IHE launches new motorcycling guidelines

12.00 | 4 July 2014 | | 8 comments

The Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE) has launched a revised version of its motorcycling guidelines in a new multi-platform website.

The award winning guidelines have been updated from the 2005 version and set out practical guidance for transportation professionals on providing a safer environment for motorcycles, mopeds and scooters.

Tony Sharp, IHE motorcycling champion, said: ʺThe new, updated version of IHE’s motorcycling guidelines reflects both changes in policy and advances in technology and knowledge since 2005.

ʺIt aims to give industry professionals greater awareness of the specific safety needs of powered two-wheelers and looks at effective ways to improve rider safety.

ʺAlthough there have been several improvements to casualty rates over the last decide, riders are roughly 35 times more likely to be killed and over 50 times more likely to be seriously injured in a reported road collision than car occupants.

ʺRaising awareness of the specific safety requirements for motorcyclists among professionals is crucial and IHE’s Motorcycling Guidelines are a step in that direction.ʺ

The IHE Guidelines have been cited as best practice both domestically and internationally and were awarded the Prince Michael International Road Safety Award in 2005.

The new website was sponsored by the IHE, Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA), DfT and IAM.


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    I am heartened by the comments of all who have written in support of this paper and by the IHE itself who have shown a length and breadth portrayal of the difficulties faced by all TWV be they powered or not.

    Its not a new paper there was one in 2005 – however even since that publication it seems some local authorities are still doing there own thing without any considerations of the recommendations of that report. I only hope that they take into account the matters contained in this one.

    I am not naming any Local Authority but those regular subscribers know of my location and therefore can presume of whom I mean.

    Bob Craven Lancs
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    Whilst I haven’t had the chance to read through the whole website it would appear to be a huge step forward in accomodating PTWs in our road infastructure instead of lumping them in with cars.

    I would agree with the IHE in the fact that not all RSAs need to learn to ride a motorcycle, but gaining a better understanding of the safety problems likely to face motorcyclists must, however, involve awareness of:

    • The common characteristics of motorcycle collisions;
    • The more severe implications for riders of hazards that affect all road users;
    • The road dynamics of motorcycles and the safety implications of their relationship to road surface properties, street furniture and obstructions;
    • The different problems faced by riders in urban and rural environments;
    • The need to inform RSA practice through discussions with local motorcycle forums or internal discussions with colleagues who ride; and
    • The benefits of a rider’s advice for the audit team on larger schemes.

    Chris Harrison Gloucestershire
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    A quick perusal of the website reveals this gem:

    ‘There is no exhaustive checklist for taking responsible account of PTWs in Road Safety Audit (“RSA”) work. Nor does anyone expect a Road Safety Auditor to undertake motorcycle training in order to understand the needs of riders.’

    Why on earth would we want a RSA who sees roads only from a car-centric point of view? Motorcyclists are indeed a minority, but a minority that is over-represented in KSIs, so perhaps it would be a good idea if more RSAs had some two-wheeled experience?

    David, Suffolk
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    Hugh makes a correct point. Motorcyclists, and for that matter cyclists and pedestrians do make up a much higher number of KSI for their category due to the very reason stated – drivers and passengers in cars are enclosed by glass and steel, with various devices to prevent injury in the event of collision. This does not make the driver safer, merely more protected. With that increased protection – and partially isolated from the real world elements – comes the trade off of risk compensation: the greater protection – the greater risk can be taken.

    The IHE web pages promote good policies to follow, but in all aspects the reality at present is one of restriction and complication of road features such as the ‘Armadillos’ currently in use on the roads in Manchester to discourage ‘other’ traffic from encroaching on cycle lanes. Previously raised kerbs planned for a so called ‘turbo roundabout’ in Bedford were shelved, when the Motorcycle Action Group campaigned to reject them as they represented a serious hazard to two wheeled traffic.

    Planners need to understand more, and the IHE appear to be attempting just that.

    Derek Reynolds, Salop.
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    One of the headings in 1.1.4 Road Safety Campaigns makes complete sense. “Ensure that all campaigns are evidence-based and targeted, rather than driven by out-dated
    stereotypes.” It’s very good advice so why is it almost universally ignored?

    Duncan MacKillop, Stratford on Avon
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    I think that he was generally relating what we already know, that a lot of motorcyclists are over represented on the KSI index. He wasn’t, and I don’t think that he would ever suggest that it’s all because of some fault or mistakes, made perhaps some time ago, that have contributed to all those KSIs.

    That said, I would recommend that all people involved in road safety or otherwise active in the development, manufacture and/or repair of our road systems look deeply at this report as it highlights a lot of what may be considered wrong and in need of intervention. This is now of particular importance as we motorcyclists are being joined by more two wheeled cousins on bicycles.

    Here is a professional organisation that understands the needs and depths of development and integrity that is needed to build and repair our highway infrastructure without bias to any user and to no one’s disadvantage.

    Bob Craven Lancs
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    Once again I find myself very happy to share a pillion seat with Tony. Despite the alarming statistic riders’ are roughly 35 times more likely to be killed in a reported collision than car occupants. Tony continues to work hard to improve his own bike safety while encouraging industrty professionals to promote the safety of all motorcyclists.
    Well done to Tony and keep up the good work. I promise Tony, I have my hands firmly back on the grab rails.

    Gareth RSGB motorcycling advisor
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    “….riders are roughly 35 times more likely to be killed and over 50 times more likely to be seriously injured in a reported road collision than car occupants.” Isn’t that because they are not surrounded by anything to protect or restrain them as the occupants of a car would be and not neccesarily anything to do with the road system?

    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

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