AMC Position Statement - Diesel Spills

Diesel spills onto the pavement are a concern for motorcyclists as they cause differential skid resistance and result in motorcycles losing control and crashing. These spills usually occur on bends in the road and at hard braking locations, areas where motorcycle stability is critical.

Priority: – Medium

Where we are now

In the short term, to ensure that the number of diesel spills is reduced. In the long term, to ensure that diesel spills no longer occur.

Where we want to be

There should be no reduction in motorcycle safety as a result of the introduction of automated vehicles.
 Systems need to be able to detect motorcycles just as well as other vehicles.
Test procedures for how well systems detect motorcycles need to be further developed so they are suitable for use in the mandatory self certification process.

How to get there

Highlight the problems for motorcyclists coming across diesel spills on the road surface, through a public awareness campaign alerting to the dangers diesel spills pose to all road users, especially motorcyclists.

Ensure that diesel tanks are designed to conform with ADR17, where filling and maximum leakage rates are defined.

Ensure that appropriate warning signs are displayed at petrol stations and truck stops, informing diesel users of the consequences of overfilling, and incorrect refitting of the filler cap.

Highlight the dangers of spilt diesel and publicise these to the public, as well as the penalties for spilling diesel.

Encourage Government Departments and Local Authorities to lead by example, ensuring that their drivers are fully briefed on correctly filling a diesel tank and correctly refitting the filler cap.

Ensure that the appropriate ADR clearly states:

  • It is unacceptable for diesel tanks to allow fuel to escape, through devices provided to compensate excess pressure during the operation of the vehicle;
  • The tank cap must be fixed to the filler pipe;
  • The seal must be retained securely in place;
  • The cap must latch securely to the seal and filler pipe when closed;
  • A warning light must signal the driver if the cap is not latched and closed.

Petition relevant State bodies to activate and widely publicise a central reporting line for spills.

Educate riders to look for diesel spills on roundabouts, junctions and other tight corners that cause fuel tanks to slosh, to avoid long dark lines on the road surface, and, in the wet, look for rainbow colours on the road while staying alert for the distinctive smell of diesel.

Encourage riders to report diesel spills and therefore enable prompt reaction to spillages.

Alert Road Authorities that they have a duty of care to actively ensure that their roads are kept clear of diesel and that they are bound to clean up any diesel spills reported to them. Failure to do this within a reasonable time period renders them liable.

Ensure that Road Authorities place ‘skid signs’ at diesel spill locations for an extended period of time to warn road users that a spill has taken place.