Swedish motorcyclists’ association SMC (member of FEMA) was recently invited to a meeting with infrastructure minister Tomas Eneroth.
It was the first meeting after the formation of a new government and the purpose was to follow up problems SMC discussed with the Swedish government earlier. On the agenda: relations with the Swedish Transport Administration, safer roads, driving license training, continuous education, international issues and other issues. Minister Tomas Eneroth has previously ridden a motorcycle and is well aware of our reality. SMC was asked to submit proposals for content in the motorcycle section of the global road safety conference that Sweden organizes in February 2020.
For obvious reasons, the meeting with the minister was largely about traffic safety. On that same day the Swedish Transport Administration arranged its annual conference on road safety performance and presented the gloomy accident statistics for 2018. Last year was a really bad year, with 47 persons killed on a motorcycle in Sweden. Out of these, 17 didn’t have a valid A license.
‘In order for Swedish roads to be safer, over € 92 million will be invested in more median barriers. No means are earmarked for safer guard rails for motorcyclists; they were not even mentioned.’
When it comes to improving motorcycle safety, the Swedish authorities seem to want to focus on stricter rules (and compliance to these rules) for riders. It is about motorcyclists having a driving license, riding sober and drug-free, using helmets, not driving on the rear wheel and keeping to the speed limits. This policy does not exist for any other group of road users, which to SMC sounds strange. In Sweden, driving without a valid license for example, is a problem among all drivers of motorized vehicle.
For the roads to be safer, over € 92 million will be invested in more median barriers. No means are earmarked for safer guard rails for motorcyclists; they were not even mentioned. On the contrary, it was suggested that centre rails be installed in curves on smaller roads, which would be a disaster for riders. It is on these kinds of roads that seven out of ten single fatal accidents happen. According to SMC, setting up the centre rails will increase the number of killed and seriously injured motorcyclists.
As another road safety measure, the Swedish government wants to lower speed limits. The speed in urban areas should be lowered to 40 km/h. The speed on all roads without central separation should be lowered to 80 km/h. More speed cameras should be set up and the police should check the speed limits more.
Top photo: Gustav Mårtensson, SMC