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Diesel Spills

Diesel Spills

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MAG Contacts

Avoid the Deadly Diesel  

Updated 1st November 2007

KillSpills Diesel Leaflet a Great Success!

200,000 copies of the diesel safety leaflet (funded and supported by the Department of Transport) have been printed and distributed across the UK.

Download the leaflet




The Highways Agency has been awarded an achievement in Reducing Diesel Spills 2007 in recognition of the work they are undertaking to promote the dangers of diesel spills and motorcycle road safety.

The Highways Agency produced a Heavy Good vehicle video is an inspiration, the anti diesel spill stickers they have distributed to the road haulage community through various police forces is a welcome and very important strategy.

Their Great Rides Great Roads video promotes responsible riding and their work with the likes of Handle It or Loose It and the Shiney Side Up partnership does the same.

At the Killspills event in 2007 there were several awards and acknowledgments and none better to Harold Ross who distributes high quality materials that have been thoroughly tested, resulting in products that provide the most cost effective way to clean, absorb, treat and dispose of used oil, gas, grease and other petroleum based products.

Harold promotes the use of “Oil Sponge” and has developed a “Spill Station”. In MAGs opinion all garage forecourts should have a “Spill Station” which cleans up spillage with a minimum of fuss and is superior in every aspect to any amount of sand thrown down.

View “Oil Sponge” at

MAG has reinforced our own long-standing position on diesel spillages and has led MAG to produce thousands of diesel awareness stickers which will be placed on lorry diesel tanks and diesel pumps". 

However, the group is still meeting resistance from forecourt staff, supermarket chains and oil companies to the use of the stickers.

The spillage of diesel fuel from heavy commercial vehicles is particularly dangerous for riders. 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 several litres of fuel being deposited on the road surface. 

These stickers are available by contacting MAG Central Office

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. This is also a potential danger for the upcoming vehicles.

‘Diesel is as lethal as black ice in the wet, but takes far longer to disappear.’ Quoted from the KillSpills website.

MAG's General Secretary, Trevor Baird says, "Despite extensive campaigning on the danger of diesel spills for motorcyclists, the situation doesn't seem to have been resolved. How hard is it for diesel tanks to be designed so that diesel cannot spill out of them, or caps designed to prevent the problem, it's not rocket science."

Advice on spotting and dealing with diesel on the road. Look out for diesel spills on roundabouts, junctions 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!

Keep your eyes open and be aware of diesel black spots when you are out riding, such as roundabouts, junctions, bus stops, your favourite corner and roads near petrol stations. 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.

Inform your local council of any spillages, they should get it dealt with immediately.

MAG would also advise riders to search out extra training on advanced riding or assessment courses such as Bikesafe.

MAG also point out that Diesel Spills on the highway are not being mopped up correctly, road authorities are continuing the use of sand and stone chippings which create a further hazard instead of more appropriate materials and tactics.

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MAG UK, PO Box 750, Rugby, CV21 3ZR.
Tel. 01788 570065 Fax. 01788 570052

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