For many motorcyclists in Wellington, Easter is the ideal time to take the bike out for a long ride and one of the most popular routes in the region is the Rimutaka Hill Road.
But despite the seemingly good conditions that Easter brings - fine weather, dry roads and good light – it is also the most common time for crashes to occur on the Rimutaka Hill Road. About 26 of all crashes on the Rimutaka Hill Road occur in March, according to NZTA crash data collected over the past five years.
More than three quarters (79%) of all motorbike crashes on the Rimutaka Hill Road occurred during daylight hours (9am to 6pm) when visibility was better.
“The topography of the road makes it an attractive challenge to riders, including myself. But it also means that it will always be a high risk road, regardless of the weather or conditions so motorcyclists can never afford to get complacent when travelling over the Rimutaka Hill,” said NZTA’s Wellington State Highway Manager Rod James.
NZTA’s statistics show that the type of motorcyclist most likely to be injured on the Rimutaka Hill Road are males aged 30 to 59-years-old. This age group were involved in 63% of all crashes.
Increasing the safety of motorcycling is a priority under Safer Journeys, the government's strategy to guide improvements in road safety over the period 2010–2020. The strategy's vision is a safe road system increasingly free of death and serious injury. The organisations responsible for delivering on this action plan include: the Ministry of Transport, NZTA, New Zealand Police, ACC and Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ).
Motorcycle crashes on this route are therefore a concern for a number of organisations each of whom has an interest in seeing a reduction in the number of crashes.
FACTS: (NZTA crash data for Rimutaka Hill Road, for the past five years (as at 12 December 2012):
What NZTA is doing
Given the topography of the area, there is a limit to the physical improvements we can make. However, we are working to make the road and roadsides safer.
We are also teaming up with other government agencies like ACC, and NZ Police as well as local government partners to raise awareness of safety on this popular route.
The achievements have included:
Look out for more initiatives in the months to come.
For more information, please contact:
Media Manager - Central Region
T: 04 894 5251
M: 027 213 7617