Weekenders' rage blamed for safety woes

Last updated 11:41 23/11/2012
Peter Roche
ROSS GIBLIN/Fairfax NZ
PETER ROCHE: Many motorists have poor attitudes.

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The aggressive attitude of "weekend drivers" is largely to blame for the Rimutaka Hill Road's safety woes, one regular traveller says.

Serious injuries on the Rimutaka Hill Road are increasing, with a rise in motorcycle crashes to blame for the highway being ranked among the most dangerous in the country.

Peter Roche, of Wellington, who drives to the Wairarapa about three times a week, said it was common for people to "aggressively jockey for position once they get on there and keep going until they get off".

Mr Roche, who occasionally takes his Harley-Davidson motorcycle over the hill, said regular travellers knew the good places to pass.

But weekend motorists had less respect for double-yellow centre lines.

"Some people really need to take a good, hard look at themselves . . . motorcyclists feature quite a bit there.

"The weekend [motor]cyclists are poor in their attitude. They always need to get past you on the way up and on the way down."

He said he had come across two motorbike crashes on the Rimutaka Hill Road.

Bikers Rights Organisation spokesman Byron Cummins said most motorcyclists rode the stretch of highway safely.

He pointed out there were a number of other hazards, including high winds, rock falls, diesel spills and other vehicles.

"I would be hard pressed to say it's purely the road's fault . . . it's like anything, it will be the few that flag it up for the rest."

 

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- The Dominion Post

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