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Urgent road repairs a must for rider safety

Victoria pothole roadworks
Victoria pothole roadworks

A massive and potentially lethal pothole on a popular motorcycle road that has been reported to authorities is still not repaired weeks later, says Victorian rider Rodney Brown.

“It was 6.30 on a Sunday morning, dark and foggy, when I came across this road hazard killer,” he says. 

“The water bottle (28cm long and 9cm wide) I placed in it gives you some perspective of this road safety hazard monster, especially for motorcycle riders. 

“This death trap needs to be fixed immediately.”

Rodney reported the pothole on McGeorge Road, South Gisborne, to the local council and VicRoads but says it is still not fixed.

“The road is often used by local motorcycle riders and riders visiting the region who are looking for a scenic ride on a regional road,” he says.

“I rang VicRoads and they referred me on to my local council.

“The council knows about it and only gives these road hazards a quick repair job.

“It has been like this for weeks without any repair.”

Safety issue for riders

Pothole roadworks road hazards inspect
Dangerous road conditions are no laughing matter for riders

Over the past few years we have reported numerous cases where riders have crashed in unacceptable road conditions thanks to poor design, inferior surfacing and a lack of maintenance.

Just this month we reported on a crash were a rider successfully sued over a poorly maintained Victorian road.

Potholes and other road maintenance issues are frequently cited in local and international studies.

A 2018 British Automobile Association survey found that while potholes cause damage to cars, they are a greater injury threat to riders with riders three times more likely to be involved in crashes caused by potholes and poor road surfaces than any other vehicle type.

A 244-page 2016 Austroads report, titled “Infrastructure Improvements to Reduce Motorcycle Casualties”, found that roads need to be better designed, funded and maintained to reduce the risk of motorcycle crashes.

And while riders are urged to report road defects, that only yields a result if the problem is promptly fixed.

If a council or state authority is informed of an issue and a crash occurs before it is fixed, then the authority is culpable.

That may yield a result in terms of compensation, but it does nothing to prevent the accident from happening.

Rodney says there need to be roving road crews available to attend major roads hazards, especially on weekends.

Rodney Brown Rider's call for ute tarps rejected bike lanes
Rodney Brown

“If not there soon should be road crews established to do so,” he says.

“With all the talk from VicRoads and local council nothing has changed in my 50 years as far as fixing regional roads. 

He says the concerns of motorcycle riders in parliament have been abandoned.

“This (pothole) is just another example where our government doesn’t think motorcycle.”