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.
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
Read more on the RIDERSCAN deliverable on infrastructure:
- EU research main conclusions
- Common infrastructure problems in Europe
- Best practices and priorities
- Improving infrastructure for PTWs: Key Challenges
Deliverable Executive Summary
This deliverable reports on the work performed during the project and the main outcomes of the activities undertaken in relation to PTWs and Infrastructure. It focuses mainly on:
- Gaining a clearer picture of the common problems;
- Identifying priority areas for action through standardization and other targeted activities.
Riding defensively, scanning traffic precisely and anticipating risk situations are of vital importance for motorcyclists. Riders need to concentrate on the traffic rather than on road surface quality and properties. However, infrastructure deficits are often the primary or at least a contributing factor in motorcycle accidents. Road design, maintenance and construction are most often dictated by the needs of multi-track vehicles, with road standards and guidelines hardly taking the specific needs of PTWs into consideration.
Basic PTW design needs include:
- Consistent adhesion/grip/skid resistance in all weather conditions,
- Clear signs that riders can see and understand,
- Good mutual visibility,
- Minimum risk of colliding with obstacles.
Road maintenance requires the relevant authorities, road engineers and road safety experts to be properly trained or briefed in PTW-specific requirements. Road Safety Audit/ Inspection Curricula and Road Assessment Programmes are key elements to be considered, while motorcyclist groups and ICT-based contributory processes (e.g. for identifying high-risk sites a.k.a. black spots) are coming up with interesting innovative solutions needing to be considered.
Through different data collection methodologies, the Deliverable 3 of the RIDERSCAN project is able to present:
- A Picture of EU riders’ problems with infrastructure and main geographical differences (Annex 1)
- A detailed Review of existing PTW/Infrastructure guidelines, a list of common problems throughout Europe and EU standards to be reviewed to address priority issues. (Annex 8)
- A Summary of EU research work and main conclusions for the past decade (Annex 21)
- Best Practices among Member States (use of guidelines, PTW users as VRUs, black spot monitoring, “Vision Zero Roads” for PTWs)
- A summary of Recommendations for Action gathered from PTW safety policy priorities main references (Annex 14), PTW safety experts views (EMF2012 discussions – Annex 11, Amplifying Questions Member States – Annex 4, Motorcycling Community – Annex 5, EU Stakeholders – Annex 6, EMF2015 discussions – Annex 13)
- A Pan-European Black/White Spot Report Form for IT use and leveraging the knowledge of the motorcycling community (Annex 16).
- A dedicated sub-website specifically focusing on roadside barriers, also called “guardrails” or “crash barriers”, http://www.mc-roadsidebarriers.eu/, which includes:
- A Motorcyclist Protection System Database, a database targeting road authorities in Europe and providing them with an overview of available motorcycle protection systems (MPS)
- Guidelines for road restraint systems, which aim to provide accurate and comprehensive information on the solutions available to road authorities and infrastructure operators wishing to upgrade road restraint systems. The guidelines present the current technical standards available, statistical data and in-depth research, accident profile configurations, as well as best practices and success stories. In addition, they feature a comprehensive list of road restraint products available on the market today, their characteristics, their use, the standards against which they are tested, and guidelines on where and how they should be installed to gain the best benefit.
- Based on these inputs and a comprehensive review of needs, the project team identified a list of recommendations and priority action for European and national levels, summarized in the relevant Reports for Action.
The first international workshop on PTW safety, hosted by the Norwegian Ministry of Transport, took place in 2008. Following 2 days of discussions with one hundred safety and PTW experts, the workshop came up with a top-20 list of recommendations to improve PTW safety, among which the fact that:
- It was 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 was 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.
In 2015, the OECD/ITF Motorcycle safety report (to be published) further underlines that:
- Infrastructure is essentially thought for cars
- Infrastructure should be improved to better integrate PTWs, taking into consideration the wide variety of users and the large speed differential at intersections;
- There is a clear problem of infrastructure maintenance (potholes, debris ..), to which PTWs are very sensitive
- With the development of self-explaining roads and appropriate traffic calming measures and PTW friendly equipment (“forgiving” roads)
- In some case, the use of dedicated lanes should be considered
One of the main strategic objectives of the European Commission Road Safety plans is to better adapt road infrastructure to PTWs. The mid-term review of the EC Communication on Road Safety 2011-2020 is thus an opportunity to address the challenge, making use of the recommendations drawn up by the various experts, including the need to review existing EN standards to better include PTW requirements.
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.
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.