The Motorcycle Safety Advisory Council (‘the Council’) has been closely involved in a multi-agency pilot project to help improve safety for motorcyclists along a scenic stretch of highway in the Southern Coromandel. The project is a New Zealand first and focuses on the 130km state highway route which passes through Kopu, Whangamata, Waihi and Paeroa.
You may have seen the recent advertising campaign to make riders aware of the changes in magazines and local papers.
Safety improvements have all been completed and include:
- improved drains
- 4 x rescue helicopter landing areas
- sealed property entrances
- different road markings on deceptive corners
- bridge end protection
- signage upgrades
- visibility improved (cutting back banks)
- road surface improved
- hazard protection and modification
- delineation improved
If you tour this popular route, please have your say about whether you feel the improvements will make your ride safer. NZ Transport Agency are giving away great prizes so visit the NZTA Safer Roads - Southern Coromandel project page. Major prize drawn June 30, 2015.
And don’t forget to call 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (44 44 49) if you are out on the route and spot any hazards that the maintenance team need to look at.
How we helped
As recommended by MSAC, ACC invested levy funds that contributed to overall cost of these improvements.
The MSL fund invested in a portion of this work, specifically:
Scrutinising the road
Instrumented bikes are fitted with a smart camera that measures factors such as time, speed and route altitude as well as latitudinal and longitudinal forces. The data collected from the Southern Coromandel Loop allowed experts to scrutinise the route and identify safety issues unique to motorcyclists.
Kev Roberts, motorcycle trainer, comments on Southern Coromandel improvements using an instrumented bike.
See Kevin's video on youtube here.
Reduced gravel migration
Loose gravel on the road is a serious hazard for motorcyclists, so property entrances along the route have been sealed to reduce the amount of loose material on the road.
Edgeline width doubled
The edgeline width has been doubled to 200mm to give better visual clues to riders – using road marking paint that is not a hazard for motorcycles.
Different road markings on deceptive corners
Perceptual counter measures is the technical name for a site-specific approach to improving road safety. By manipulating the way the road and roadsides look, the aim is to encourage motorcyclists to instinctively slow down. The project team have learned from and built upon the experience of a motorcycle safety pilot done in the State of Victoria.
The effect these markings have on rider speed and lane position will be closely monitored and analysed. The report will be made public around June 2015 and will be uploaded to the site.
Initial feedback is that the wide edgeline and the new road markings on the approach to deceptive corners have well received by both professional and recreational motorcyclists.
Download a copy of the Safer Rides Southern Coromandel flyer below.