A very sad state of affairs

I have blogged a number of times on why it’s safer to lane split on Motorcycles. On the weekend someone shared this really awesome article on lanesplitting, so I want to embed it into this post. And I have. Its semi relevant to the rest of this post, but just such a great article I had to share.
Lanesplit studies
Onto my true reason for today’s post.

Simon, and the faulty stop sign. I say a faulty stop sign, because its obviously NOT WORKING!!!! In my job in IT if something fails to do what its designed and intended to do it is faulty. As is this stop sign…why? because, no one stops!

No one stops
Why for you no stop

The main post I make today, is about my disappointment in the treatment my friend Simon has received from motorists, the universe, the law, and the system.

Simon is a motorcyclist, he rides every day, all weather, Upper Hutt to Tawa.
On his homeward journey there is a stop sign that regardless what route he takes, he has to pass through. It’s the only way in/out of the Grenada North subdivision, and is adjacent to/part of a Motorway exit ramp.

Earth view.
This is the intersection. Looks good from here but no one stops when turning left

Now whatever route Simon takes, he passes through this stop sign, a compulsory stop. Twice, in 5 months, he has been hit from behind by cagers that treat this stop sign with utter contempt. They just look to the right to see what’s decelerating off the motorway, and if its clear put the foot down…sadly twice in 5 months, directly into poor Simon, on his motorcycle, legally stopped at the yellow line.

Landed here
Not good

When he asked the Police to do something about this intersection, after videoing the intersection for an hour and finding about 40% of cars just do NOT STOP there, he was told; maybe you should look at not operating such a dangerous vehicle yourself’

WTF!!!!! He gets smashed from behind twice by cars, identifies there is a serious issue at this intersection with road behaviour, clear signage and poor visibility issues, and he is blamed because he rides a motorcycle. Legally.

One hour of Takapau Road Stop Sign

Now…… this is where I would be asking MSAC, our so called official safety council with ACC to step in. I would be getting them to abuse pseudo official connections at NZTA and have this intersection investigated with urgency. They had a massive project on about visibility issues at intersections, surely they would have some wisdom to impart on this…other than ‘don’t ride a motorcycle’. Surely this is exactly the very type of issue we have paid in 10M$ plus for them to expose, support, rectify???

Sad that groups like BRONZ need to gather the evidence for the enforcement agencies, and even sadder that those agencies suggest the resolution is to not ride motorcycles….

I am not one to believe enforcement is the most appropriate method to correct poor driving practices, but at this intersection, a stop sign camera of some sort MAY work as a deterrent, or at least it could gather enough revenue to re-engineer this dangerous situation to be safer for vulnerable road users, pedestrians and most of all…my mate Simon. I really like Simon…would be sad if some asshole finally does him in at this faulty stop sign.

StoneY

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11 Replies to “A very sad state of affairs”

  1. gutted for Simon.. poor response from the Police.. the video footage taken of the stop sign is representative of so many stop signs in the region, many just think it is an acronym for Slow To Optional Pace as opposed to a word meaning STOP..

  2. I’ve driven that intersection too for about 1.5y (not the left turn though). It is amazing nothing more happens there as the traffic coming from the right comes straight off the motorway and is usually still doing high speeds by the time they get to the intersection. I can imagine a crash being quite a mess. Car drivers just look to the right and keep turning. Seen it 100’s of times.

    There are also heaps of trucks using that intersection, thereby blocking visibility. If you’re turning right into where Simon is exiting you have the best close calls ever! The trucks come off the highway, pull into the road and immediately change lanes, cutting you off.

    That whole intersection is a mess and should be cleaned up especially with the amount of (heavy vehicle) traffic it gets.

    The response from police is awful. They should have directed to you to NZTA. Maybe an example to take to ACC too as this is not the lock-step accident prevention the ministries should be pushing towards.

    Cheers Oliver

      1. Maybe give it to the media and get Police to respond on air. What they have said so far is shocking considering they are there to promote safe driving habits. Bet you won’t get the same response though but it might make them take it seriously and escalate the situation to the relevant level so it is addressed.

  3. Maybe the cops shouldnt be allowed tasers to protect themselves, it is their choice to be a police officer. Thats about a rational as dont ride a bike its dangerous, right! FYI Im not anti police, but i like the idea that they apprehend unlawful behaviour, is that to much to ask?

  4. Sorry to hear about Simons incidents . My son and I know full well what goes on – on NZ roads being motorcyclists ourselves . We have had numerous occasions where we have needed police assistance and have been treated very poorly . Motorcyclists are considered a nuisance by the majority of police ( have worked closely with police through SAR for a number of years ) and have been told that by numerous officers . Have just returned from Ireland after a 4 week holiday and the driving standards over there are far superior to here . The driving habits of ‘NZer’s scares me but not enough to keep me of my bike , after all we still live in a democracy do we not ?

  5. Typical! Here in Perth, we had a similar situation – the infamous video of a cop on a bike being hit from behind in similar circumstances. I think the motorist had garnered his full attention! Stop signs have been policed a lot more frequently since then…surprise surprise…..

  6. Good news, the Transport Agency and Police are willing to meet Simon to discuss this intersection and ask him what HE thinks needs to be done.
    The power of Social Media? Possibly that Simon also contacted the MP for the Mana region?

    Either way…we hope a solution to this behavior at THIS intersection is soon found to save Simon and other vulnerable road users from harm

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