Position Statement – Road Design & Maintenance
The methods used to repair the road surface affect motorcycle control and stability. The design of where roadside objects are placed has a major influence on the severity of injuries a motorcyclist receives in the event of a crash.
Where we are now:-
Little regard is given to motorcycle safety when roads are designed and repaired. This situation is exacerbated when insufficient funding is available to design or keep roads to an acceptable standard.
The RTA’s Road Design Guide currently gives no consideration to what is good design in regards to motorcycle safety.
Road design features of concern to motorcyclists include:-
- Slippery road marking paint
- Slippery steel bridge deck joints
- Crash barriers
- Guide posts that are not flexible
- Light poles, posts and signs that are placed close to the roadway
The types of defects that appear as road deteriorates that are of concern to motorcyclists includes:-
- cracks that are then repaired with slippery crack sealant,
- polished & slippery surfaces
- loose gravel
When roads are being repaired practices that are of concern include:-
- Steel plates without skid resistance treatment
- Rotomilling, the grooving of the road surface, without adequate warning
- Sidetracks with loose gravel surfaces
- Loose gravel when potholes are repaired
- Loose gravel when the surface is repaired using a sprayed seal
Most of these issues are described in the Austroads “Guide to Traffic Engineering Practice, Part 15 – Motorcycle Safety” and recommendations are given on how to rectify them.
The RTA’s Traffic Control at Worksites Manual highlights motorcycle safety issues at worksites including the requirement that steel plates have a skid resistance treatment.
The Australian Asphalt Pavement Association’s (AAPA) Work Tip number 28 has requirements of the number of loose stones when using sprayed seals.
As the Motorcycle Council has written to all Local Councils asking what are they doing to implement Austroads “Guide to Traffic Engineering Practice, Part 15 – Motorcycle Safety”, all councils are aware of their obligations regarding designing and maintaining roads with regards to motorcycle safety.
The Motorcycle Council website has a Motorcycle Hazard Warning Form that motorcyclists can use to advise road authorities of defects that are a hazard to motorcyclists.
Where we want to be:-
The road environment is designed and maintained to an acceptable standard for motorcycle safety.
All procedures, design guides and other documentation regarding the design and maintenance of roads take in to consideration the needs of motorcyclists.
That road authorities respond in a timely manner to road defects that are of concern to motorcyclists.
How to get there:-
Continue to request that procedures and design guides are updated to include motorcycle safety.
Encourage motorcyclists to report hazards using the Motorcycle Council of NSW’s hazard reporting form.