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IAM campaign to improve crash barriers

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Road Safety Organisation IAM has called on the Government to make improvements to crash barriers on major roads.

Motorcycle accidents are increasing each year with many appeals to the Government taking place by motoring groups. The latest appeal is another step in the right direction to make Britain’s roads safer for motorcyclists.

Road crash barriers are situated on roads to reduce the damage and injury caused by car accidents. It redirects the car away from a hazard and slows it down for a short distance. Motorists also have the added protection of an air bag and seat belts to minimise injury, but for motorcyclists that isn’t the case as the rider will take full impact.

IAM have called on the Government to make crash barriers motorcycle friendly. Hitting a crash barrier is a factor between 8 to 16 per cent of rider deaths. When a rider hits a barrier they are 15 times more likely to cause a death than car occupants and a barrier support post can also worsen an injury by 5 times.

Most recently another attempt to make improvements for riders was for motorcycle’s to be made safer by introducing new rules for motorcyclist’s to have access to powerful bikes subject to competence, age and previous experience. The minimum age to ride a larger bike would rise from the current age of 21 to 24 years old if the rider has no experience.

Writing in the summer issue of the IAM members’ magazine Advanced Driving, IAM chairman Alistair Cheyne OBE commented: “Roads in general and crash barriers in particular are largely designed with four or more wheels in mind. The needs of more vulnerable motorcyclists must become a priority.

“Britain leads the world on road safety, but lags behind on this issue. Existing standards and guidelines for road infrastructure – and barriers in particular – must be changed so they take proper account of motorcyclists.”

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By Amanda Bainbridge