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Motorway emergency lanes not for motorcycles

Motorway emergency shoulder lanes not for motorcycles

Transit New Zealand and the New Zealand Police have alerted motorcyclists to the fact that they are not allowed to use the emergency shoulder stopping lanes and bus lanes on Auckland’s motorway network.

While this happening throughout the motorway network, it is a particular problem along State Highway 1 on the North Shore where increasing numbers of motorcycles are using the emergency shoulder lane, especially during morning peak periods when passenger-carrying buses uses the shoulder as a bus lane.

Transit’s director of strategy and traffic, Terry Brown, says motorcyclists mistakenly believe they are able to use the motorway shoulders because motorcycles are allowed to use Auckland City’s buslanes.

“The fact is it is very dangerous for motorcycles on motorway shoulder lanes because at any time a motorcar or truck could pull into the lane to make an emergency stop without seeing them.

“It is also dangerous because they have to merge and weave with motorway traffic at on and off ramps,” he says. “For example, during morning peak traffic periods, more than 1100 vehicles cross the emergency shoulder lane every hour to exit SH1 at the Tristram Avenue and Northcote Road off ramps. These two off ramps alone illustrate how potentially dangerous it is for motorcycles to us the shoulder lane. The motorway environment is quite different to that of Auckland city where motorcycles are allowed to use the much slower local road and buslane network.”

Mr Brown says that from now on the police will be rigidly enforcing the ‘no-go’ rule for motorcycles on the motorway shoulder.

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