Powered two-wheelers (PTWs) are a popular form of transport providing mobility to millions of people worldwide. However, unlike other forms of motorised transport, PTW users, as with cyclists, remain more vulnerable due to the intrinsic characteristics of the vehicle.
Over the past decade, collision records highlighted a substantial decrease in PTW casualties (motorcycles and mopeds). This decrease, albeit less pronounced than for other means of transport, is taking place against a substantial increase in the number of PTWs on the roads.
The RIDERSCAN project – a European scanning tour for motorcycle safety - is an EU co-funded project gathering existing information on motorcycle safety in Europe, identifying needs for action and creating a cross-border knowledge-based network aimed at improving the overall safety of PTW users in Europe.
Over the last three and an half years (November 2011 – April 2015), the project has created a lasting European framework for communicating and collecting data on PTW safety.
Among the main objectives of the project were the identification and comparison of national initiatives on PTWs, and the identification of best practices. Another important objective was to collect and structure existing knowledge at European level in order to identify critical gaps for future efforts to concentrate on. Finally, the project aimed at identifying the critical needs for policy action, whether at European or national level, with a view to disseminating them to a wide range of relevant stakeholders in Europe in the coming years.
Outcomes of the project were used to address and discuss the 8 safety areas covered by the project in 8 deliverable.
The Deliverable 3 focuses on Infrastructure
Download the RIDERSCAN ouctomes on infrastructure:
- Download the full report on Infrastructure
- Download the annex on PTW Infrastructure Priorities for Europe – Comparison of existing PTW/infrastructure guidelines and other relevant reports
- Download the annex on PTW Black/White Spots – Developing a Pan-European road hazard report form
RIDERSCAN outcomes on Roadside Barriers
- EU research main conclusions on roadside furnitures
The available studies show that the impact of motorcyclists against a fixed object occurred in 4% of the cases in urban areas while it varies between 10% and 20% in rural areas which can seems a small figure. However, a fatal outcome is 2 to 5 times more likely for an impact with a crash barrier than for motorcycle accidents in general. (SMART RRS)
Existing rails have not been designed for collisions by PTWs and may cause severe injuries to their riders. The costs of fitting these devices can be reduced by selecting road sections where collisions by motorcycles are more frequent, i.e. in tight curves in rural areas. (DACOTA)
Wire Rope Safety Barriers are viewed by motorcyclists as the most aggressive form of RRS. This view is supported by computer simulations and tests, which indicate that injuries will be severe if a rider hits the cables or the support. (SMART RRS)
Despite the fact that some countries have already established their own regulations for testing motorcyclist protection systems (France, Spain, Portugal), existing systems still have very different designs and effectiveness, and the development path needs to be increased. (SMART RRS)
Most motorcycle collisions with crash barriers occurred at shallow angles (typically between 10° and 45°) with the rider typically sliding into the barrier at a bend. However, the in-depth study has demonstrated that larger impact angle are also possible and must be taken into account. (SMART RRS)
Risk for motorized two wheelers is particularly high and solutions are needed to minimize the severity of injuries resulting from their impact with roadside furniture. (DACOTA)
In the future, cars and roadside obstacles have to be designed to provide better protection for riders of mopeds/motorcycles who collide with them. (PROMISING)
- Roadside barrier: a common infrastructure problem in Europe
The RIDERSCAN project collected and reviewed 10 sets of PTW infrastructure guidelines, identifying common recurrent problems and criticalities, and the related standards that would require revision to include PTWs specific requirements.
Among other issues in the road environment (Road design, condition and maintenance; Road surface quality as a % of loss of grip accidents; Debris, pollution and fallen loads/spillage on the road surface), hazardous roadsides are problematic for many countries in the European union. Several issues can be highlighted:
Crash barriers: Unprotected posts and barriers without under-ride protection constitute dangers for PTWs . Road restraint systems installed too close to the side of the road are more likely to be hit by PTWs, possibly with severe consequences
Obstacles alongside and on the road represent major hazards for motorcyclists
Road signs and posts: they can cause injury if a motorcyclist hits them, and they can also reduce visibility
Hedges/vegetation: in a curve or when not well maintained, they can obstruct visibility
- CEN standards that need revision and/or amendments
Concerning roadside barriers precisely, the RIDERSCAN experts for Deliverable No 3, Kris Redant (Belgian Road Research Center – BRRC) and Peter Saleh (Federation of European Highway Research Laboratories – FEHRL/AIT), identified the relevant CEN standards that need revision and/or amendments:
Crash barriers posts: CEN/TS 1317-8: currently reviewed and harmonized standard is now being implemented
Crash barriers too close to the road: there are no standards on the installation of Road Restraint Systems. Each country or even road authority can individually decide whether and how to install RRS.
- Everyday riders’ views on infrastructure (annex 1 of the RIDERSCAN project)
A survey targeting European riders was designed to collect information on the motorcycling community around Europe and gain a better overview of similarities and differences in terms of riding, attitudes, and safety needs.
The Pan-European survey was disseminated at national level via riders’ groups and the motorcycling press in addition to being disseminated via Internet. It collected over 17,000 usable answers from 18 European countries.
On the topic of Infrastructure, the survey revealed the following:
Perceived infrastructure problems and priority needs
While riders from all countries identified road maintenance (potholes, bituminous asphalt sealing, longitudinal ruts in the roadway, manhole covers, roadway debris) as the top priority for road authorities to focus on, followed by road surfacing (pavement, rutting, manholes, slabs joints, tram-tracks, skid resistance), the severity of the problem can be as high as 93% (the percentage of Finnish respondents identifying road maintenance as the top issue, or 54% (the percentage of Danish respondents identifying road surfacing as the second top priority.
- Member states views on infrastructure standards to be reviewed (annex 4 of the RIDERSCAN project)
In their interviews, Member State authorities and road safety experts were asked to identify EU standards to be reviewed and needs for EU harmonisation. This can be seen as a priority list of action though the list does not claim to be exhaustive.
EU standards to be reviewed
- EU standards on crash barriers (EN 1317) (Austria, Germany, Sweden)
- Crash barrier tests should include PTWs (Austria, Ireland)
- EU road surface standards (road quality (friction, evenness) for PTWs) (Austria)
- Clarification on merging EN 1317-5 with CEN/TS 1317-8 (Belgium)
- Adaptation of EN 1317-5 to the new continuing professional development (Belgium)
- Implementation of PTW-specific aspects in RSA and RSI procedures (Germany)
- Norwegian standards should be implemented as EU standards (Norway)
- The motorcycling community views on infrastructure (annex 5 on the RIDERSCAN project)
- Improve the communication on the implementation of PTW-specific infrastructure guidelines through setting up a roundtable for PTW safety.
- Need to find a way to motivate road engineers to use PTW infrastructure guidelines (e.g. arranging roundtables with engineers; making PTW guidelines mandatory).
- The EU directive on infrastructure should include road inspections for secondary road.
- The crash barrier test (EN1317) should include PTW specificities.
- Improve the periodic maintenance of roads.
- Improve traffic signalisation on roads dangerous for motorcycles.
Disclaimer: All information provided is believed to be accurate and reliable. Information provided on products is administered by the respective manufacturer. However, Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations assumes no responsibility for any errors and is not liable for any damages of any kind resulting from the use of, or reliance on, the information contained herein.
The work presented in this document is supported by the European Union’s Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport – Directorate C: Innovative & sustainable mobility (C.4 Road Safety) (Grant agreement MOVE/C4/SUB/2010-125/SI2.603201/RIDERSCAN). The content of this document is the sole responsibility of the Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations (FEMA) and it does not represent the opinion of the European Union and the European Union is not responsible or liable for any use that might be made of information contained herein.