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German roads become safer for motorcyclists with plastic posts and signs

New developments on road safety for motorcyclists in Germany: a new type of road sign has been developed and successfully tested in Germany. The posts and the signs themselves are made of plastic material instead of steel, which has been used until now.

Photograph: ADAC/Wolfgang Frank

The new road signs will be installed in curves to point out that there is a sharp bend coming. The Ministry of Transport of Baden Wuertemberg just recently approved the use of this road equipment for all new installation sites in this country. Existing installations will be replaced step by step. The procedure to approve the new road signs by the Federal Ministry of Transport allowing their use in all German countries is on its way.

DEKRA has tested the new road signs in case of a motorcycle accident with very impressive results. A collision of a sliding motorcyclist with a steel post will most probably end up with fatal injuries. A collision with the new system would cause only minor injuries, because the post will easily break.

Click here to read the test report and to watch the test video’s.

Interestingly, there was also a significant reduction in the number of motorcycle accidents after replacing the steel road signs with the new ones. The reason for that is not clear yet. But, the highest risk of having serious injuries and/or a fatal accident is in a curve – not only in Germany but also in the rest of the world.

The development of the new system was actively supported by the German motorcyclists’ association (and FEMA member) Biker Union e.V. as part of the Working Group ‘Motorcycle Safety’ of the German Road and Transportation Research Association, elaborating a new edition of the German ‘Handbook to Improve Road Infrastructure for Motorcycles’.

Click here to download a report (in German) about the test period in Baden Wuertemberg.