SAFETY BARRIERS VICTORY FOR MOTORCYCLISTS
June 17 2008.

On June 13th, CEN members voted a work item to improve the standard of safety barriers to take motorcyclists into account and reduce injuries and fatalities. This is a clear milestone for motorcyclists' 20-year-long fight for their safety. The best birthday present FEMA (Federation of European Motorcyclists Associations) could dream of for its 20th anniversary!

In Milan, last Friday, members of the Technical Committee on Road Equipment (TC226) adopted resolution 319 registering a new item in their work programme to "develop a European Standard, which reduces the impact severity of motorcyclist collisions with safety barriers, considering the existing national standards and the possibilities of present day technologies". In concrete terms, a new part (8th) is to be added to the existing standard EN1317. It will contain "provisions for the evaluation of the performance of safety barriers under impact by a powered two-wheeled vehicle (PTW) rider sliding along the ground".

FEMA has been campaigning for nearly 20 years to have the problem of motorcyclists impacting, colliding or simply sliding on a road and not being protected by traditional "road restraint systems" addressed. Numerous demonstrations and awareness campaigns have been organised at national and EU levels. These generated different degrees of reactions from road authorities. Many of them refused to install anything else other than the prescribed EN1317 standard, which had so far been designed and tested to protect all categories of vehicles except for motorcycles. Some countries, like Spain, worked at developing their own national standard, while Portugal mandates by law the installation of motorcyclist protective devices on the Portuguese road network.

Aline Delhaye, FEMA's General Secretary, says "With road safety being at the top of all road authorities' agendas, the CEN decision is giving a clear signal that motorcyclists' needs and characteristics have to be taken into account to improve their safety. With this new part 8 to EN1317, soon to be agreed upon, road authorities throughout Europe will now have no excuse not to install motorcyclist protective devices where necessary to avoid motorcyclists from being killed or injured when they impact the supporting poles of safety barriers. What a great reward for FEMA at a time where it celebrates 20 years of riders' representation in Europe!"

According to CEN timeframe, a draft standard should be ready by next year and adopted after internal procedure by October 2010. FEMA will ensure that this is respected as closely as possible.


Resolution 319: Road restraint systems - Part 8:
Motorcycle road restraint systems which reduce the impact severity of motorcyclist collisions with safety barriers
The scope of this work item is to develop a European Standard which reduces the impact severity of motorcyclist collisions with safety barriers considering the existing national standards and the possibilities of present day technology.

· This work item contains provisions for the evaluation of the performance of safety barriers under impact by a powered two-wheeled vehicle (PTW) rider sliding along the ground. At the present time it does not cover RRS other than safety barriers.

· Initially, the issue of motorcyclists sliding along the ground and impacting a barrier will be addressed (because currently there is more experience of this configuration). Other types of impact and other types of RRS will be considered as a second step.

· The resulting test procedure shall be read and used together with the existing parts of EN 1317.

· It provides additional testing procedures and acceptance criteria, besides the mandatory requirement of EN 1317-2, to demonstrate an RRS product's performance under impact by a motorcyclist's body"