WIRE-ROPE barriers on highways pose a danger to motorcyclists and need to be considered in road safety measures, Cowper MP Luke Hartsuyker says.
Mr Hartsuyker has told the federal parliament that the risk of wire barriers were highlighted in the past few weeks when a motorcyclist had to have his leg amputated after colliding into a wire barrier near Taree.
“I think an important element that needs to be incorporated into our planning processes is consideration of safety aspects for motorcyclists,” he said.
“They are a high-risk road user but there are almost a million registered motorcycles in Australia.
“There are a large number of motorcyclists who I believe are being put at greater risk by the expansion of the network of wire-rope barriers.
“There are good reasons for having wire-rope barriers – to separate oncoming traffic. They are vitally important.
“But I think it is important that we have a look at the design of wire-rope barriers, the location of wire-rope barriers, whether they are actually enhancing safety outcomes and the implications of wire-rope barriers for motorcyclists.
“As cars and trucks share the road with motorcycles, it is important that we place a far greater focus on safety outcomes for motorcyclists as a result of the placement of those wire-rope barriers.
“Can we make those barriers safer, perhaps by covering certain key areas of wire-rope barriers with an impact-absorbing plastic so that if a motorcyclist falls on it he will not suffer the same fate as the motorcyclist recently injured in Taree?
“This is a very important issue.”
Mr Hartsuyker said he intended to table a private member's motion calling for governments to review the use of wire ropes.