SMART Road Restraint Systems Project Final Event – Safe Roadside Barriers for Motorcyclists, an urgent need in Europe

“How to efectively protect vulnerable road users improving the EU standard for roadside barriers”

The SMART RRS Project Final Event took place from Monday 23rd to Wednesday 25th of April, 2012 at the European Parliament in Brussels, hosted by MEPs Wortmann-Kool (The Netherlands) and Ayala-Sender (Spain).

Co-funded by the European Commission, the SMART RRS project has developed an innovative road restraint system taking the safety of vulnerable road users into account.

The new intelligent barrier brings several substantial improvements to today’s EU standardized roadside barriers by proposing solutions addressing motorcyclists’ safety issues such as shock absorption, traffic information, and emergency response, three of Europe’s key road safety priorities 2011-2020.

At the occasion of the SMART RRS Final Event, MEPs Wortmann-Kool and Ayala-Sender addressed the problem of roadside barriers and motorcycle safety.

the final event consisted of :

  • An Information Stand “Safe roadside barriers for motorcyclists, an urgent need in Europe – How to effectively protect vulnerable road users improving the EU standard for roadside barriers”; which showcased the SMART RRS prototype, a motorcycle friendly road restraint system using integrated sensors able to transmit data on road conditions and accidents;
  • the Opening Reception of the Information Stand, (April 24th at 6:00pm – ground floor ASP Area Galerie Cafétéria)
  • and a Lunch Debate at the Parliament’s Members Salon, on April 25th at 12:30pm, which addressed the problems of motorcyclists with regard to European standard roadside barriers and discuss possible solutions;

The exhibition was opened from April 23rd through April 25th.


Project Acronym: Smart RRS

Project Full Title: Innovative Concepts for smart road restraint systems to provide greater safety for vulnerable road users.

Grant Agreement No.: 218741

Recent figures from WHO and ETSC reveal frightening statistics on road traffic accidents across Europe and beyond

1.2 million people worldwide are killed in road crashes each year with up to 43,000 dying in Europe.

Up to 50 million are injured with at least 600,000 hospital admissions on a European level directly attributed to road traffic accidents. This costs European society approximately 160 billion euro and uses up 10% of all health care resources.This would mean that by 2020 road traffic injuries will be the third leading contributor to the global burden of disease and injury.

  • World Report on Road Traffic Injury Prevention [WHO, 2004] Report on European Road Transport Safety [Prof. Mackay, ETSC, 2000]

Many injuries and deaths are a result of impacts with current road restraint systems especially in the case of vulnerable road users such as motorcyclists, cyclists and passengers where impacts with supports or edges usually result in amputations or sectioning of torsos in a guillotine effect.

Furthermore once an accident has occurred; the time between the impact and receiving immediate inicial first aid can be crucial; delays in alerting emergency services or incorrect location information given to emergency can cause waste life saving moments for injured people or even result in emergency services going to the wrong location of the accident.

This project will develop a new smart road restraint system that will reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused in road traffic accidents by integrating primary and tertiary sensor systems in a new RRS system; providing greater protection to all road users, alerting motorists and emergency services of danger so as to prevent accidents happening, and alerting them of accidents as they happen to maximise response time to the exact location of the incident.

Original Source and full details of SMART RSS Project –


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  1. This was the project Elaine at Right To Ride brought in to FEMA when she was their research officer. It’s nice to see that all her efforts were worth it and perhaps something good might come out of it.
    SMART RRS Project Final Event Pictures – By Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations
    Click Here

  2. The Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations – Motorcyclist-friendly guardrail attracts attention in EU Parliament
    This 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.”
    Picture of the Smart RRS final event: Click Here
    Access the posters of the Smart RRS final event Click Here
    Agenda of the final event: Click Here
    Smart RRS Press briefing: Click Here
    Smart RRS website: Click Here
    FEMA on guardrails: Click Here

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