The 3rd European Motorcyclists' Forum is due to take place 5th – 6th March at the European Parliament, Brussels where the first results of a three month survey into the riding experience of motorcyclists will also be presented.
Understanding the bike rider’s experience is increasingly a focus of safety conference agendas both in the UK and the EU. Greater understanding can help improve perception of motorcyclists and reduce injuries and fatalities.
The two day event is headlined as “Intelligent Transport Systems: Can powered two wheelers benefit from new technologies deployment?” and defines the bike rider as a “Powered Two Wheeler (PTW).” Modern motorcycles are built incorporating new technology, and motorcyclists may themselves use new technology, to improve their riding experience or to increase safety - but they are still a vulnerable road user.
An important aspect of the intrinsic vulnerability of the motorcyclist is to gain an understanding of riders having to not only deal with a demanding vehicle without protective bodywork but also taking responsibility for errors and mistakes by other road users.
Safe integration into transport systems
The Forum will discuss the safety challenges faced by PTWs and how they may be more safely integrated into emergent transport systems.
The Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) survey is the third and final project by RIDERSCAN, which began in November 2011 as a constantly updated knowledge database comparing motorcycle safety across the EU, and is coordinated by the Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations (FEMA).
Since 1988, FEMA’s broad network of 25 national associations in 19 EU countries has been involved in research and development, taking part in numerous research programmes on the causes of accidents, behaviour, infrastructure and the use of technology to advance motorcyclist safety. According to FEMA “Less than 1 per cent of bike crashes are directly caused by defects on a bike.”
In 2008, a “Decade of Action for Road Safety” was declared by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and “the need to work on improving motorcycle safety” formally endorsed by the United Nations. The 2010 European Motorcyclists’ Forum provided further recognition leading to the European Commission committing to “improve research and technical development aimed at increasing motorcyclist safety.”
Impact of technology on bike rider experience
Between 2008 and 2011, a “2-BE-SAFE” FEMA research programme drawn from 26 participating organisations across the EU, including the UK’s Transport Research Laboratory and the University of Nottingham, found that "it was the failure of other drivers to perceive PTWs, and human error which were major contributing factors to most crashes, for both PTW and car drivers."
The current ITS survey, is divided into two strands of enquiry. Not only is information requested on the respondent and their regular riding activities but also to obtain opinions on ITS applications / systems and their impact upon PTW safety.
The RIDERSCAN survey provides a unique opportunity for ordinary motorcycle riders across the EU to given a voice to offer their view into how intelligent transport technologies will affect their road user experience."