Diesel Spills

Diesel Spills – What Riders Know!

The spillage of diesel fuel from heavy commercial vehicles, vans and cars is a danger to motorcyclists.

This occurs when the vehicle’s fuel tank has been filled or overfilled and/or the tank cap is either faulty, or even missing.

When the vehicle enters a bend or roundabout after filling, the resulting surge often results in diesel fuel being deposited on the road surface.

The result is a very slippery and invisible surface of which the motorcyclist has no warning and it almost inevitably results in the rider and machine parting company, often with serious consequences for the rider.

Don’t Overfill – Diesel Spills Kill! – Campaign

Download poster to print – pdf 886kb – Click Here

Our “Don’t Overfill” sticker will provide advisory warning for drivers on vehicles and with our poster at petrol stations that, prevention is better than a cure and that drivers, both commercial and private, should remember not to overfill their tanks and to refit the filler cap securely.

Adelaide Insurance Services agreed to sponsor the original stickers . Thanks to their sponsorship we can offer the stickers free of charge and have 20,000 stickers available. Adelaide Insurance is now Cornmarket Insurance but the Adelaide brand will remain for it’s motorcyclists as Adelaide Motorbike Insurance

The message is simple that diesel deposited on the road is a danger to motorcyclists. By highlighting the issues to  the drivers of diesel vehicles so that they can make the road a safer place for the riders of motorcycles, scooters , mopeds  and other road users, including cyclists.

We hope that petrol stations and large fleet operators will come on board and of course riders should seek the owners permission to place the stickers or poster.


What’s Happening

In 2010 the Department for Transport (DfT) in Great Britain published its study into the problem of diesel spillages and the most effective way of cleaning them up.

Although in Northern Ireland the Department for Regional Development (DRD) through the Roads Service are responsible for our roads we are sure they will be monitoring this welcomed study into the issues of diesel spillage.

Read our review of the now published report – Click Here

Some Rocket Science

There are devices to prevent diesel spillage, one of these an anti-spillage device called ‘Neck-It’ won the KillSpills/British Motorcyclists Federation/IAM Award 2009 for ‘Achievement in Reducing Diesel Spills’.

TruckProtect Ltd says ”Neck It” is the ultimate fuel-anti siphon device, which has a unique Fuel Anti-Spill Valve fitted and Importantly, the valve can be retrofitted into existing devices. “It stops spillages, can save lives and prevents fuel theft,” says Russell Fowler, CEO at TruckProtect.

Right To Ride, says, “We hope that the PSNI and agencies such as the Driver and Vehicle Agency exercise their powers of enforcement to check that fuel systems have no leaks, that fuel caps fasten correctly and seal securely.”

Off course when a diesel spill or other contaminant e.g. Oil is present on the road the spill should be cleaned using an absorbent that is made for the job, that includes spills in garage forecourts.


From KillSpills:

  • ‘Diesel is as lethal as black ice in the wet, but takes far longer to disappear.’
  • Advice on spotting and dealing with diesel on the road. Look out for diesel spills on roundabouts, junctions, bus stops, roads near petrol stations and other tight corners that will cause uncapped fuel tanks to slosh over.
  • Any wet patch on a dry road is suspect and long dark lines should be avoided. Diesel is deadly, even on a dry road, and it does not evaporate.
  • In the wet, look for rainbow colour patches on the road and stay alert for diesel’s distinctive smell, it’s as lethal as black ice in the wet, but takes far longer to disappear.
  • REMEMBER, you can usually smell diesel BEFORE you can see it!
  • Remember, diesel can have you and your bike sliding down the tarmac in seconds, so always look ahead and avoid any suspicious looking patches on the road.

Keep your eyes open when out on the road report dangerous spillages to the PSNI, they should get it dealt with immediately.

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  1. Linda Page says

    I came off my motorcycle doing about 20 mile an hr coming through rpad works I was then about to change lanes and it happened so quick you dont stand a chance, when I tried to get up off the road it was like standing on ice thats how slippery it is, from my own experience this is good news to get something done about this.

  2. Diesel should be banned if people can’t use it without killing people. These diesel scumbags are murderers and should be given the death penalty.
    Right to Ride – Thanks Scott for your strong feelings and thoughts on the issue………….

  3. I came off my bike at about 45kph round a sharp bend – luckily no other vehicles around to collect me or the bike. Having seen how quickly a diesel spill can down a bike i only wish that this fact can be highlighted more when new students undertake a motorbike license course.

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