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FEMA highlights dangers of cable barriers

435 days ago

2 minutes

Source: FEMA

One road element present in some countries increases the hazard risk for motorcyclists: cable barriers.

While banned in some countries, others continue to install cable barriers, otherwise known as wire rope fences. The overriding danger of the installations are the uprights that will catch hold of the motorcyclist in the result of a fall. If the rider is still on the motorcycle when it collides with the barrier, he or she will be led towards the uprights with unfavourable consequences. Compare this to a standard guardrail, designed without protruding parts.

Those in favour of cable barriers consider them to be beneficial when roads have limited room along the sides and central reservation for other barrier types. FEMA rejects this opinion, arguing that an attempt to better an adverse road design should not consist of elements that can cause harm to a specific group of road users.

Sweden has long been an advocate of cable barrier installations, but with the high replacement and repair costs that are incurred upon damage, they are beginning to reject their use. Damaged parts are not quick to replace, emergency vehicles are unwillingly kept at bay and none of the designs offer safety to motorcyclists.

FEMA is responsive to the debates on cable barriers and encourage all those participating to channel their time into researching new and improved infrastructure that offers security and safety to motorcyclists. Objectives such as installing road restraint systems of any type only where there is a risk of collision should be considered, alongside extensive research into collisions of powered two-wheelers (PTWs). New barrier technology and logistics can be introduced to set new standards upon completion of such research, while existing barriers can be retrofitted with Motorcycle Protection Systems (MPS), all of which will pave the way for a safer motorcycling experience.

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