Sweden to test motorcycle friendly crash barriers

The Swedish Motorcyclists Association, SMC, has reported that the Swedish Government is to test motorcycle friendly crash barriers in three locations in Sweden. The move, which was announced in the Swedish parliament, comes about as a result of intensive lobbying work by the Swedish Motorcyclists Association which recently culminated in a meeting with the transport minister. MAG Ireland congratulates our colleagues in SMC Sweden on this achievement.

SMC Sweden released the following statement:

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Good news from the minister of infrastructure – MC-friendly crash barriers will be tested in Sweden!

The Swedish Motorcyclists Association, SMC, has worked for a long time to get more MC friendly crash barriers. Finally a result is gained and barriers with Motorcycle Protection Systems, MPS, will be tested! The test will start in three different curves with high risk for accidents. This was announced yesterday from the minister of infrastructure, Catharina Elmsäter-Svärd, during a debate in the Swedish parliament. At the same time the Swedish Transport Administration in Skåne has decided to choose forgiving roadsides instead of the usual crash barriers on popular motorcycle roads.Crash barriers are the most common crash violence at fatal single motorcycle accidents in Sweden. 47 motorcyclists have been killed in collisions with crash barriers 2000-2011. Most MC accidents take place in outer curves.Meanwhile, installation of crash barriers is a common strategy in Sweden to reduce fatalities and severe injuries in traffic. This is the main reason for SMC to work for both safer median crash barriers and forgiving road sides instead of crash barriers. SMC is also in favour of MPS, especially in outer curves.

In the debate on Tuesday 10th April in the Swedish Parliament the minister announced that MPS will be installed at three spots; Åkersberga and Botkyrka outside Stockholm and on a highway exit in Ljungarum. The spots are chosen by SMC, after an investigation of all motorcycle accidents in the last ten years in the region of Stockholm. Different barriers and different MPS will be used and evaluated at the three spots, concerning for example accident reduction and snow removal.

The Swedish Transport Administration in the Skåne region has decided to stop installing crash barriers on the road sides from this spring 2012, after requests from SMC. Forgiving roadsides will be used instead. A brand new strategic crash barrier guideline from the Swedish Transport Administration includes a number of measures in order to reduce the risk of injuries for motorcyclists colliding with crash barriers.

  • The trials with MPS on crash barriers are a result of SMC’s efforts! SMC has worked with the issue in a convincing and informative way to be able to improve safety with new measures, says Claes Tingvall, Road safety director at The Swedish Transport Administration.
  • This is by all means the biggest success SMC has reached in the crash barrier issue, states Jesper Christensen, general secretary at SMC.
  • A new thinking when it comes to which crash barrier you use aswell as where you install them will reduce the number of killed and injured motorcyclists in Sweden, continues Christensen.

SMC will follow the MPS trials and also the implementation of the crash barrier guidelines. SMC cooperates with The Swedish Transport Administration and SVBRF, the Swedish federation of crash barrier producers.

More information: Maria Nordqvist, maria.nordqvist@svmc.se +46 243 66979
Link to debate in the Swedish Parliament 10th April 2012 (20,23 minutes):