Crossing white lines ‘worse than speed’

Drivers crossing double white lines is a bigger problem than speeding on the Oxley Highway and other popular motorcycle routes, say riders.

The 44km mountain section of the famed motorcycle route will be slashed from 100 to 80km/h starting on December 13, 2017. Read about the decision here.

Riders say a much bigger problem is drivers failing to stay on their side of the road as the video and photos in this article dramatically show.

Even though these images come from the Oxley Highway, riders around the country will recognise this dangerous driving behaviour on their favourite winding roads.

The videographer/rider, who prefers to remain anonymous, reported the above driver’s dangerous driving to police.

“I went to Port Macquarie police station and they took all the details but they said the driver would only get a warning unless I wanted to go to court,” he says.

“Not very practical since I live in Sydney.”

The BMW R 1200 GS rider claims the ute driver was purposely using all the road.

“He thought it was funny when I confronted him,” he says.

“His friend even suggested I was egging them on to do it.”

On at least two occasions, the driver almost runs head-on into oncoming traffic, including a truck. And on several occasions, he crosses double white lines on blind corners.

The video and photos emerge after Roads Minister Melinda Pavey delivered the decision on Monday to reduce speed on the mountain with no further negotiations.

Save the Oxley founder Ken Healey called it a “dictatorship” and Motorcycle Council of NSW treasurer Steve Pearce said riders were “under siege” by the government.

Double white-lines fever

Ken says drivers endangering riders by crossing double lines on the mountain “happens all the time”.

“Not as bad as that (video), however we do battle with cars and trucks on our side of the lines all the time. Every weekend. Every day. It’s apparently worse during the week.

“Nearly every time you go up there. Cars, 4x4s, trucks, caravans, they all do it. We focused heavily on education programs on exactly that, and the RMS said they’d look into it.

“We even mentioned a TV advertisement with a car on the wrong side of the lines and the car cleans up a bike coming the other way.

“For every person behind a set of handle bars there is someone at home that loves that person. Keep your show on your side of the lines.”

The rider who supplied the video said they had “zero to do with speed and both drivers were well under the speed limit”.

This still shot from another video taken last weekend by the same rider shows the speed as 49km/h.

“In fact, they were holding people up,” he says.

His comments were mirrored by the heavy transport industry who warned that traffic would be delayed further by the reduction of speed.

There is also concern that the three straights on the mountain where safe passing would be possible may get double white lines.

“I do around 3-4 Oxley trips a year from Sydney and always stay the night at a hotel,” the videographer said.

“Once it’s changed to 80, I will not be making the trip anymore as it’s not worth it.”

Last year, Motorbike Writer reader Harry Criticos supplied these photos of errant drivers on the highway.

“They may complain about motorbikes, but the police should also be doing something about drivers cutting the corners, especially over double lines,” he said.

“In two of the shots, you can see the same car doing it twice.”

Police patrols needed

The videographer says police should concentrate on dangerous behaviour and not simple speeding offences.

“I find it funny that after an ACA story of wheelies and hoons, the police are boasting how they are going to track these people down and charge them.

“That wasn’t my experience when I reported my video.”

Steve says he has been told the Highway Patrol doesn’t have the resources to patrol the road.

Ken says he was told the narrow and winding highway doesn’t meet police OH&S requirements because it is not safe to do u-turns.

Major protest ignored

The reduction in the mountain speed limit follows major protests by riders and the local business community as well as a 10,700-strong petition.

Protest organiser Ken Healey says they have been ignored by the Minister who is also the local member.

Ken (right) hands over the petition to RMS District Manager John Alexander

Ken says the RMS cited six deaths since six fatalities on the road since 2011.

He says all the deaths occurred on three corners of 45km/h or less, so the vehicles would have been doing between 50-70km/h anyway.

Clearly, speed is NOT the issue, he says.

There are many videos on YouTube of drivers crossing double white lines on this and other highways.

Last year, Motorbike Writer reader Harry Criticos supplied these photos of errant drivers on the highway.

“They may complain about motorbikes, but the police should also be doing something about drivers cutting the corners, especially over double lines,” he said.

“In two of the shots, you can see the same car doing it twice.”

 

Source: motorbikewriter.com

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