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Mobility & Transport - Road Safety

Motorized two-wheelers



Motorized two-wheelers

Motorcycle and moped fatalities in western European together represent 10-15% of all traffic fatalities. For both mopeds and motorcycles, the rate of fatalities per 105 vehicles is much higher for younger riders than for older riders. The percentage change in fatality rates per 105 vehicles shows a positive trend between 1990 and 1995. Only Ireland and Greece exhibited increasing fatality rates in these five years. All other countries had fatality rate decreases of between 20 % and 55% [72].

Road design should take into account the special needs of riders of mopeds/motorcycles in terms of both the design and maintenance of the road. These riders are much more vulnerable to imperfections of the road surface than car drivers, and special requirements have to be recognized for road markings, road surface repairs, longitudinal grooves, drainage etc.

Although many improvements to the design of roads and traffic control measures will have the same positive effect on the safety of riders of mopeds/motorcycles as on that of other road-users, this is not the case with all speed-reducing measures. These measures may pose special problems for mopeds/motorcycles and should be tested to prevent such problems.

Taking care of the needs of motorized two wheelers fits into a non restrictive approach. However, speed reduction measures also have to be reviewed to better guarantee that riders of motorized two wheelers keep to the limit. Another aspect of a non-restrictive approach is to consider special traffic rules for motorized two-wheelers to provide the riders of these vehicles with some privileges. More use of two-wheelers may contribute to the solution of congestion problems. Examples of privileges are the possibilities of overtaking slow moving lines of cars and riding on lanes with limited access. Insofar as such lanes separate motorcycles/mopeds from cars, they could improve safety of these vehicles. On the other hand, it is also important to separate motorcycles and mopeds from cyclists and pedestrians.

Particular attention may need to be given to the design of safety barrier systems at sites where there is a high risk of two-wheeled vehicles leaving the road.