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Official Ass Tweaker
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Somebody is thinking.

How much can these people help ?

How much of it is road design, and how much down to the rider ?

FEMA-The European Motorcyclists Federation wrote:
HTML Message PRESS RELEASE
8 MAY 2008

FEMA President opens the World’s First Vision Zero Motorcycle Road
A milestone for motorcycle safety, said FEMA President Hans Petter Strifeldt as he officially opened the World’s First Vision Zero Road for motorcycles along RV 32 in Telemark County in Norway 7 May 2008.

The motorcycle community has for a long time expressed serious concerns regarding the Vision Zero, the strategy in which road authorities have envisioned how to achieve zero deaths and zero serious injuries on the roads. The concerns are due to the vision depending primarily on bans and regulations instead of adaptation of the road environment to suit all road users - motorcyclists included.

But even if motorcycles have been viewed upon as high-risk road vehicles with regard to accidents, they have been all but excluded from the Vision Zero document. The Vision Zero document has first and foremost given anti-motorcycle campaigners an opening to propose a ban on motorcycles as these, they claim, are not compatible with a Vision Zero. But today, with the opening of this motorcycle friendly road, these claims have been effectively quashed, the FEMA President stated.

The Vision Zero Motorcycle Road is the brainchild of two passionate engineers at the regional Road Authorities, Jan Petter Lyng and Bjørn R. Kirste, who have successfully designed the road exactly as the motorcyclists themselves recommend. It is not much that is needed to make a motorcycle friendly road with regard to preventing injuries in case of accidents: Crash barriers fitted with a sub-rail, forgiving side terrain, well thought out placing of signposts, cutting down sight-hindering vegetation - all in all small modifications and investments that are beneficial for all road users, including bicycles and cars. The price tag for modifying these 15 kilometres of road is estimated to 630 000 euros.
The importance of this stretch of road in the middle of Norway cannot be overrated. It is the first Vision Zero Motorcycle road, not only in Norway, not only in Europe, but in the world. As the representative for Europe’s road riding motorcyclists, FEMA will do what it can to promote this road to other nation’s road authorities as an example of what is possible to achieve with relatively small means, FEMA President Hans Petter Strifeldt concluded.

 

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The rider many times is ultimately responsible. However, when anything reasonable can be done to make a potentially ugly situation better, why not do it? Haven't governments been implementing safety oriented changes regarding automobiles for years?
 

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Official Ass Tweaker
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True, many times. Unlike the US, 90% of rider deaths here are caused by the rider simply losing control and hitting something hard, so there is a lot of potential for improvements to the things they hit.
 

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Official Ass Tweaker
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I'm not really sure what prompted this latest thing, although I have seen it being talked about for a couple of years now, and they have made a start in some places by filling in the gaps under crash barriers so riders no longer get cut in half by the uprights.

The government here has always been good about motorcycles, partly because we get a lot of Dutch riders every summer who make a goodly contribution to the tourist economy.

Of the average 12 who die, 10 are male Dutch sport bike riders under 25, who simply lose control on the unfamiliar twisties, which Holland doesn't have many of.

The government has for years now done a number of things every summer to raise awareness of motorcycles by roadside billboards pointing out the riding season is starting. They also mark the top and bottom of every road section where a rider dies with a skull and crossbones sign to try and persuade the squids not to leather it so hard.

They also promote rider skills through an annual riding competition, first prize a new BMW and a week's expenses paid trip around Germany.

They seem to have accepted now that the 10-12 riders who fall off and get killed every year is as low as it's going to get, and that the only remaining way to cut the death toll is to re-engineer the roads so that when we fall off we hit something more survivable than a tree, a crash barrier or a cliff.

Still won't help those who fall off on right handers and merge into oncoming traffic, but it's got to be a good thing, and it sure is nice to see a government willing to do something positive, rather than just making more rules.
 

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:cheers: to that government!

We hear talk of more folks becoming interested in motorcycles and scooters as gasoline prices rise. It is my prayer that as more and more people have loved ones out on two or three wheels that such steps will be taken here.
 
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