Bikers rally against 'cheese cutter' barriers

Motorcyclist's rally against wire median barriers in Auckland this morning (Newshub.)
Motorcyclist's rally against wire median barriers in Auckland this morning (Newshub.)

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) defended itself against motorcyclists protesting wire median barriers this morning, saying claims the barriers have a "cheese-cutter" effect on crash victims are unfounded.

This morning, hundreds of riders from Auckland clubs attended the rally, riding from Clover Park in St Heliers through to Lincoln Rd in Henderson.

The bikers presented a petition to Te Atatu MP Phil Tywford at Henderson's Netball Waitakere, calling for the barriers to be banned in favour of concrete barriers.

But the NZTA says evidence suggests the wire medians actually increase the chance of a motorcyclist surviving a crash by 50 to 60 percent.

It says data complied between 2001 and 2013 shows that of the 20 fatal crashes linked to injuries sustained by median barriers, wire-rope barriers had half the fatality rate that concrete median barriers had.

The death of Daniel Luke Evans in 2007 caused outrage, after he was severed at the waist after hitting a wire barrier on the Southern Motorway.

Riders protested against the use of the barriers then, but lost.

In a letter to Bryon Cummins from the Bikers Rights Organisation of New Zealand (BRONZ), Minister for ACC Nikki Kaye says ACC has recently appointed a senior injury prevention programme manager to develop a motorcycle safety strategy, including the "uptake of safety technology", such as ABS brakes and motorcycle training for existing licenced riders.