcyclists killed or
seriously injured on the route.
The new safety
rails are among a series of safety improvements
being trialled as part of the project.
upgraded signage for curves and wider edge-lines, a
number of entrances along the route have been sealed
to reduce the amount of gravel and other debris on
markings to help guide riders around corners are
being trialled, guard rails have been added in areas
with a steep drop off and a number of large concrete
drainage pipes have been replaced with smaller flat
and dome shaped covers, which are more forgiving in
the event of a crash.
A series of
billboards with tips for ways to cope with the
challenges of riding the route have also been