Motorcycle safety route review: A case study.
There is an increasing trend in the number of motorcycle crashes not only within NSW but generally across Australia. While rider behaviour may be a critical factor in many of the crashes, road authorities, through a safe systems approach need to focus even more to provide a safer road environment for these vulnerable road users. This case study focuses on the Putty Road, running from the north west outskirts of Sydney, north through the Wollemi National Park to just south of Singleton west of Newcastle. It is a well publicised route for recreational motorcyclists being a scenic route with a challenging alignment. Of the casualty crashes on this road, recreational weekend motorcyclists were over represented. In 2007 the RTA undertook analysis of an 82km section of the Putty Road to determine options to reduce motorcycle crashes. A working party was formed to examine road use, driver behaviour and various elements of the current design of the road. The group identified a range of low cost treatments that were able to be implemented in a short time frame targeting areas where clusters of crashes were occurring. The treatments adopted included installation of high visibility signage, motorcycle specific awareness campaigns, speed zone reductions and a number of engineering treatments. Analysis of the crash statistics in the three years since the treatments were installed shows a decrease of approximately 33% in motorcycle crashes and 25% motorcycle injuries. The strategy used for this route has since been adopted for other motorcycle routes in NSW.