Safe roads for all users

Riding defensively and with anticipation is of crucial importance for motorcyclists. Riders need to concentrate on the traffic environment rather than on the road surface quality. However, infrastructure is often the primary or a contributing factor in single motorcycle accidents. Road design, maintenance and construction are generally directed towards the needs of multi-track vehicles, with the needs of motorcycles not taken into consideration.

Basic motorcycle needs for the best type of road network include:

  • good adhesion whatever the weather conditions,
  • clear signage that riders can see and understand,
  • good mutual visibility,
  • minimum risk of impact against obstacles.

Based on the Haddon Matrix, FEMA classifies infrastructure problems in 3 categories:

  • road design and construction (including standardization and audits),
  • road maintenance and
  • black spot management.

The Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations (FEMA) is of the view that standards for road furniture need to be revised and developed to reflect the safety needs of motorcyclists, by encouraging motorcycle-friendly design, construction and maintenance procedures. It follows that road design and maintenance personnel must be educated about conditions posing hazards to motorcyclists. Above all there is a need for quality audits to be undertaken on a regular basis, in which the needs of motorcyclists are included. Literature on these issues exists, both at national and at European levels. What is missing is dissemination and real consideration by local road authorities and engineers.

These views are in line with those of the 2008 OECD workshop on motorcycle safety in Lillehammer, which concluded that:

  • it is a fundamental safety requirement that motorcycles should have a place in overall transport policy and infrastructure policy/management.
  • each level of government should include measures in their infrastructure guidelines for accommodating motorcycles, developed with input from relevant stakeholders. The guidelines should be relevant to the needs of the jurisdiction concerned, and coordinated with other jurisdictions and levels of government. An international transfer of best practices is also recommended.
  • the needs of motorcyclists should be included in the basic training for road designers as well as highway and traffic engineers.
  • identification and resolution of roadway design problems (e.g. accident black spots & “corridor” analysis) should include input from rider organizations & relevant experts.

This website aims at providing information on safe infrastructure for motorcycling to road authorities and stakeholders all over Europe and worldwide, identifying good practices and existing problems, so that safety can be improved for all road users. If you have any further questions, please contact FEMA.