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Crash barriers `kill motorcyclists`

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Crash barriers should be redesigned so they don`t kill the motorcyclists unlucky enough to hit them, says the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM).

It particularly criticises barrier support posts that cause injuries five times more severe than those seen in an average motorcycle crash.

`Barriers to change: designing safe roads for motorcyclists` asks why crash barriers are life savers for car drivers and 15 times more likely to kill motorcyclists.

Director for research and policy Neil Greig said: "Our road authorities must now 'Think Bike' and design crash barriers that give riders protection against the features that cause devastating injuries.

"France has retro-fitted lower rails to prevent riders hitting support posts at the most vulnerable sites on its road network. If it can be done in France, it must now be done in the UK."

EuroRAP's European Programme Director Dr Joanne Hill says: "It wouldn't be possible to install motorcycle-friendly barriers across a nation's roads overnight.

"However, the new report shows how some countries are already assessing roads by systematic action to ensure that barriers are made safe for motorcyclists in areas of highest risk.

"The commitment by governments across Europe is needed to fund these high return safety programmes."

© Press Association 2008