Australia – At Motorcycle Minds we look at research from all over the world from countries that look at what affects motorcyclists locally, nationally and internationally in terms of road infrastructure, with a bias towards issues affecting the United Kingdom.
Whether this is specific for road infrastructure such as crash barriers, manhole covers or covering all aspects within the UKs IHIE Guidelines, first published in 2005, which offered practical guidance for policy makers, transportation professionals and aimed to ‘mainstream’ motorcycles into core transport policy, there is plenty of reference to make a better road infrastructure for motorcyclists.
Austroads, the association of Australasian road transport and traffic agencies, whose purpose is to improve Australian and New Zealand transport outcomes. It provides expert technical input to national road and transport policy development and has recently published a report of why, and how, road infrastructure elements influence motorcycle crash risk.
The report is another welcome resource on a topic riders already know about. It presents the technical findings of a two-year study which sought to identify effective infrastructure improvements to reduce motorcycle crash risk and crash severity, based on how riders perceive, respond and react to the infrastructure they encounter.
Austroads comment, “The project commenced with a literature review of national and international guides, publications and research papers, which also enabled the identification of knowledge gaps and areas where further detail was required.
A crash analysis was undertaken to demonstrate the relationship between motorcycle crashes, travel period, vehicle configuration (i.e. motorcycle only and multiple vehicle crashes involving a motorcycle), road geometry, road layout (e.g. intersection type) and crash types. For comparative purposes, vehicle crashes at the same location were also analysed.”
The association explains that, “Explanations of why, and how, road infrastructure elements influence motorcycle crash risk were researched and are provided within this report. This primarily involved identifying how the design and condition of road infrastructure elements can influence either the likelihood of a crash occurring or the resulting severity of a crash. “
It continues, “The research highlights that motorcycles should be identified as an individual road user group and considered as a ‘design vehicle’ during road design and asset management and maintenance practices.”
Austroads concludes, “that motorcycle crash risk can be managed, but requires changes in practice, in design, asset management funding and routine maintenance performance contracts. One example is in the identification of road sections and/or routes that pose the highest crash risk to motorcyclists, so that they can be managed and maintained appropriately. In addition, the author advocates proactive motorcycle specific network safety assessments and road safety audits, as well as fine-tuning in design parameters for roads carrying significant volumes of motorcyclists (e.g. horizontal geometry, sight lines, lane and shoulder width, intersection types, intersection quality and controls). It is also suggested that the range and detail of mitigation measures be expanded.”
The report has the caveat that, “Individual road agencies will determine their response to this report following consideration of their legislative or administrative arrangements, available funding, as well as local circumstances and priorities.” however the report is there as a resource that should be heeded and put into practice.
How do we conclude, other than comment that the report offers nothing new but it is at least worthwhile to reiterate that globally the interaction and associated problems between road infrastructure seems the same. Where governments and administrations claim to make their roads a “safe” place to travel on for all road users including motorcycles.
Original Article – Austroads Publications Online – Register to down load the report free – Click Here
IHIE Guidelines for Motorcycling – www.motorcycleguidelines.org.uk