Motorcycle 'Rub Rail' barrier trial in South East

THE Centre for Road Safety and Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) have chosen south-eastern NSW to field test a motorcycle safety barrier system to improve safety for motorcyclists.

As part of the new Motorcycle Safety Infrastructure Program within the Safer Roads Program, a $700,000 trial will be undertaken adding an additional motorcycle friendly rail retro-fitted to existing steel crash barriers in the RMS Southern Region, which stretches from the Illawarra all the way to the Victorian border.

The extra rail will be installed low to the ground, beneath the existing rail on the barriers.

Known as a “Rub Rail”, it is designed to stop motorcyclists who fall off their bikes from sliding into a crash barrier’s steel posts, Centre for Road Safety general manager Marg Prendergast said.

The Rub Rail will be trialled on guard rail on Moss Vale Rd, Lawrence Hargrave Drive, The Illawarra Hwy and the Kings Hwy.

It is expected to be installed by the end of June.

Ms Prendergast said steel crash barriers were a proven road safety tool that were effective in keeping vehicles from crashing down embankments and into trees.

"The posts need to be strong and rigid to stop vehicles, but these same qualities make them unforgiving if a motorcyclist slides into them," Ms Prendergast said.

"A motorcyclist who has lost control can slide straight underneath the barrier and right into the posts.”

The Rub Rail treatment has already been installed to existing steel W-Beam crash barrier on a number of popular motorcycle routes in Queensland as a crash mitigation measure. 

The Rub Rail can be added to existing guardrail systems on roads popular with motorcyclists that have a history of motorcycle crashes.

"Typically these are winding, rural roads with lower traffic volumes," Ms Prendergast said.

The Centre for Road Safety will evaluate the impact of the additional rub rails to monitor their effectiveness.

Are you a motorcyclist? What do you think of the Rub Rail option? Comment below or email ben.smyth@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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