RIDERSCAN – 3rd Survey

RIDERSCAN launches new survey on Intelligent Transport Systems and Motorcycling Safety

riderscanlogo-smallFEMA (Federation of European Motorcyclists Associations) have launched the 3rd and last survey, which targets European motorcyclists through their involvement in the European Commission co-funded RIDERSCAN project.

Partners to the project with FEMA, apart from the European Commission, are ACEM (motorcycle industry representatives in Europe) and L’Assurance Mutuelle des Motards, a French insurance company – founded in the wake of the constitution of the riders’ movement in the late 1970’s that founded FFMC (Fédération française des Motards en Colère), the country’s main motorcyclists’ association.

An Expert Group (EG) has been formed within RIDERSCAN which is comprised of national and EU road safety experts directly linked to the 8 safety areas of the project. This Expert Group reviews the data collection methodology, acts as adviser during the collection work, and review the project reports to ensure the relevance and consistency of the work for motorcycle safety.

These Expert Group members are:

  • CIECA – The International Commission for Driver Testing – Daniel Vandenberghe
  • Loughborough University – Richard Frampton
  • FEHRL – Forum of European National Highway Research Laboratories – Kris Redant – Peter Saleh – Xavier Cocu
  • Assurance Mutuelle des Motards – French Insurance Company – Bertrand Nelva-Pasqual
  • INRETS – Institut national de Recherche sur les Transports et leur Sécurité – Pierre van Elslande
  • IFSTTAR – public scientific and technological institution and is overseen by France’s ministry of the environment, sustainable developement, transport and housing on one hand and the ministry of higher education and research on the other – Pierre van Elslande
  • MIRA – One of the world’s leading independent automotive test and development centres – Gabrielle Cross
  • Local Transport Projects UK – LTP specializes in producing transport assessments and traffic studies for a variety of clients – Andy Mayo
  • Dutch Department for Infrastructure and Mobility – The Ministry for infrastructure and the environment is responsible for national policy making on national infrastructure (i.e. highways, trains, waterways and air) and environmental issues – Robbert Verweij

The project which started in November 2011 gathers existing information in 8 motorcycle safety related areas in Europe and aims to create a crossborder knowledge-based network. This is in order to identify missing knowledge and information and provide guidance to road authorities on how to improve motorcycle safety.

The project is due to deliver its results in 2014 in the form of a constantly updated knowledge database for road safety professionals in Europe and across the world.

These are high aims indeed especially as after 2014 the project should be constantly updating its knowledge base, after the project has finished, or have we missed something?

The deliverables of the project are listed as:

Training, testing and licensing Report on existing schemes, problems encountered, good practices, 3rd Driving Licence Directive implementation, recommendations for 4th Driving Licence Directive
Data collection and statistics Report on available and missing data, proposals for harmonization of data collection related to motorcycling
Infrastructure Report on problems, existing solutions and standardization needs
Recommendations for the development of a European road safety assessment programme for motorcycling
Accident reporting Report on accident reporting methods, recommendations for harmonization of police reporting
Research Overview of national and EU research on motorcycle safety, identification of duplication and gaps related to the 8 safety areas
Traffic management Report on existing and best practices
Awareness Campaigns Report on means to address rider and driver behaviour, past and current campaigns, best practices and recommendations, motorcycle press and motorcyclists groups overview
National strategies Overview and analysis of existing national strategies in Member States, implementation and results, recommendations Recommendations for the development of a European Motorcycle Safety Performance Index
Motorcycling Community Report on motorcycling use and safety characteristics, the motorcycling population and means to reach it

Missing from these deliverables is the developement of a smartphone app, as reported in the project’s second year update, where riders will be able to submit details on road infrastructure blackspots they have encountered whilst riding. Although two websites related to infrastructure and road safety have been launched, www.mc-infrastructure.eu (hopelessly outdated and incomplete) and www.mc-roadsidebarriers.eu . As with the Eurovision votes, quatre points (sur dix) for effort, although it appears that not much recent work has been done on the sites.

RIDERSCAN Says!

RIDERSCAN says that based on the collected data the RIDERSCAN project team will develop a thorough assessment of national transport and motorcycle safety policies, promote the exchange of best practices and create a solid basis for future decision-making.

RIDERSCAN also says that the safety of motorcyclists will be assured sufficient prominence on the political agenda.

FEMA the organisation responsible for the management of this project says that together with strong partners they will be able to raise awareness, to reach everyone from users to policy-makers and disseminate significant information to a wide range of users as well as to decisive policy makers in Europe.

Did anybody out there, apart from the project team, know this?

As always at Right To Ride, we like to scrutinise the words behind the grand statements.

Fiercely Independent

Being fiercely independent we wonder what gives these experts and supposed riders representatives of the whole of Europe the assumption that they can come to our small corner of the world with their possible tincture – “for European action (legislation, standardization, research and communication) in the field of motorcycle safety” – which will cure any specific road safety woes! Because certainly in the case of Northern Ireland, RIDERSCAN has not engaged asked or reported on anything to do with motorcycle road safety in our outpost of the European Union.

After all as the most western part of the European Union, perhaps we need to be guided and be told what to do by those that think they know better – then again may be not! Forgive our sarcasm, but it beggars belief the presumption of the claims coming from the so called deliverables of the project.

It reminds us of the joke: “A man goes to a Chinese restaurant and asks ‘Do you deliver’ and the chap behind the counter replies ‘No, but we do beef….’

Or simply put, the so called deliverables of this project seem to be joke – because in spite of the fact that three years have past, there does not appear to be any outcomes from this project as highlighted in the list of deliverables above.

We’ve certainly not seen any.

Thanks But No Thanks

In 2009 we published – Motorcycling in Northern Ireland – the Rider’s Perspective – a document offering the views of motorcyclists as a point of reference for a Motorcycling Strategy in Northern Ireland. Points from this rider perspective have made their way into the governments own Road Safety Strategy – The Road Safety Strategy to 2020 – Vision: Driving Road Safety Forward – which included recommendations for a Motorcycle Road Safety Forum (which has been set up) and the consideration of the development of a motorcycling safety strategy for Northern Ireland.

We have also published an indepth analysis of motorcycle fatalities in Northern Ireland ‘Motorcycle Fatalities in Northern Ireland’ which not only provided our local government with indications of how to prevent and reduce motorcycle fatalities, but the report went round the world with the findings presented at an international Motorcycle conference in Germany in 2012.

So – thanks but no thanks, because we are actually getting on with things with representation at the Road Safety Forum and the Motorcycle Road Safety Forum in Northern Ireland.

We and our partners have tried to offer solutions to specific issue with Ride It Right – www.rideitright.org – Biker NI Safety Card – www.nbikernisafetycard.org – First Aid Training For Riders – www.firstaidtrainingforriders.org

We don’t need over half a million Euros (Total project costs: €669.278 (50% EU Grant – DG MOVE-Road Safety) spent on an overview and analysis of existing national strategies in Member States, implementation and results, recommendations etc – which evidently have not even materialised – and please forgive us if we don’t hold our breath!

We wouldn’t mind some cash from wherever in the European Union, but we would much prefer to use it to implement initiatives and good ideas that are intelligent – instructive and inclusive (and work!)

The Survey

The ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems) survey has the objective to draw a European map of rider awareness and acceptance of new technologies applied to the transport systems.

The survey ask riders to evaluate willingness to test, use, and buy systems, which are, for a wide majority of them, far from being introduced in the market.

While seemly a mite pedantic having a close look at the wording and operation of the latest survey, which is presenting the project and riders organisations as professional, there are a few problems with the survey, which may when finally analysed skew the figures or certainly not help to get the best from riders answers who have taken the time to complete the survey.

Some issues:

  • Rather than the year of birth – there isn’t anybody left on the planet born in 1900, the age of the person would be a far better solution and easier to analyse.
  • The questions are not numbered.
  • Profession excludes unemployed
  • Education – Engineer is not a level of education it is the result of studying Engineering i.e. a degree
  • Currency requires a response in Euros or British Sterling. Why Sterling? What about Swedish, Norwegian, Swiss?
  • Do you work for/with the motorcycling sector? Does that mean industry, dealers, mechanic? This question covers a huge selection of possible answers – all grouped into one?
  • Number of bikes (what about mopeds)? Electric is spelt wrong. What does an on/offroad, Supermotard and “standard” mean? Also there is a photo of a trail bike but that is not on the list.
  • The question “Which sentence best defines “ITS for road safety” (e.g. cruise control, motorcycle airbag, vehicle to vehicle communication, advanced braking, speed monitoring, etc.)”? – This question referring to ITS is loaded – i.e. there is no other possibility to answer and because it is a mandatory question, the respondent cannot answer “I don’t know” or none of the above – the respondent has no choice other than replying to one of the three answers.
  • 1) Accidents happen because drivers are more and more distracted at the wheel by technology
  • 2) Drivers don’t have a choice, new technologies are there and we can’t say “no” to them
  • 3) New technologies enable road use to be safer, greener and less congested. This is the solution to an ever-growing traffic demand.
  • Last question on page 3 does not allow the option – I don’t know or neither of these
  • There are only two possibilities and they refer to all the systems mentioned previously without allowing choice or preference. The question is mandatory.
  • Possible answers are:
    1) As an option
    2) Standard production on all PTWs
    But what if you don’t agree to some and agree to others?

Bear in mind that at Right To Ride we have offered help and assistance and support to FEMA, each time this has either been ignored or the hand of friendship slapped away.

If you still feel the need to assist FEMA and RIDERSCAN you can takepart in the 3rd Survey and the previous two.

  • The ITS Survey : The Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) User Survey is the 3rd and last survey of the RIDERSCAN project.
  • The Training, testing and licencing User Survey : issues that riders face in terms of training, testing and recent administrative and licencing changes, including the new rules contained in the 3rd Driving Licence Directive which came into effect on 19th January 2013.
  • The European Motorcyclists Survey aims at collecting information about the motorcycling community around Europe in terms of riding and attitudes, and safety needs.

The RIDERSCAN Project – The Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) User Survey

15th January 2014

ITS SURVEY RIDERSCAN

The RIDERSCAN project is launching the 3rd and last survey targeting European motorcyclists. Focusing on new technologies and powered two wheelers, the survey will feed the RIDERSCAN report on Traffic Management, providing a unique opportunity to European riders to express their views on coming intelligent transport technologies.

Today, transporting people, goods, and information in the most efficient way has become critical for Europe to remain competitive globally. Technological development is often intended to provide people with more freedom and the time to perform other activities in a better way and is seen by all major stakeholders as an essential component of tomorrow’s transport system.

Motorcycling is about freedom and powered two wheeler (PTW) users are regular market consumers using new technology to “gain time” and “freedom”, to improve their riding experience or to increase their safety.

However, the riding activity, particularly complex, differs greatly from the driving one and has, up to now been poorly studied. As a result, most of discussed technologies are coming from the car industry, designed with little understanding of the riding constraints, and have led to poor acceptance by the riders. Moreover, motorcycle accident causation and risk factors are not fully known and the current state-of-the art of ITS for transport has not undergone any impact assessment with regard to positive or negative consequences for motorcycling. More specifically, no research has been done taking into consideration the variety of riding models and the specificities of the riding tasks. Hence, motorcycling needs to be carefully understood and integrated into ITS innovation and deployment today to guarantee that motorcyclists can also “benefit” from technological improvement, and not simply “pay a tribute” for it.

In this context, the RIDERSCAN project is launching a new survey on ITS and motorcycling safety. The ITS – Intelligent Transport Systems – User Survey is the 3rd and last survey launched in the context of the project and will feed the report on Traffic Management and new technologies.

With the objective to draw a European map of rider awareness and acceptance of new technologies applied to the transport systems, the survey is asking riders to evaluate willingness to test, use, and buy systems, which are, for a wide majority of them, far from being introduced in the market.

The survey is divided in 2 main sections :

  1. About yourself and your mobility habits : to gather information about your experience and road habits in general (1 page – 18 questions) => 2 minutes
  2. About ITS applications/systems for PTW safety : to have your opinion on applications discussed among ITS experts => between 15 and 20 minutes depending on how familiar you are with the topic.

Answer the survey by clicking here

With the objective to collect the views of those first impacted by the development of new technologies on bikes, RIDERSCAN aims at bridging the gap between road safety authorities, researchers, and industry stakeholders by setting up a detailed survey over ITS systems in relation with motorcycling and riding activities.

The survey will last for 3 months and preliminary results will be presented at the next European Motorcyclists Forum on March 5th, 2014 in the European Parliament, Brussels.

More information on www.europeanmotorcyclistsforum.eu

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