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Motorcyclists' Protection Guardrails

Publication date: 11 June 2009

Last week, CEN's technical committee on road equipment (TC226) held its annual meeting in Berlin. The draft standard which would make guardrails safer for motorcyclists was not on the agenda for adoption. Too many comments received. FEMA will push again this issue at the next sub-committee meeting (TG1) in September!

The Federation of European Motorcyclists' Associations (FEMA) is sad to announce that its efforts to get the draft standard for motorcycle-friendly guardrails adopted in 2009 have not been successful. The draft proposal, based on the Spanish standard, has not been submitted for the formal voting in Technical Committee 226, which met on Thursday and Friday last week in Berlin, due to more than a hundred comments received.

One may reasonably ponder the reasons behind such an amount of comments over an existing standard with proven efficiency records, also used by several other countries in their national efforts to find a solution for motorcyclists hitting crash barriers. Indeed, every stakeholder around the table is defending different interests in the development of the standard, or indeed non-development, and economic interests at stake are not negligible.

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. FEMA members will not accept that 20 years of efforts raising awareness and financing FEMA's work on the issue will simply deserve vertical archiving for whatever interests behind.

The next TC266 sub committee (TG1) meeting is expected to take place sometime in September. FEMA will propose to split comments received into 2 categories: those that can be considered for this version of the standard and those to be analyzed once the standard has been adopted, hopefully not later than 2010.

Source: FEMA

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