FIM Position: Roadside and Median Crash Barriers
Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme
Crash barriers are developed for, and tested with cars and trucks. Especially for these vehicles they provide safety as they prevent them from hitting objects near the road or colliding with oncoming vehicles. However, by their design and features they also create a hazard for motorcycles. Motorcyclists have no protective cage like car drivers and motorcyclists have a much smaller chance of surviving a collision with a barrier than car drivers. Barriers should therefore only be installed when necessary. The cost of improving standards for roadside and median barriers to meet the so far neglected needs of vulnerable road users, including motorcyclists, is far outweighed by the benefit of saving lives on European roads. Barriers that are safe for motorcyclists are not less safe for other road users.
How roadside barriers should be improved
- Crash barriers, of whatever type, should only be installed where there is a real risk of a collision with an object or oncoming traffic and no other solution - like removing the objects - is possible.
- New standards for roadside and median barriers should be adopted to make them less dangerous to motorcyclists. The existing Technical Specification TS1317-8 should be turned into an EN standard.
- New standards should include protection against hitting the posts and top-side protection for motorcyclists.
- No new cable barriers (i.e. wire rope fences) should be installed. When old cable barriers need to be replaced, they should be replaced by a safer barrier type.
- Whenever a barrier is installed, the distance from the road should be as large as possible to allow for evasive manoeuvres and maximum emergency braking in the event of an accident and to possibly reduce the force of the impact.
- Existing barriers in outer curves or other locations with heightened risk should be retrofitted with Motorcycle Protection Systems (MPS).
- Introduce a common European classification system for crash barriers, based on vulnerable road users (VRU) collision friendly features.