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Motorcycle safety barrier trials in South Australia: Case study – Adelaide Hills
Motorcycling fatality rates are estimated at almost 30 times that of other modes per kilometre travelled. In South Australia, motorcyclists have contributed 14% of all fatal and serious injuries for 2.4% of registered vehicles. Road trauma has generally been reducing in South Australia, yet this trend has not been reflected with motorcyclists. The Adelaide Hills is recognised as popular for motorcycling and has also been known to experience regular high speed motorcycle casualty crashes. Site investigation of motorcycle crashes recommended that the installation of barrier protection systems for motorcyclists be further investigated. Research and crash analysis supported this, and a dedicated fund was established to enable innovative infrastructure trials such as motorcycle protective barriers. A flexible fabric motorcycle barrier system developed to meet European crash test standards became available in Australia and was chosen first. Another system utilising a lower steel rail developed and tested to European standards became available in Australia and was installed. The methodology for this research involved a literature search, crash data and speed survey collection and analysis, site visits, consultation with specialists and field staff and further investigation of individual crashes. Results so far are positive in terms of crashes. Performance, operational issues and maintenance are discussed and recommendations are made.