From the Geelong Advertiser - 20/6/2005 Bikers go down to the wire on safety Monday, 20 June 2005 BENDIGO motorcyclists are taking a stand against Calder Highway wire rope barriers, which they claim are dangerous "cheese graters" that are being installed too close to the road. With more of the barriers being installed as part of the Calder Highway upgrade and winter weather creating hazardous road conditions, motorcyclists fear for their safety. Earlier this month, Motorcycle Riders Association of Australia representatives met Victorian Transport Minister Peter Batchelor to discuss their concerns. MRAA Victorian president Dale Maggs said that in new sections of the Calder, wire rope barriers have been placed too close to the road and steel posts and concrete footings left uncovered. "We are concerned about the amount of wire rope barriers being erected in poor positions," he said. "There is the risk that if a motorcyclist hit these barriers, he would instantly lose a limb or be decapitated." Mr Maggs said it was also a concern that no adequate provisions had been made so that vehicles could pull off to the side of the road. The MRAA has called for reflectors and covering to be installed on wire rope barriers, more roadside rest stops and greater distances between the barriers and the road. Allies Motorcycle Club Bendigo liaison officer Graham Wizza said wire rope barriers were often referred to as cheese graters. "If you hit one, you will be thrown off, but if you slide into it, I shudder to think," he said. "Every motorcycle rider is concerned . . . they (wire barriers) are springing up everywhere." Mr Wybar said it was disappointing that wire barriers were being installed without any consultation with motorcyclists, who were at the greatest risk. "There are a huge amount of motorcycles registered in Central Victoria and we are probably the most eco-friendly form of transport," he said. "Yet no one listens to us." A member of Central Victorian Riders, Steve Hunter, said the barriers were among the greatest safety concerns of motorcyclists. "They are classed as shredders," he said. "We haven't got much around us for protection - if you hit them then that's it." A spokeswoman for Mr Batchelor said wire rope barriers had been installed for safety reasons. "Research is being undertaken to determine whether wire rope barriers can be made safer for motorcyclists," she said. "In the interim, they will remain in place, because they are an important safety feature."