Smart RRS Motorcyclist-friendly guardrail attracts attention in EU Parliament

The Smart RRS project

Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations (FEMA)

Safe Roadside Barriers for MotorcyclistsThis week a dummy in motorcycling gear sliding into a guardrail was exposed in the European Parliament in Brussels, flanked by a Triumph Tiger 800 and a Yamaha Xenter 125. The exposition presented the Smart RRS project, which developed a road restraint system effectively protecting motorcyclists from impacting against posts, and featuring sensors to warn road users from hazards and call the emergency services after an accident.

The final event of Smart Road Restraint Systems, a project co-funded by the European Commission was hosted by the two members or the European Parliament Corien Wortmann-Kool (The Netherlands – EPP) and Inés Ayala Sender (Spain – S&D) and organised by the Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations. On Tuesday, April 24th a reception officially opened the exposition and attracted Members of the European parliament from many different countries and political groups, as well as representatives of the Council and of the European Commission.

The following day a lunch debate on the topic was held. On behalf of Smart RRS project partners, IDIADA and Arcelor Mittal, Eduardo del Pozo de Dios and Radim Pachlopník presented the outcome of the project: a guardrail with a second lower rail and a new shock-absorbing mechanism protecting the riders of motorcycles or scooters sliding on the road after an accident.

Different sensors are installed on the guardrail, able to detect accidents following an impact and call emergency services accordingly. The sensors can also be connected to variable message signs to warn road users about the risk of aquaplaning, or about the presence of ice, scree material or any objects blocking the road.

Tapani Mikkeli, Deputy Head of Unit of the European Commission contributed as the third speaker and addressed the issue of standardisation. Until today EU Standard road barriers only need to comply with crash tests involving trucks and cars. Mr. Mikkeli expressed his confidence that EU member states would finally agree on a common testing standard for motorcycle friendly road barriers by 2013.

FEMA President Gerard Livett: “For many years FEMA has been campaigning for a European standard on road barriers which takes vulnerable road users, such as the riders of motorcycles and scooters, into account. FEMA will keep on convincing EU member states to come to an adequate agreement as soon as possible.”

Corien Wortmann-Kool, Member of the European Parliament: “The Commission urgently needs to take prompt action and promote a European standard for guardrails which are safe also for motorcyclists. Every life counts!”

Inés Ayala Sender, Member of the European Parliament: “Some countries like Spain have done a tremendous job to reduce road fatalities. Now it is time to focus on more vulnerable users, in particular motorcyclists. Spain for instance has developed and implemented a standard for guardrails that takes vulnerable road users into account and improves road safety for everybody. Now it’s time for a European standard performing alike.”

EU Parliament hosts exhibition of rider friendly guardrails MAG
The exposition presented the Smart RRS project which developed a road restraint system effectively protecting motorcyclists from impacting against posts and featuring sensors to warn road users from hazards.

The Smart RRS Project website : http://smartrrs.unizar.es/content.php?seccion=16

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