The motorcycle community has for a long time expressed serious concerns regarding the Vision Zero, the strategy in which road authorities have envisioned how to achieve zero deaths and zero serious injuries on the roads.
The concerns are due to the vision depending primarily on bans and regulations instead of adaptation of the road environment to suit all road users – motorcyclists included.
But even if motorcycles have been viewed upon as high-risk road vehicles with regard to accidents, they have been all but excluded from the Vision Zero document. The Vision Zero document has first and foremost given anti-motorcycle campaigners an opening to propose a ban on motorcycles as these, they claim, are not compatible with a Vision Zero. But today, with the opening of this motorcycle friendly road, these claims have been effectively quashed, the FEMA President stated.
The Vision Zero Motorcycle Road is the brainchild of two passionate engineers at the regional Road Authorities, Jan Petter Lyng and Bjorn R. Kirste, who have successfully designed the road exactly as the motorcyclists themselves recommend. It is not much that is needed to make a motorcycle friendly road with regard to preventing injuries in case of accidents: Crash barriers fitted with a sub-rail, forgiving side terrain, well thought out placing of signposts, cutting down sight-hindering vegetation – all in all small modifications and investments that are beneficial for all road users, including bicycles and cars. The price tag for modifying these 15 kilometres of road is estimated to 630 000 euros.
The importance of this stretch of road in the middle of Norway cannot be overrated. It is the first Vision Zero Motorcycle road, not only in Norway, not only in Europe, but in the world. As the representative for Europe’s road riding motorcyclists, FEMA will do what it can to promote this road to other nation’s road authorities as an example of what is possible to achieve with relatively small means, FEMA President Hans Petter Strifeldt concluded.