Powered two-wheelers (PTWs) are a popular form of transport providing mobility to millions of people worldwide. However, unlike other forms of motorised transport, PTW users, like bicycle riders, remain more vulnerable due to the intrinsic characteristics of the vehicle.
Over the past decade, collision records highlighted a substantial decrease in PTW casualties (motorcycles and mopeds) in Western countries. This decrease, albeit less pronounced than for other means of transport, is taking place against a substantial increase in the number of PTWs on the roads.
In Africa, road casualties, including PTWs users, are becoming an increasing source of concern with rates getting closer, if not higher, than HIV death rates in several countries.
Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) riding safety and traffic safety at large. The standalone systems – ABS, combined ABS, airbags, radars, scanners etc. – have led and will lead the way and they may be excellent systems in the event of a crash and just before. However, while ITS offer opportunities to improve the safety of drivers as well as riders, they require more R&D on their capacity to prevent PTW crashes, as ITS applications for cars are not directly transferable to PTWs. Any ITS application which removes, or interferes with, the longitudinal or lateral control of the vehicle could have adverse effects. Similarly a proper integration of PTWs into intelligent traffic management activities would help reduce PTW risks within traffic flow and post-crash support in the case of an accident involving a PTW.
Recognition and adequate integration of PTW characteristics into ITS deployment activities, both as vulnerable and powered users of the transport system, will significantly contribute to an increased awareness of the specificities of this transport mode by all stakeholders.
Motorcycling Matters aims at supporting transport and road safety stakeholders to properly integrate PTW characteristics into their activities.