FEMA’s Checklist for Safe Roads

Download FEMA’s Checklist for Safe Roads as PDF.

  1. In what condition is the road surface?
    1. Cracks, potholes, strips of bitumen, loose gravel and chippings as well as slick spots on the road should be eliminated by renewing the road surface altogether, instead of producing a patchwork of different materials.
    2. Road markings should be used to the lowest possible extent and made of antiskid particles mixed in with the reflective material to avoid a loss of friction, especially when it rains. For large pavement markings, such as crosswalks, leaving a gap for motorcycles to pass through without changes in friction is a good practice.
    3. Shoulders should be paved, decreasing the amount of gravel and sand washed onto the road and allowing crash avoidance by using the shoulder.
  2. What kind of road furniture is installed?
    1. The fewer obstacles to crash into on the side of the road the better.
    2. When delineation is needed to guide the road users, e.g. in curves, flexible posts from reflective material should be used instead of wooden or metal posts with metal signs mounted on them.
    3. When installing roadside barriers, Motorcyclist Protection Systems (MPS) should be used. It is not always possible to keep the side of a road free from obstacles, e.g. when there is not enough open space next to it, traffic signs are needed or trees border the road. Hence, especially in curves the installation of MPS provides additional safety for all road users.
    4. Cable barriers are not safe for motorcyclists!
  3. Is there any obstruction of view?
    1. Trees, road furniture or the lay-out of the road itself can obstruct the user’s view and pose a threat. Especially in curves and at intersections it is important that there is good mutual visibility and that road users are able to assess the upcoming route properly.
    2. Large signs can conceal a motorcyclist completely when approaching an intersection, making it difficult for other road users to see them.
    3. Trees, bushes or other plantations on the inner side of a curve complicate assessing the curve’s radius and oncoming traffic.
  4. Are you using the dedicated guidelines for safe road design and maintenanceprovided on this website?
    1. This short and non-exhaustive list of things to check when assessing a road can help you with identifying existing problems and avoiding them in the future.
    2. However, this list I not detailed enough to give you exact information on how to proceed after you have found a problem.
    3. There are a number of guidelines on how to design and maintain roads that are safe for motorcycles. Use them when planning new infrastructural measures or assessing existing roads in your region and recommend them to all relevant stakeholders, including construction companies, road authorities and road owners.



Disclaimer: All information provided is believed to be accurate and reliable. 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.