Intelligent Transport Systems – The Motorcycle Factor

High on the European Road Safety agenda is focus on passive and active Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) to reduce road casualties.

Drawing together stakeholders from within Europe: from the Europe Union (EU) Commission through to user organisations, an initiative called e-Safety claims that:

“eSafety brings together the European Commission, industry, public authorities and other stakeholders to accelerate the development, deployment and use of eSafety systems – Intelligent Vehicle Safety Systems – that use information and communication technologies in intelligent solutions, in order to increase road safety and reduce the number of accidents on Europe’s roads”.

In June 2008, representatives of Motorcyclist Associations and Government Agencies in Europe actively participated in an International Transport Forum (ITF)/Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) OECD workshop held in Lillehammer, Norway.

This workshop identified twenty priorities aimed at improving conditions for motorcyclists throughout the world, which were in the main, in agreement with the views of riders.

However, ITS, (including speed warnings), is still very much in the experimental stage.

This technology has already been tested for cars, with conflicting results.

The dynamics of motorcycles are entirely different than a four wheel based platform.

The most important task of a rider is to keep the motorcycle stable which in itself requires considerable concentration.

Road accident causation research starting with the Hurt Report (1981), have all identified that the greatest cause of accidents is human behaviour.

Riders have been insisting for years to have:

  • appropriate basic rider training with special focus on attitude and risk awareness
  • awareness of motorcycles included in car driver training

Focussing on the human element could be a far more cost effective and longer lasting solution than relying on Intelligent Transport Systems to save lives.

Elaine Hardy

Trevor Baird

Read the full report pdf 342kb Click Here

*Note – Updated 10th June 2009

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