The “Merkblatt zur Verbesserung der Verkherssicherheit auf Motorradstrecken” (MVMot) – Leaflet to Improve Road Safety on Motorcycle Roads – offers an interesting approach to the identification of black spots for motorcyclists and the implementation of a range of appropriate measures. Published in 2007, this document is the result of a collaborative work, started in 2003, under the direction of the German Road and Transportation Association (FGSVe.V.). It involved representatives from the road authorities of the Federal Government, the police force, road safety institutions, universities, road engineering offices and riders’ rights organisations.
The collaborative work was conducted under the understanding that motorcycle safety can only be improved significantly through an approach integrating all three main parameters: the rider, the vehicle, and the road. Therefore, the group set out to develop guidelines to increase motorcycle safety by improving the road infrastructure.
The focus was on avoiding motorcycle accidents, and reducing their consequences; on roads featuring black spots and on rural roads with a high share of motorcycle traffic, the so-called “motorcycle roads”. The balanced needs of motorcyclists, and car and heavy vehicle passengers were also kept in mind.
“Motorcycle roads” were identified as roads with the following characteristics: a low traffic volume, a low proportion of heavy goods traffic, a sufficient number of curves, no urban areas and differences in elevation along the road. The perfect motorcycle road given as an example is a stretch of country road in a low mountain range with around 2500 vehicles per day, of which 5% of trucks or buses, featuring 26 curves with a radius under 80m and 54 curves with a radius comprised between 80 and 180m.
Here are a few examples of practical safety measures proposed for different situations:
The MVMot leaflet introduces a standard process for improving road infrastructure to be implemented on a regular basis, with audits to assess the success of each package of measures. The close-cooperation of experts with different backgrounds and views, especially riders with their perspective and experience, led to comprehensive results.
The document is available in its full form in English and German, and a summarized version is available as a brochure targeted at elected officials and public administrations, focusing on the core issues.
The conclusions are now implemented in most German States by decree or formal instruction.