May 4, 2016 at 10:48 am #12636EddiebKeymaster
Rank: Round the World Adventure Globetrotter
- Town/City: Tauranga
- Bike: Suzuki DR650 ADV, BMW R100GS
Julz Lee, left, Pat Kilduff and Darryn Lee think motorcyclists’ safety should be looked at more seriously by the Government.
Motorcyclists are banding together and calling for the removal of wire median barriers from New Zealand roads.
More than 200 riders from Auckland clubs are expected to attend a protest rally, riding from Clover Park in St Heliers through to Lincoln Rd in Henderson on May 8, starting at 10.30am.
They will present a petition calling for the barriers to be banned to MP for Te Atatu Phil Twyford when they arrive at Henderson’s Netball Waitakere.
The wire barriers, or “cheese cutters” as they have been nicknamed, are an ongoing point of contention in the motorcycling community.
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If a motorcyclist crashes into this barrier they can be badly injured or killed, Free Riderz motorbike club president Julz Lee says.
Free Riderz, Road Rats and Aotearoa Riderz are the three main Auckland clubs behind the rally.
Lee, a Titirangi resident, says the roads are like “death alley for riders”.
“People don’t like middle-aged riders, we know that. But we also don’t deserve to have these extra risks on our roads,” she says.
Henderson resident and Road Rats president Pat Kilduff says motorcyclists accept their safety risks and pay higher registrations, but at the same time they expect to be looked after on the roads too.
“I worry about the new motorways in Auckland. There will be “cheese-cutters”. It’s all just cost saving.”
Kilduff says motorcyclists would prefer it if concrete walls were used to divide the roads so that if they did come off their bike they would slide along the wall.
“Basically, if we slide into the wire barriers it kills us and it rips our arms or legs off,” he says.
“It’s not just our riders who want their safety recognised it’s also our families. We have mothers and children and they want us to come home safely.”
The New Zealand Transport Agency website says the fear of the “cheese-cutter” is unfounded.
It says a University of New South Wales study showed the barriers counted for a very small percentage of motorcycle fatalities.
In 2007, motorcyclist Daniel Luke Evans, 21, was severed at the waist after hitting a wire barrier on the Southern Motorway near Papakura.
His death sparked messages of outrage on internet forums and prompted calls for Transit NZ to abandon plans to extend the barriers and for it to dismantle those in place.
Riders protested at the time to ban the barriers, but they lost the battle.
Some parts of Europe have banned the flexible barriers because of the danger they pose to motorcyclists.
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