Common infrastructure problems in Europe

The RIDERSCAN project collected and reviewed 10 sets of PTW infrastructure guidelines, identifying common recurrent problems and criticalities, and the related standards that would require revision to include PTWs specific requirements.

For consistency with other work in this field, the OECD classification was chosen to report on the common problems:

Road design, condition and maintenance

Manholes and metal surfaces: a manhole in the middle of road can represents a change or loss of grip for a PTW

Pedestrian crossing markings (in curves) and direction arrows etc.) can be an additional hazard on the road, especially in wet conditions because of their potentially reduced skid resistance

Road markings: the larger the painted area is, the more dangerous it is for motorcyclists. When they cannot avoid riding over it, they can lose grip on both wheels at the same time

Roundabouts: a too high entry angle can lead to excessive speed on approach, while a too low entry angle and central objects can hide a PTW from the view of other drivers

Variable radius curves: because of the changing position of the PTW in the curve the navigation point changes constantly

Traffic calming schemes and speed bumps: the location of traffic calming measures and the height of the raised section can be a great problem for PTWs

Road surface quality as a % of loss of grip accidents

Poor-quality road surfaces involve repeated changes of grip for motorcyclists and are difficult to avoid and to anticipate

Slippery surfaces: patched surfaces, unevenness, re-texturing

Potholes and fissures

Debris, pollution and fallen loads/spillage on the road surface

Gravel, dirt, sand, debris, oil spills: road surface contamination is an obstacle that a PTW will try to avoid. At the same time it increases the likelihood of skidding, especially in curves or in zones with frequent acceleration or braking.


Crash barriers: Unprotected posts and barriers without under-ride protection constitute dangers for PTWs . Road restraint systems installed too close to the side of the road are more likely to be hit by PTWs, possibly with severe consequences

Obstacles alongside and on the road represent major hazards for motorcyclists

Road signs and posts: they can cause injury if a motorcyclist hits them, and they can also reduce visibility

Hedges/vegetation: in a curve or when not well maintained, they can obstruct visibility


Using this list, the RIDERSCAN experts for Deliverable No 3, Kris Redant (Belgian Road Research Center – BRRC) and Peter Saleh (Federation of European Highway Research Laboratories – FEHRL/AIT), identified the relevant CEN standards that need revision and/or amendments.

Road design, condition and maintenance

Manholes: EN 124 (TC 165): very vague about skid resistance

Technical note: the revised version of EN 124 (different parts) was approved (registration to national standards still pending) very recently. The new version stipulates that concrete surfaces or surfaces with a certain pattern (described in prEN 124-1:2015) should have sufficient skid resistance. For other designs, a pendulum test (giving a Pendulum Test Value or PTV) is required

Road markings: road painting and pavement marking

  • Road marking materials:
    • EN 1423 (Drop on materials)
    • EN 1871 (Physical properties): would need harmonisation
    • EN 1790 (Preformed road markings): would need harmonisation
  • Performance:
    • EN 1436 (Performance requirements) = road marking performance for road users: skid resistance (friction coefficient) and visual performance (daytime and night-time visibility and colour)
  • Test: A single durability test method is needed
    • EN 13197 (Indoor Wear Simulator test)
    • EN 1824 (Road test)

Road surface quality as a % of loss of grip accidents

Surface treatment = a maintenance technique to improve road surface characteristics for a limited period of time

  • EN 12271 (Surface Dressings) à EN 12272-2: Visual assessment of defects
  • EN 12273 (Slurry Surfacing) à EN 12274-8: Visual assessment of defects

Technical note: EN 12271 and EN 12273 are relevant for two maintenance techniques. Supporting standards for these two product standards include characteristics that could be relevant for PTWs and for which a closer look on how PTW interests are integrated would be interesting

  • EN 13108-1 (Asphalt concrete)

Technical note: EN 13108 parts 1 – 8 (and in the near future also part 9) are product standards currently containing mainly empirical specifications (properties for the mix and constituents). Future versions should slowly move to a more fundamental (performance-based) approach and could include characteristics relevant to PTWs. More or less comparable to what applies for MPS, it will become important to convince RA to take these special characteristics into account (or better: make sure that the characteristics that are beneficial for PTW are relevant for all road users)

  • EN 13036 series – Parts 1 – 8: Surface skid resistance, unevenness, measurement techniques

Technical note: EN 13036-x (and also CEN/TS 15901-x) concerns measuring methods. Simplification (avoiding one MM/country) and – again – requirements that are appropriate for PTWs are needed

The pendulum test is the most common test method for determining local skid resistance, though more dynamic methods allowing larger scale assessments are slowly being introduced. It seems unclear however what the relationship is between the results of these test methods and the slipperiness of a surface as experienced by a PTW rider.


Crash barriers posts

  • CEN/TS 1317-8: currently reviewed and harmonized standard is now being implemented

Crash barriers too close to the road

  • There are no standards on the installation of Road Restraint Systems. Each country or even road authority can individually decide whether and how to install RRS


  • CEN/TC226 (road equipment): work on characteristics relevant for the safety of road users and evaluate ‘performance under impact’
  • EN 12767 (safety under impact): passive safety of support structures for road equipment. The test assesses the impact of a small vehicle (900 kg) against certain road equipment. Possibility discussed to integrate PTWs in this assessment
  • There are no standards on the installation of obstacles or how to handle existing obstacles 


  • EN 12899-1 (Vertical signs): this standard consists mainly of characteristics concerning visual performance and stability.
  • For ‘safety under impact’ it refers to EN 12767.
  • CEN/TC50: EN 40 (Lighting columns)

Technical note: the product standards EN 40, EN 12899 and certain others currently refer to EN 12767 when it comes to performance under impact. If PTWs are to be taken into account it will mainly be in EN 12767 where something needs to be done

  • EN 12966 (Variable message signs): this standard consists mainly of characteristics concerning visual performance and certain other characteristics of relevance to the electrical components.
  • EN 12368 (Traffic control equipment)

Overall, several standards already contain provisions relevant to PTWs. It is important that Road Assessment Audits (Inspections define threshold values that are appropriate and relevant for all road users (including PTWs)



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.