Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Metal road plates

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by gegvasco, Nov 17, 2006.

  1. I was at the NSW MCC meeting where their safety rep(who does an incredible job) briefed everyone on the situation(in NSW at least) with metal road plates that are used to cover construction works. We all know they are as slippery as hell. He said there is a standard that says that the plates are not allowed to be installed if they haven't been coated in a specialised paint. The paint is designed to provide a certain amount of friction that equates to about the same as a painted line on normal tarmac ie. still slippery but not quite as bad as bare metal. The paint is supposed to be coloured red or a lightish gray. Maybe joel from Mogo can elaborate on this.

    If this is the case(and I for one don't doubt the information from this guy) then if you are approaching a metal plate and it isn't red or light gray then pay extra special attention. Also, if you see some plates that don't have the paint or the paint is worn, then you can rightly report it as a hazard and the council/RTA should fix it.

    For those so inclined, would be interesting to investigate what similar standards are in place in other states.

  2. gegvasco -

    I have never, ever seen a coated or textured metal plate here in S.A. They are always coloured either "straight from the foundry silver" or, more often "lethal oxide red."

    What's more, as a rule, they are usually "installed" (dropped off a truck) in such a manner as to present a lethally abrupt lip/edge around 3cms high between the road surface and steel.

    If I sound like I'm ranting even more than usual, it's because I hate these bastard things. They should all be replaced immediately with a textured alternative. And golly, some warning signs might be nice. The councils here don't post signs for them very often - they seem to think that a dirty big metal plate is the next best thing to a perfect patch of nicely maintained hotmix. Classic "roads are for cars, everyone else can piss off" thinking.

    Mind you, the state of roads here in SA is so pitiful that I wouldn't dream of swapping my 4WD for a sedan, and I reckon the idea commuter around these parts is a dual purpose bike - pure road/sports bikes simply get hammered by the uneven surface, holes and bumps.

    I'm getting all excited now...best I stop and re-set the rev limiter on my pacemaker, eh?

  3. There is a lot of these currently near the Nth Melb Train Station, all coloured the aforementioned "lethal oxide red."
  4. yea there is heaps going down brunswick street...

    what i dont get, is that i dont slip on them ??

    is it your feet that slip or the bikes tyres ?? im lost :S.

    ive parked on white lines and they are fine to .. :S
  5. pokiou -

    Try doing a leaning turn over one, accelerating hard on one, or braking hard on one, and treating it in the same way as you would a normal bitumen surface.

    Trust me, it's the tyres that slip...

    Oh, and about my advice on trying all the above...on second thoughts, don't, unless you want to be inspecting the metal plate from ground level shortly thereafter.

  6. tyres slip. they can be fine if you are vertical abd going straight... but if its a corner... where they tend to be most often that ive seen, then as you lean they have very little traction and down you go.
  7. I don't understand why they can't use checkerplate or the perforated grating they use on suspended walkways etc.
    I too have neer seen a coated road plate. Personally, I believe once the hole is dug, the work should continue until done. Pay overtime, get it done. If it can't be done, traffic should be diverted around the obstacle.

    Regards, Andrew.
  8. Hmm i see what you guys mean now,

    But who is liable for the damage to the bike?? the user that is taking teh corner normally or the council that has failed to show that there is road works and cover the metal plates in the right manner ?

    I mean im sure there has been a few expensive bikes that have licked the road sidways ??

  9. That pretty accurately describes the situation in WA as well......
  10. This is something that bothers me quite a bit.

    In particular i note the metal man hole cover that i come to virtually every day on Lefroy Road at the intersection with Curedale St in South Freo. This is a slippery little bugger and its located in the middle of a roundabout, slightle left of the oil slick and right at the point where you change lean angles. For a motorcyclist it couldnt be in a worse place. Quite frankly its a joke.

    And by the way, i know one of teh rangers at teh City of Fremantle and i mentioned to him how dangerous it is and his response was "well if you know its there it wont be a problem for you will it?"
  11. Duff -

    I'm with you. YOU know it's there. I know it's there. But for some poor newbie who encounters it for the first time, it will more than likely go slip-slide-graunch-whew, time to pick myself up, what happened there - BANG - run over by the next car coming along.

    And the exhaustive investigation would probably be summarised by "Fatality occured when rider lost control of his/hermotorcycle, had minor fall and was struck by following vehicle." So it looks like rider incompetence to Joe Public. Bikes are dangerous, right - an attitude reinforced by a preventable fatality.

    How many times has this happened? What a senseless, anonymous way for a young rider to die, just because no-one gives a damn about researching and then ENFORCING a code for grip texture on ALL metal road fittings, permanent or temporary.

    I've got me dander up now, haven't I?


  12. There is a small article about this in the latest AMCN. Page 14.

    Apparently the coating is a new standard implimented effective on October 1 across NSW. I can think of at least two places on my ride to work that are still bare steel though, so it doesnt look like councils are following the new standard.

    There is a link in the article to a website allowing you to reports hazards, howeve it is only for three council areas, not too much use.
  13. Yeah, I wouldn't hold your breath for councils to adopt anything, they are protected from civil action by legislation with regards road hazards and being sued for damages.

    Regards, Andrew.
  14. Are there any of these around the place here Old Blue? by here, I mean in and around Adelaide that you know of.
  15. I've not seen these metal plates, but are they better than the alternative of no road there at all? My local council, Brisbane City, has recently decided that it needs to dig up sections of the road, down to the road base. The first time i came across one it was quiet a shock. Road...no road. No signage at all. It was particulary dangerous (i thought) when placed just after the crest of a hill.
    Has anyone seen this around the Toowong area?

  16. They had some big buggers on the corner for Flinders and Spencer in Melbourne... covered nearly an entire lane and the bad part was they were much higher then the road surface.

    The first time I slipped I started going home via Latrobe! Not sure they're still there.
  17. Drew,
    that situation really is dangerous, and i'd be inclined to report it to the road hazards reporting line. Its nothing but extreme slackness to not put any signage at all when there is road dug up in the middle of the street.
  18. There were two reasons for me posting this thread. Firstly, to pass on the information gleaned by the MCC safety rep ie. education. And secondly, to raise the issue of making some noise about any sub-standard road conditions. The painted plate standard may not apply outside of NSW. If not then maybe it should. This is where you can contact your local version of the MCC and raise the subject with them. It may be something they are willing to take on and try to get enacted in your state. If they are leaving gapping great holes in the road like in QLD then it sounds well past the stage at which something was done.

    There are ways and means of pestering councils and roads authorities to fix things up. Hazard reporting is the first step. Letters are another method. If you don't complain then nothing will happen. I know that even if you do complain, nothing may happen but at least you tried.
  19. Very quickly following up on my previous post, what I didnt mention in that was that after seeing that the website listed in AMCN wasn't useful I emailed Sydney City Council directly.

    Today I received a phone call from a council officer aplogosing and advising that the work I had complained about was being completed by AGL and that a Council Compliance Officer would be making an inspection today. I was impressed to get such a positive response.
  20. Outstanding. Good to see a result.