Best practices and priorities

Collecting the views and information from the various stakeholders involved in the areas covered by the project was part of the key activities to gain a better understanding of priority actions. This collection of feedback and information took several forms:

  • A literature review from the main related policy documents: Annex 14
  • A questionnaire (Amplifying Questions) designed to survey the different categories of stakeholders directly involved in policymaking (Member States, the European Union, the Motorcycling Community representatives, EU stakeholders). Answers to the questionnaire were collected via phone interviews, written answers, or face-to-face meetings and are summarised in Annex 4/ annex 5/ annex 6/ annex 7
  • Surveys targeting the riding population: Annex 1 and annex 3
  • Input from project workshops: Annex 11 and annex 13

Based on this structured approach, the project team worked at identifying priority areas for EU action according to the different stakeholders, prior to summarizing convergences.

Stakeholders’ Safety Priorities – Infrastructure

With the objective of gaining a preliminary overview of the key safety aspects to be considered in the PTW safety debate, and in the project safety areas in particular, the project team undertook a detailed comparison of the PTW safety policies of key PTW/road safety stakeholders.

The table below summarizes the identified key safety aspects for each key stakeholder.It should be noted that the documents were not written at the same time, meaning that some of them are more up-to-date than others. For the complete overview of the PTW safety policies and reference details, please refer to Annex 14.

Best practices (Annex 4)

Mandatory use of PTW infrastructure guidelines

From the interviews held with Member State experts and the motorcycling community representatives, the project found out that several countries have infrastructure guidelines for PTWs, though most of them are not mandatory, with the exception of Norway and Ireland.

Austria and Germany have made the use of the guidelines on the TEN-T network mandatory and recommend their use on other roads.

Austria identified a lack of dissemination to local authorities, while the UK and France admit different levels of use throughout the country. The Netherlands is seen as the country with the lowest level of guideline adherence.

Black Spot Monitoring

Several countries have already introduced specific black-spot monitoring systems which include PTWs (Austria, France, Ireland, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, and the UK), while others have but without specific consideration of PTWs (Belgium, Latvia). Several countries still have no specific black-spot monitoring programmes (Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Greece).

Moreover, while roads are designed and regularly assessed, no specific assessment for PTWs is foreseen.

PTW users as VRUs

Only a few countries consider PTW users as Vulnerable Road Users (VRUs) in a legal sense, with a corresponding impact on transport policies (Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, Luxemburg, Norway, and Sweden); conversely, the Netherlands and Belgium do not recognize them as VRUs at all. Finland, France and the UK have decided on an intermediate status, accepting their vulnerability from a safety perspective, but not a legal one.

RV32 Vision Zero Road v2 – The perfect road with regard to PTW safety

In May 2008 Norway opened what it described as the ‘Vision Zero Motorcycle Road’. On an approximately 15km-long stretch of road, measures were introduced to demonstrate the feasibility of producing a ‘motorcycle-friendly’ road, at reasonable cost. Measures included:

  • Extensive modifications to crash barriers to include an under-run rail and ‘soft’ ends to protect motorcyclists.
  • Lamp columns were moved away from the highway edge and placed behind the barrier wherever possible.
  • Sign posts were replaced with ‘lattice’ type forgiving constructions.
  • Large stones were moved away from the highway edge, run-off areas were created and un-surfaced side roads were asphalted at junctions to restrict gravel wash off, etc.

While some of the measures used (crash barrier under-run rails, surfacing of tracks joining the highway) are not applicable in an urban setting, the principle of reviewing road safety characteristics for PTW users is extremely relevant and cost-efficient.

EU Directive on Road Infrastructure and Safety Management (European Directive 2008/96/EC)

The EU directive of road safety management establishes procedures relating to road safety impact assessments, road safety audits and safety inspections for the TEN-T network. For the first time, PTWs were included in the audit requirements as VRUs. The project investigated whether this directive had improved motorcycle safety.

Everyday riders’ views (Annex 1)

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. More details on the survey in Annex 1.

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 (Annex 4)

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)

Need for harmonisation

  • Harmonisation in road construction (Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic)
  • Harmonisation of road inspections for secondary roads (Austria, Greece)
  • Formal exchange of knowledge between similar countries (Finland, Greece)
  • Use of safety gear/clothing (Belgium)
  • Authorization to filter (Belgium)
  • A uniform policy towards the use of bus lanes, road verges; hard shoulders (Belgium)
  • Integrate PTW demands in regular road maintenance requirements (Netherlands, Norway)
  • The EU should do nothing, the local level is better for infrastructure issues (UK)

The Motorcycling Community (Annex 5)

The views of riders’ and industry representatives:

  • 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.

 

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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.