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Motorcycle Friendly Crash Barriers - July 27th 2005

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    The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG UK) has launched its campaign for the fitment of Motorcycle Friendly Crash Barriers.

    This year has seen a concentrated effort on publications that highlight the dangers motorcyclists face due to the ill though out placement of road furniture on the UK roads.

    First we had the launch of the governments Motorcycle strategy, then we had the excellent IHIE Guidelines for Motorcycling assisting highway and traffic engineers in delivering a safer and more motorcycle friendly road environment.

    Motorcycle organisations have not stood still on this issue with the recent launch of the Federation of European Motorcyclists Associations (FEMA) document "The Road To Success" providing an overview of the motorcycle friendly crash barrier projects that have been successfully carried out in a number of European countries, including the UK.

    MAG's Director Of Public Affairs Trevor Baird says, "Of all road furniture crash barriers pose the greatest threat to motorcyclists and we need to make planners aware of this."

    Under current European Standards, crash barriers are not designed (or tested) to restrain motorcycles or motorcyclists. They are typically designed to guide and restrain errant vehicles, ranging from small cars to heavy goods vehicles.

    Sliding into the supporting posts of crash barriers is the major cause of (fatal) injuries to motorcyclists coming into contact with crash barriers.

    It is widely accepted that the risk of (fatal) injuries to motorcyclists can be easily and significantly reduced by covering the supporting posts of crash barriers.

    MAG's campaign seeks to have crash barriers tested for motorcyclists and motorcycles within European standards, the fitting of motorcycle-friendly secondary rails in identified danger spots and the removal of wire road barrier systems from the UK roads.

    To this end MAG has produced its own document "Vehicle Restraint Systems, Safety Fences, Crash Barriers, Motorcyclists" to compliment FEMA's "The Road To Success" and an action document for lobbying.