Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Adoption of European Motorcyclist Safe Guardrail
Standard Delayed

The European Committee for Standardization's (CEN) Technical Committee on road equipment (TC226) held its annual meeting in Berlin this month. A proposed draft standard, by the Federation of European Motorcyclists' Associations (FEMA), which would make guardrails safer for motorcyclists was not on the agenda for adoption. The draft, based on an existing standard in Spain, was not submitted for voting due to receiving concerned feedback from over a hundred parties. The standard currently employed in Spain has demonstrated proven efficiency in reducing motorcyclist accident injury and is used by several other countries in their national efforts to minimizing road hazards.

FEMA’s General Secretary, who has actively participated in the preparation of the draft, says: “I believe some CEN participants tend to forget the reality behind the objective. Some participants are trying to minimize the problem while some others only focus on detailed technical criteria in order to have the best standard at first shot. But the truth is that motorcyclists are being killed sliding on roads in the meantime. And to those who complain that this issue is a minor problem considering the number of motorcycles in comparison to other vehicles, I would like to strongly remind them of one very essential principle in road safety: whatever minority or majority of road users it is about, in no way should the safety of some endanger the life of others! FEMA wouldn’t have spent 20 years of energy and motorcyclists’ money if this was not a real issue!”

FEMA supports the draft standard proposal as it is. Any other impact configurations and/or technical improvements of the proposed standard should be considered at a later stage. The next TC266 sub committee meeting is expected to take place sometime in September.

Read more: FEMA Crash Barrier study and report