Barrier protection makes Rimutaka Road safer for bikers
A new roadside barrier protection system installed this week on the Rimutaka Road has been hailed as a welcome step forward in making our roads safer for motorcyclists.
Welcoming the barrier post protectors, Mark Gilbert, Chair of the Motorcycle Safety Advisory Council (MSAC), said the new protection will reduce often lethal consequences of impact with traditional unprotected roadside posts.
“Preventing crashes will always be the number one priority, but the new protection will make a difference to motorcyclists.”
The new barrier protectors are part of the joint ACC / MSAC Safer Rides programme focussed on making popular motorcycling routes less dangerous for motorcyclists.
They have been paid for by the Motorcycle Safety Levy fund (MSL), administered by ACC. The new barrier post protectors work to reduce the impact that occurs when a fallen rider slides across or into an unforgiving guardrail post.
Research conducted by the University of New South Wales reinforces the higher level of risk faced by riders compared with car occupants in striking fixed objects such as barriers.
“Protecting a barrier post will never be a panacea. We need car drivers to look out for riders, and all motorcyclists need to keep up their skills, wear the right gear and ride safely. No barrier will save someone travelling too fast for the road, but traditional barrier posts can be punishing for a fallen rider. This new protection helps make the road safer for motorcyclists,” Mr Gilbert said.
New barrier post protectors have been installed over a 12 km section of State Highway 2 known as the Rimutaka Hill, which is a stretch of winding scenic road popular with motorcyclists. The post protectors have been installed on the sections of barrier that have steel posts, focusing on the outsides of corners to reduce the risk of injury for motorcyclists.
As part of the same Safer Rides programme, barrier protection was completed on a 130-kilometre stretch of road on the Coromandel Peninsular in January.
“MSAC is the voice of motorcyclists in advising ACC on applying the MSL to improving motorcyclists’ safety,” Mr Gilbert says.
“This is only one of several initiatives we have been working on with ACC and it is very pleasing to see it come to fruition this week. Riders need to remember they are in a high-risk category, but we are very pleased to see another step forward in reducing the risk of preventable injury.”