Motorcycles may soon be coming to the rescue of crash victims and broken-down vehicles on tollways around Australia to keep traffic moving.
It follows the Australian-first trial of a motorbike response crew on the Logan and Gateway motorways in Brisbane.
The trial is being run by Queensland tollway company Linkt, which is owned by Transurban that also operates CityLink in Melbourne and six tollways in Sydney.
Trial results are expected in mid-2019. If it is deemed a success, it may be expanded to other cities.
“As part of an Australian-first trial, experienced motorbike responders will get to breakdowns and incidents sooner, providing much needed assistance to affected motorists during periods of high congestion, and helping to keep traffic moving,” Linkt says.
What makes motorcycles quicker to respond is their ability to legally filter through slow or stationary traffic.
So motorists will have another reason to be grateful for more motorcycles on our roads!
Motorcycle paramedics have been used in other states before, but this is the first by a private tollway company.
Linkt say their motorbike response crews are first-aid trained and equipped with “fuel, water, jump kits, and more”.
Incident Response Supervisor Paul Hillman, who is an ex-paramedic and part of the motorcycle trial, says the crew have more than 20 years’ motorcycle experience.
“To ensure their safety, motorcycles will only be deployed during daylight hours, during peak times and when incidents result in congestion,” he says.
“Breaking down on the motorway can be a very scary experience for people, so when we arrive on the scene to provide assistance, they are very grateful.”
Linkt say they respond to about 1000 traffic incidents each month across Transurban’s roads in Brisbane, including breakdowns, out-of-fuel and debris clean-up.
“Research has shown that the rate of crashes on Brisbane’s toll roads is 53% lower than on similar roads,” they say.
Keeping traffic moving
Transurban Queensland General Manager Operations David McLoughlin says their incident response fleet is the largest in Australia with four trucks fitted with crash cushions, two tow trucks and four utes.
“Since 2017, our average incident response times on these motorways has reduced to just over eight minutes and we expect this trial will result in further benefits for motorists,” he says.
“To ensure the highest safety standards are met throughout the trial, we have been collaborating closely with Queensland Police, who currently use motorcycles as part of their own fleet.”