29 May 2007

Tragic weekend on ACT Roads

| Special G
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Canberra Times and WIN news have both reported about the deaths on roads around the ACT over the weekend. Canberra Times link here.

The ACT specific crash was an 18yr old motorcyclist riding a Yamaha R1 on the Federal Highway in Watson, who hit the rear end of a 4wd. P and L plate riders are limited by a power to weight ratio so they learn and gain experience on a motorcycle less likely to get them killed. Which begs the question how did an 18yr old find himself on one of the most powerful sports bikes on the market.

There was a follow up story in the Canberra Times about a notorious motorcyclist blackspot being the intersection of the Federal Highway and Antill Street in Watson outside the Formula one Hotel. This is a bit of a stretch as the crash didn’t happen at that intersection, and should have been asking for better rider training/testing and actual enforcement of ownership of motorcycles by dealers and the motor registry as well as the fuzz.

This is ammunition the new Automotive party needs to win votes in the next election.

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Felix the Cat9:05 pm 02 Jun 07

That intersection/roundabout at the Formule 1 hotel (it is Formule, not Formula) is a bad one, especially in the wet. I think the painted white lines on the road do actually contribute to the accidents as well as people that don’t drive to the conditions. I go through this intersection several times daily and have never had a problem. If the plants in the garden on the left as you exit the roundabout (heading towards Mitchell) are to have any chance of survival then an armco railing need to be put up there so the incompetents bounce off it and back onto the road where they belong.

mlm: actually I have a blind spot in my car. The rear view mirror. A car can hide behind it with the right timing.
OTOH people don’t look near the curb for oncoming traffic, so if I’m cycling at 40 without a motor behind I’ll pass a sidestreet closer to the centreline, where they are actually looking. BigRed’s right, that’s a blindspot too.

VYBerlinaV8 now_with_added grunt11:18 am 31 May 07

Riding a motorbike is a lot more dangerouse than driving a car, I think. That said, if someone wants to do so, that’s their decision.

Granted anyone on a motorbike who rides in a blind spot is dangerously relying on a car driver’s competence to keep them alive, but drivers who complain about motorbikes in their blind spot can get f’ed.

It is called a blind spot because you can’t see it with your mirrors. That means you turn your fat head and check it before changing lane etc. It is not an excuse for causing an accident because you were too bone lazy to turn your head an extra 90 degrees.

One key difference between bikes and cars: if you stuff up on a bike you usually hurt yourself, in a car you put that burden on anyone but yourself.

im not a fan of motorbikes all the ones i come across weave in and out of traffic, driving to excessive speeds or sit in your blinds spot. And i despise drivers who come all the way up to the front of the traffic lights.

I also have an issue with the motorcyclists i almost rang off the road the other day.. If you have a problem with me driving the 40km’s thru the construction zones for the GDE dont cut me off while sticking your finger up at me.

Aeek, same thing. And aactually make such a presence they do look.

even better, ride where they are looking.

Get as bigger bike as possible, develop attitude, ride within your limits (and those of the law) and never ride in a blind spot.

Actually, now that my sister will get her licence back in July, I’d recommend that everyone get off the roads, bikes and cars.

She’s a menace.

I actually just sold my bike as I just got too scared of the cars to continue riding. I had people pull out on me on many an occassion and similar to Aeek I have been lucky enough on these occassions to be able to change lanes.
I just found that constantly putting my life in the hands of drivers not paying attention was just a too stressful way to commute to work.
That being said, I only had my motorbike licence for over a year (although had ridden dirt bikes previously) and I just wasn’t a confident rider on the roads.

I’d love to ride a motorbike. However, since I strongly suspect i’m stupid enough to kill myself, i’ll stay in my car, thanks.

yeah, it’s those Killer Roads again. It’s all the Roads’ fault, they are EVIL. Yep.

not the fact that most drivers can’t drive.

Aeek: don’t get me started on Barry Dr, esp after they started GDE. And Clunies Ross/Lady Denman and all the traffic lights. Am getting a sore right leg from holding up a 300 kg machine at all the red lights.

Spectra: when someone pulls out in front. Happens to me occasionally on Barry Drive, car pulls out of the stalled right lane. Whether they don’t see me, or falsely assume that a cyclist has to be slow. So far the bus lane has been empty so I’ve had somewhere to go.

bigred: I have a tough time envisaging a situation where someone collides with the back of someone else where it’s anyone’s fault other than the person behind. That said, I agree with you about jumping to conclusions – my comments were more directed at Special G’s thoughts about what the CT should have been calling for, not at this incident in particular.

Life without some risk is not living. It’s choosing what risks are worth taking that is the skill and each person is different in that. Those who can’t judge what’s a good risk don’t last to long.

GnT is spot on. We should all wrap ourselves in cotton wool, telecommute to avoid any chance of accident/injury and die young, fat and bloated.

Yeah, bikes let you go – head first into the back of a 4WD!

No, bikes let you go in a crash; its cars that people have to be cut out of.

Motorbikes are death traps. No way I would be caught dead riding one. Give me the protection/warmth/comfort of my car any day.

The reporting of the Watson accident is confusing to say the least, eg the motorcycle collided with the rear of the 4WD which was turning right. There has been no mention that the bike was going too fast, so jumping to the conclusion that the rider was riding a way too powerful bike was the reason is unfounded on the evidence. For the record, I am an experienced rider and the performance of those sport bikes scare me.

Better to wait for more information before attributing fault I think.

I have to say, I think our mandatory motorbike training here is great. Nor do I think there’s any problem with the testing regime – as I went through both processes, I saw a pretty effective filtering out of people who seemed like maybe riding wasn’t for them. No amount of training is going to stop people being idiots – just because they know it’s not smart doesn’t mean they won’t do it.
As far as enforcement goes, I can’t see how you’d directly improve it (aside from general improvements in patrols and stuff, but that may not have helped here). You can’t stop some twit jumping on his mate’s R1/Firestorm/ZX14R/whatever and not displaying his L/P plates. The only other option I can see is to be constantly pulling over every bike and checking the rider’s license – not very practical (nor would I appreciate it very much).

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