EU 2BeSafe

Completion of Project – December 2011

The final event of the 2BESAFE www.2besafe.eu European research project took take place in Paris on the 14th December 2011 at the Cité internationale universitaire in Paris.

The final event and user forum included a presentation of the project’s results to the research & motorcycling communities, with a full day of sessions, discussions and live demonstrations covering the project outcomes.

At the completion of this project, we hope that the partners have found useful information that could be used to help identify the causes of collisions on the roads.

2BESAFE was launched in 2009 and stands for “Two-wheeler Behaviour and Safety”.

It aims at a better understanding of rider behaviour on the road.

The project is made up of  27 partners, including the Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations (FEMA), from Europe, Australia and Israel, along with some of the same partners involved in the SAFERIDER project that developed warning systems and devices including a “Force Feedback Throttle” which Right To Ride previously reported on – Click Here

The collaborative project is co-funded by the European Commission as part of the European Union’s efforts to improve road safety.

EU 2BeSafe News

From the EU 2BeSafe news page you can view all the reports and items.

That we, others and rider groups have produced.

All regarding the EU 2BeSafe – 2-Wheeler Behaviour and Safety project.

EU 2BeSafe News – Click here

Survey

In April 2011 2BeSafe launched a survey which ran until the 15th May 2011 and as reported by the Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations (FEMA) the survey was designed “to better understand the needs of riders in terms of safety”.

The 2BeSafe survey asked motorcyclists about their personal details, family, riding experience, accidents, strategies, motivation and habits, as well as perception of assistance technology systems, including advanced braking systems, navigation units, air bags and other riding equipment.

These include: Advanced front-lighting system; Tyre pressure control systems; In-vehicle emergency call system, “eCall”. The survey asks how you as a rider would improve these systems or whether you would pay extra for these to be fitted on your motorcycle.

The control of the motorcycle other than by the rider has crept into 2BeSafe with Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA).

Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), explained by 2BeSafe, is a system which adapts the distance to the vehicle ahead automatically either by slowing the motorcycle if following too closely, or accelerating the motorcycle to maintain a preset following distance when traffic allows. 2BeSafe also suggests that this system might also provide a warning if the rider runs the risk of colliding with another vehicle and provides brake support.

If brake support means that the motorcycle is fitted with a system that applies the brakes then this has already been accomplished in another EU project – PISa (Powered-two-wheelers Integrated Safety) with a system of Autonomous Braking (AB) that automatically reduces the vehicle speed when an unavoidable collision is detected.

Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA) in 2BeSafe is explained as a system that monitors vehicle speed and local speed limits, it also warns the driver and/or reduces speed when the vehicle is detected to be exceeding the speed limit

Spilling over from the SAFERIDER project is also the GPS – Navigation and the Curve speed warning system. This system would warn the rider if “he” enters a curve at a speed that will not allow “him” to drive through the curve safely. (Note: the survey appears to assume that only males ride motorcycles as there is no mention of “she”).

Furthermore, the 2BeSafe survey does not mention specifically what warning system could be utilized e.g. in the SAFERIDER project vibrating handlebar, cheek/tank pads, seat or visual warning are utilized, however some of the other warning systems in the 2BeSafe survey mention using acoustic information, head up displays or simply that the systems would provide a warning.

The questions in the 2BeSafe survey give options in the answers for the possibility to switch the systems off, or to provide a warning only or that they should not reduce engine power or that it should be possible to adjust settings for the riders style of riding. These questions on technology seem to intertwine with the previous SAFERIDER project survey carried out in 2008.

Although the possible answers that are available to these questions include the option “this system is dangerous” so is an improvement on the previous SAFERIDER survey, however the objectives of the 2BeSafe project do not mention the development of the SAFERIDER IT systems, so there is no clear reason why the survey should ask these questions, because this is not the remit of the project.

Is the 2BeSafe project www.2besafe.eu really just SAFERIDER2 in another guise?

Survey Our Opinion

The survey was done badly and demonstrated a certain arrogance which we presume was due to the lack of experience of the researchers who put it together.  Undoubtedly they received responses from motorcyclists throughout Europe who gave their views on the survey along with the answers.

Right To Ride’s Elaine Hardy was responsible for including FEMA in the 2BeSAFE project as FEMA’s research officer.

Her comments to the 2BeSAFE Consortium at the beginning of the project and later on to the partners who put together the survey, was and remains that motorcycle research must be conducted by motorcyclists.

The outcome of the project is unknown, however it does seem that the most important lesson from 2BeSAFE and other projects that focus on motorcycle accident causation, is to involve motorcyclists with research expertise.

Without this expertise the outcome of these projects will inevitably be flawed.

We are waiting for a report, below you can read our views, opinions and comments regarding the survey.

Right To Ride on 2BeSafe Survey

The survey ended on the 15th May 2011 and we are waiting for a report, below you can read our views, opinions and comments regarding the survey.

The survey set out to be able to have a better understanding of road difficulties encountered by motorcyclists which the project believed in the importance to ask the affected community – motorcyclists themselves – “To learn more about your needs we are interested in different aspects of your driving experience and driving behaviour, as well as your attitude towards riderassistance systems. By answering our survey you will help us to think about recommendations for improving the safety of motorcyclist!”

2BeSafe reported that, “The main objective of the project is to improve the knowledge of motorcyclists’ behaviour, and thus to propose scientifically based measures to enhance the safety of motorcyclists.

View the whole survey – Click Here pdf 316kb

Right To Ride Opinion – Comments

Right To Ride comments, “This is yet another EU survey wanting to know if you like speeding; If you take risks; if you break the law – and – if you want technology such as Intelligent Speed Adaptations (ISA) on your motorcycle.

It is in our view, another attempt to identify motorcyclists as “bad boys” and to foist technology on motorcyclists as the solution to reduce motorcycle casualties.

The FP7 EU funded project 2BeSafe has gathered researchers from 10 European countries, Australia and Israel. The researchers who put the survey together claim to aim to improve the general knowledge of rider behaviour, but instead demonstrate a lack of understanding of what is after all, a form of transport, not belonging to any one group of society.

This is unfortunate, because we do not believe it will help us to understand why motorcyclists have accidents nor the circumstances behind these events.

FEMA states that this survey is the first time since 2008 that riders will be able to give their opinion on Intelligent Transport Systems, in whatever form, that are currently being developed in laboratories around the world. FEMA also states that this is unique opportunity for European motorcyclists to say what they expect to be available in the stores tomorrow, and why.

We certainly hope that the gadgets that take control of the motorcycle won’t be available in the shops tomorrow – or ever!

We believe that the survey is flawed.

If the results of the survey are designed to help with the identification of positive measures for motorcyclist safety in the form of recommendations for traffic authorities, trainers, manufacturers, and infrastructure operators, then we are in big trouble.

Attitude

The last part of the survey prompts riders to reply not just about their attitude to riding but their attitude to breaking the law e.g.

  • It is OK to get round laws and rules as long as you do not break them directly
  • It is all right to do anything you want as long as you keep out of trouble
  • Riding is more than transportation; it is also speeding and fun
  • Ride fast to show others that I am tough enough

Even sex is in the survey!

They want to know if riders, “Ride fast because the opposite sex enjoys it” but unfortunately they forgot to consider that there are motorcyclists who may want to attract the same sex!

Motorcycling may be the most fun that you can have with your clothes on, but in our opinion this question and others in the survey appear to demonstrate that the consortium has a pre-conceived idea of motorcyclists. We can’t help but think that the European research community is hell bent on shoe horning motorcyclists into a one size fits all ID kit (single young male sports bike riders).

As FEMA stated in the 2004 edition of the European Agenda for Motorcycling (EAMS), “The stereotype of a biker as being a young male rebel is not borne out in the facts; the average age of the European biker is rising and more women are now riding.

The 2BeSafe researchers claim that their aim is to improve the understanding of riding behaviour in order to recommend adapted safety improvements.

However there are already excellent reports out there on motivation, attitude and passion based on far better sets of questions.

These include, a study from the UK produced in October 2009 by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) a partner in the 2BeSafe consortium:

TRL – Passion, Performance, Practicality Motorcyclists’ Motivations and Attitudes to Safety pdf 3.2mb

Also – Risk and enjoyment in powered two wheeler use – Paul Stephen Broughton pdf 6.5mb May 2007.

The 2010 SMC report on Advanced Training is an analysis of 1733 motorcyclists and includes in depth questions relating to speed, risk and attitude SMC Survey of Motorcyclists and their views on Advanced Training – 2011 pdf 1.4mb.

Fill In The Survey? – Considerations

If you intend to complete the survey, we hope you will take into consideration our points above and below, fortunately most of the questions allow you to choose “No Comment”.

Whatever you decide let your feelings be known to the 2BeSafe project directors and FEMA (as representing the members of their national riders’ organizations and a partner promoting the 2BeSafe survey).

We at Right To Ride believe that the outcome of the survey is already a foregone conclusion.

We base this opinion on comments made in the first document published by the 2BeSafe consortium – Rider / Driver behaviours and road safety for PTW pdf 1.4mb in which they state:

Risk taking, as well as sensation seeking is a typical behaviour of PTWs (motorcyclists). This behaviour is usually reflected in activities such as disobeying traffic signal, give way or stop sign, non compliance to double white lines or pedestrian crossing, making illegal turns or speeding, maintaining low gaps with the following vehicles and so on. (…) because motorcycle riding is well known to be a dangerous activity, it ‘may tend to attract risk-seeking individuals, in all age and socio-economic categories’, which would have a corresponding effect on the total motorcycle accident figures )” Section 2.2.1 Ridding (sic) attitudes and patterns (page 13).

Critique Of The 2BeSafe Survey

Further comments on the survey were sent to the consortium and are set out below.

“Starting with question 14: Harley Davidson is not a style of motorcycle it is a brand, within that brand are different styles some which could be classed as a Cruiser, Roadster, Chopper, Tourer or with a sports orientation. Indeed you have not used the established categorisation of styles and have amongst other things, excluded mopeds.

Throughout the survey you have jumped from using the word motorcycle to motorbike and/or bike. It would have been better to stay with the one term and also indicate at the beginning that scooters and mopeds are included within that definition.

Questions 22 through to 26 – it seems that you have written this questionnaire in another language and translated it – badly. There are grammatical errors but more importantly you have asked if people cruise at specific speeds in various situations. The question I need to ask you is – how can you “cruise” in an urban area?

These questions emphasize speed but there is no explanation other than to suggest that you want to identify that the respondents break the law by speeding, but for what purpose? How could that help you understand about rider safety? All research indicates that speed per se does not kill, but that inappropriate speed for the conditions may.

Question 29 (part one and two): For your information, filtering is legal – or at least it is in the United Kingdom and indeed is encouraged in certain circumstances to reduce congestion and is widely encouraged by trainers for the safety of the motorcyclist. Your questions about riding on the hard shoulder and overtaking on the inside lane are asking motorcyclists if they break the law. In this circumstance you should have explained that these are illegal manoeuvres.

Equally you should have explained that question 30 aims to identify whether riders act illegally, although it seems from your question that you are not aware that the use of bus lanes by motorcyclists (e.g. in the UK) is legal in cities such as London, Belfast, Bristol etc.

The final three pages of questions do not have numbers, however once again you haven’t explained the purpose of the questions. The first page seems to be a combination of asking the respondent whether he/she has a nervous disposition, is community spirited or a law breaker. While I appreciate you may see the logic to them, to me it’s not clear and I cannot see the relevance to riding a motorcycle.

The second of the final three pages appears to ask questions to identify whether the respondent is a risk taker and deliberately sets out to break the law. It gives the impression that you are specifically targeting a type of individual rather than trying to segment a wider population.

The questions on the third page are in my opinion outrageous, especially the question “Ride fast because the opposite sex enjoys it”.

Again, it seems evident that the whole thrust of the survey is to target one group of rider and my concern is that your findings will effectively aim to prove your theory.

Information

2BeSafe (Two Wheeler Behaviour and Safety) www.2besafe.eu

2BeSafe – Stéphane Espié (INRETS) Scientific Manager – Overall presentation of the project – pdf 535kb

2BeSafe – Andreas Hegwald (BAST)- In-depth accident analysis – pdf 1.55mb

2BeSafe – Alastair Weare (TRL) – Naturalistic riding study – pdf 580kb

2BeSafe – Stéphane EspiéAn intervention focused on simulation – 1.54mb

2BeSafe – Martin Winkelbauer from KfV – State-of-the-art overview of Existing measures to improve the safety of motorcyclists – pps 4.4mb

Right To Ride on the SAFERIDER project – Click Here

PISa project (Powered-two-wheelers Integrated Safety) – www.pisa-project.eu

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  1. Dear Right to Ride

    I absolutely agree with your remarks on this. I will NOT be completing this stupid survey and thereby giving it additional credibility by adding to the numbers of riders who do reply.

    It is extremely offensive to find this type of stereotyping of riders. I ride a motorcycle as a form of transport that I also enjoy, and am lucky enough to live in a country where the weather permits me to ride year round.

    I resent being categorised in this way as a person with characteristics biased towards, “risk taking.” In fact I think, along with many motorcyclists I am the opposite! In my case part of this comes from my background as a young person when I was an amateur competitor in motorcycle sports. That experience added to my approach towards a safety approach when riding on the road.

    I am also a former police officer and again that experience added to the way I approach riding on the road.

    Well done again to Right to Ride for keeping us informed of additional details!

    kind regards,
    John Chatterton-Ross
    Director of Public Affairs, FIM

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