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Dominion Road motorcycle safety trial kicks off

24 January 2020

Auckland Transport (AT), with funding from safety partner ACC, is addressing motorcycle rider safety in Auckland. AT is trialling safety improvements at 14 side road intersections off Dominion Rd.

AT chose Dominion Road because most motorcycle-related trauma has been recorded over the past five years on roads like Dominion Rd – urban areas on arterial roads with bus lanes.

The trial includes painting yellow hatchings at the intersections of the 14 side roads.

Smart signage and illuminated road studs - which flash when detecting turning vehicles, people on motorcycles and cyclists - will be used during the trial. These will provide warnings to road users that are approaching the intersection.

AT’s group manager of network management, Randhir Karma, says the improvements will help with visibility around the intersections for people on motorcycles and bikes. “We’ve found that a common problem motorcycle riders face on these busy urban arterial roads in the bus lanes is that they are pretty much invisible to traffic turning into side roads. Other standard safety improvements have proved less effective - hence the need to trial innovative measures.

“Using video analysis, AT will then analyse road user behaviour and crash data during and after the trial to see how effective it is,” Mr Karma says.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff, a motorcycle rider himself, backs the six month trial. “Deaths and serious injuries on our roads come at a terrible human cost, as well as imposing serious social and economic costs. That’s why we are investing heavily to improve road safety and AT and ACC are working together to investigate ways of making our roads safer. We know that motorcycle and bike riders suffer disproportionately from deaths and serious injuries on the roads, which is why this project is so important.”

Dave Keilty, road injury prevention lead at ACC, says many motorcycle crashes on urban roads occur at intersections and can often be the result of driver error. “Drivers can look but might fail to see motorcyclists. Between 2012-2016 there were 3,611 injuries and 60 fatal crashes on urban roads across the country. ACC is looking for effective solutions to prevent motorcycle injuries and we’re hoping that this engineering intervention will achieve this - that’s why ACC is investing in this project with Auckland Transport.”

There will be no loss of on-street car parking because of the trial.

The funding for the trial comes out of the $5 million that ACC has invested into AT’s road safety programmes.

The 14 intersections included in this trial are: Bellwood Avenue, Ewington Avenue, Prospect Terrace, Burnley Terrace, King Edward Street, Grange Road, Paice Avenue, Milton Road, Wiremu Street, Rocklands Avenue, Halston Road, Tennyson Street, Queens Avenue and Kensington Avenue.

Timeline:

-January 2020 (Stage 1) – Painting yellow “keep clear” road markings (or hatched road-marking) across the intersections of Dominion Road and 14 side roads, to improve visibility for drivers and motorcycle riders when approaching an intersection.

-March 2020 (Stage 2) – AT’s road safety team will review video recordings to analyse the behaviour of traffic.

-April 2020 (Stage 3) - Installing flashing lights on the road and electronic messaging signs at selected intersections - which will help drivers and motorcycle riders know when the other is approaching the intersection.

-May 2020 (Stage 4) – AT’s road safety team will review how the smart studs, electronic messaging signs, and painted yellow hatchings have improved safety at the intersections.

For more information, and a video detailing the trial, see: https://at.govt.nz/projects-roadworks/dominion-road-motorcycle-safety-trial/

-ENDS-


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