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RESEARCH PAPER ON THE SAFETY ASPECTS OF THE TWO WHEEL COMMUTERS

(NON-MOTORISED AND POWERED ONES) IN THE URBAN TRANSPORT IN BELGRADE



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TABLE OF CONTENTS


1 Introduction ................................................................................................ 2
1.1 Preamble ................................................................................................... 2
1.2 Background ............................................................................................... 2
2 The Two wheelers as a mode of urban transport ............................................. 4
2.1 Non-Motorised Two Wheelers (Bicycles) ...................................................... 4
2.2 Powered Two Wheelers (mopeds and motorcycles) ........................................ 4
3 Objective ................................................................................................................ 6
4 Targets.................................................................................................................... 7
4.1 Reduce accident causes ............................................................................... 7
4.2 Safety improving actions (active / passive) .................................................... 7
4.3 Increase two-wheeler drivers confidence on the transport environment
regarding safety .......................................................................................... 9
5 Conclusions .......................................................................................................... 10
6 Action plan to meet targets .................................................................................. 11





RESEARCH PAPER ON THE SAFETY ASPECTS OF THE TWO WHEEL COMMUTERS
(NON-MOTORISED AND POWERED ONES) IN THE URBAN TRANSPORT IN BELGRADE

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1 INTRODUCTION

1.1 Preamble

This Draft Policy Orientation on road safety issues at urban level, concerning two-wheeler
commuters, has been prepared under the contact for professional consulting services signed
between UNDP and TRADEMCO on 29-11-2011 for the preparation of a Research paper on
the safety aspects of the two wheel commuters (non-motorised and powered ones) in the
urban transport in Belgrade, under UNDP RFQ 264/11. This contract is part of the
programme: Sustainable Urban Transport to the City of Belgrade.

The project team was led by Mr Panos Pikrodimitris, Team Leader

Key experts:
Key Expert 1, Team Leader Mr Panos Pikrodimitris, Transport Engineer
Key Expert 2 Mr Danijel Vuckovic, Traffic Engineer

1.2 Background

Road safety is a major societal issue. The United Nations have stressed the road safety as a
global problem through a number of its resolutions. This certainly relates to two-wheel
commuters too, who represent a growing proportion of traffic participants. The Resolution
60/5 called for UN members to meet the recommendations from the World Report on Road
Traffic Injury Prevention, including those related to five main danger factors: non-use of
safety belts and children seats, alcohol consumption, non-use of helmets, inappropriate speed
and the lack of adequate infrastructure.

The European Union has recognized the safety of two-wheel commuters as a vital part of road
safety and as an important aspect of its transport policy, and has adopted strategic documents,
which support this stand. The orientation paper issued by the European Commission on the
improvement of road safety 2011-2020 considers that one of the three actions to be
undertaken as a priority is the improvement of the safety of vulnerable road users, in
particular motorcyclists for whom accidents statistics are particularly worrying.

Serbia is among the leading countries in Europe concerning the number of deaths among
motorcyclists in traffic accidents, although it has only 35,000 registered powered two-wheel
commuters, lot less than most European countries. In Serbia it is 45 times more probable that
a two-wheel commuter rather than a person riding in a different vehicle will be injured in a
traffic accident, while in Belgrade that probability amounts to 90 times. The riders of sports
motorcycles are the most vulnerable, being exposed to four times higher risk than regular
motorcyclists.

In 2010 the police have registered 1,493 traffic accidents in which two-wheeled traffic
participants were involved, with 62 fatalities (which is a 50% decrease from 2009) and further
1,394 people injured.

The traffic accidents in the first trimester of 2011 involved 68 motorcyclists, 20 scooter and
12 bicycle riders. Six people had died in these accidents, 15 riders and eight passengers were
severely injured, with 41 riders and 13 passengers receiving minor injuries.


RESEARCH PAPER ON THE SAFETY ASPECTS OF THE TWO WHEEL COMMUTERS
(NON-MOTORISED AND POWERED ONES) IN THE URBAN TRANSPORT IN BELGRADE

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The procedure of attaining the A-category driving license is considered, among others, one of
the reasons for casualties within motorcyclists, caused by inadequate training for riding a
motorcycle.

In the case of urban mobility, road safety, especially for the vulnerable road users is of the
most important issues and specific actions have been proposed and adopted to improve it.


RESEARCH PAPER ON THE SAFETY ASPECTS OF THE TWO WHEEL COMMUTERS
(NON-MOTORISED AND POWERED ONES) IN THE URBAN TRANSPORT IN BELGRADE

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2 THE TWO WHEELERS AS A MODE OF URBAN TRANSPORT

2.1 Non-Motorised Two Wheelers (Bicycles)

The current reality is that many people do not cycle in Belgrade at all because of safety fears.
These fears need to be tackled in order to improve the participation of cyclists in the urban
traffic.

As resulted from a recent quantitative research for UNDP Serbia, cycling popularity for
commuting in Belgrade is very low, far less than it is in the Netherlands (having the highest in
Europe). Bicycles may be significantly used in recreation, but regarding commuting they are
used only at about 1-2%.

Lack of special infrastructure and fears regarding safety, seem to be the main constrain in the
bike owners decision to use it for commuting in the urban environment.

On the other hand, it is well accepted that bicycle use promotion should be in any action plan
regarding the improvement of the urban environment and mobility conditions. And the rule is
that the more people cycle, safety increases, as the other traffic is more aware about them.

Nevertheless we have to bear in mind that cyclists are the most vulnerable of all vehicle
drivers and the rate of fatalities in the accidents they are involved is extremely high.

Besides, statistics do not present any figures regarding bicycle accidents, where not other
vehicle is involved, thus ignoring cyclist fell, slip or collision with obstacles.

The provision of cycle paths should ensure adequate width and not (or at least minimum)
conflict to parked cars, other traffic movements as well as pedestrian walkways.

Conspicuity, lights and warning devices help other road users to identify cyclists and adjust
their driving behaviour to protect them.

2.2 Powered Two Wheelers (mopeds and motorcycles)

More and more motorcycles and mopeds are on the streets. Particularly in cities, they offer a
solution to increasing traffic, scarce parking and the high cost of private-car ownership.

Mopeds and Motorcycles comprise the Powered Two Wheelers (PTWs) mode of transport.

Mopeds, are closer to bicycles, but offering engine power, while motorcycles offer much
higher speeds and engine power, with the less volume for vehicles. It is the transport mode
with increasing popularity among youngsters, suitable for commuting, travelling and
recreation.

As their speed characteristics are closer to those of the regular traffic, not separate network
can be provided, as is the case with bicycles.

Nevertheless, the vulnerability of the PTWs drivers suggests establishing and maintaining
safety regulations above the usual regulations in force for the rest of the traffic.


RESEARCH PAPER ON THE SAFETY ASPECTS OF THE TWO WHEEL COMMUTERS
(NON-MOTORISED AND POWERED ONES) IN THE URBAN TRANSPORT IN BELGRADE

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Such regulation has been suggested in the Vienna Convention and has been adopted by the
Serbian legislation. It refers mainly to the use of safety devices as helmets and the use of
lights during the day.


RESEARCH PAPER ON THE SAFETY ASPECTS OF THE TWO WHEEL COMMUTERS
(NON-MOTORISED AND POWERED ONES) IN THE URBAN TRANSPORT IN BELGRADE

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3 OBJECTIVE

The overall objective of the programme under which this paper is prepared, is to promote and
improve the safety of cyclists, identifying the causes of the accidents they have been involved
and their weak points regarding their driving behaviour.

Having this in mind, initiatives and actions should aim to increase their participation in the
urban transport

Commuting in Belgrade area using bicycles has been found by a recent quantitative research
to be less than 1% in a sample of young people / students in the age 19 to 27 and 1.7% for
ages >27, while bicycle is the preferable mean for transport mainly due to the low travel cost
it offers in more than 60% of the interviewees in the age of 19-27 and just above 40% in the
ages above 27 years old.

Although about 80% of young people (19-27 years old) ride a bike, only 7% rides it regularly
and another 20% occasionally, while the rest only rarely. For the age group above 27 years
old about 55% of them ride a bike. From this group only about 4-5% rides it regularly and
another 14% occasionally.

According to the quantitative research, Main reasons for not cycling among both students
and citizens older than 27 years of age are lack of time and lack of interest for cycling (lack
of time is more often stated reason for not cycling among citizens compared to students).
Citizens living up to 5km from work also mention adverse terrain configuration, bicycle and
cycling equipment expensiveness and lack of the space for keeping the bicycle in their homes
as reasons for not cycling (to higher extent compared to students).

Young people / students and citizens older than 27 years of age are cycling mainly for
pleasure, fun, recreation, fitness or health reasons. Students are cycling for transportation
purposes more often than citizens around 13% compared to around 6%. Transportation
purposes mainly relate to running errands, going for visits, etc. with only around 1% among
both students and citizens older than 27 years commuting to faculty / work by bicycle.

The objectives of this orientation paper are to contribute to the sustainable Urban Transport
programme for the city of Belgrade. Therefore focuses in promoting and improving the safety
of cyclist, aiming also to boost their participation in the Urban Transport and improve also
safety for moped and motorcycle drivers.

These objectives can be achieved by confronting the main reason the use of bicycles in
commuting is not wide spread, which is identified as the lack of safety in the urban
environment.

Safety is regarded by the two wheeler riders as:

- a reduction to accident causes
- use of protective devices
- training of two wheeler drivers but also the other drivers in combinations with public
awareness regarding the potential and the dangers of the two wheelers.


RESEARCH PAPER ON THE SAFETY ASPECTS OF THE TWO WHEEL COMMUTERS
(NON-MOTORISED AND POWERED ONES) IN THE URBAN TRANSPORT IN BELGRADE

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4 TARGETS

The targets to be set in order to achieve these objectives are:

4.1 Reduce accident causes

To reduce the accident causes, we have to bear in mind that human factor is the main
component in all accident causes, but as it is extremely complex to analyse it only by the
responses we can get to the question who is to blame for the accident?. The key question
would be why the responsible driver did not perform or react in the proper way?

The accident data analysis revealed that in most of the cases examined that involved two
wheelers, the two wheeler driver has been identified as responsible for the accident.

Therefore is crucial to assure that the two wheeler drivers know how to protect themselves
and behave on the road in a proactive and defensive way to assure safety.

Statistics on accidents is the key point for monitoring the trends, identify causes and provide
data for deep analysis. Thus, to reveal the specific cause of every accident and rate the
potential factors of accident causing.

Reliable data recording is the key in the entire statistical analysis. It proves better to rely on
less aggregated data than on wide spread, very detailed disaggregated data which may be
misleading if not recorded by experienced personnel that have common concept perception.

Therefore the data list to be collected on spot has to be kept as simple as possible, while the
database in which this data will be fed should be linked to other databases that will permit
cross checking of information gathered regarding the site conditions, the vehicles
performance certification, the drivers health record and driving performance in the past.

The personnel assigned to record the accident data should have a common training base to
identify the required information under a common respective.

Any actions to improve safety has to incorporate legislation and enforcement.

The analysis on the causes of accidents with bicycle fatalities indicated that about 38% is
attributed to high speed in relation to the prevailing condition and about 45% can be grouped
under improper driving behaviour while 17% could not been clearly defined.

Although enforcement is the first action somebody could have in mind, education, training
and awareness could help two wheeler drivers to perceive the danger condition and not
overestimate their capabilities and vehicles performance limits under the prevailing
environmental conditions.

Deep detailed analysis on the accident data from all possible sources could provide a reliable
perspective to identify the potential factors to accident causing.

4.2 Safety improving actions (active / passive)

Legislation on its own cannot assure safety improvement. It relies on drivers to follow the
rules and adjust their driving behaviour and habits. Enforcement comes to maximise law
respecting, but it requires the continuous presence of police on the roads.


RESEARCH PAPER ON THE SAFETY ASPECTS OF THE TWO WHEEL COMMUTERS
(NON-MOTORISED AND POWERED ONES) IN THE URBAN TRANSPORT IN BELGRADE

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To minimize the drivers offensive behaviour we have to tackle their mentality.

Education and training are the main tools and should be used constantly since childhood to
show results. This actually needs a generation to be fully achieved. In the meanwhile, for
older groups, campaigns should be used to present and explain the benefits of using two cycle
modes in urban transport but also their vulnerability against the rest of the traffic on the roads.
Protection measures have to be presented, explained and understood, in order to raise their
awareness in adjusting their driving behaviour.

The above do not apply only to drivers, but to pedestrians as well, as they are part of the road
users group and they in many cases are involved in the accidents.

The use of helmets according to the Serbian legislation is obligatory for the PTWs riders, as
in all EU countries.

This is not the case for cyclists, and a lot of discussion has been made at European level on
setting it obligatory in the Member States legislation, as there are fears it may prove a barrier
in cycling promotion.

Although there is strong opinion that the use of helmet by cyclists should be strongly
suggested, but not imposed, it seems necessary to assure its use when cyclists are mixed
with regular traffic. This is the most risky environment when cycling.

Unfortunately the effect of the use of protective devices in the case of fatal accidents could
not be evaluated, as it could not be defined when accident data were recorded, at a percent
higher than 65%.

Conspicuity of the two wheelers is also crucial. Legislation requires the use of lights (front
and rear) and for PTWs Daylight Running Lights is compulsory. It has to be assured even
for cyclists that their vehicles are equipped with the proper lights and reflectors, as they may
tend to overlook regulations, having the feeling that they enjoy just a recreational riding.

Besides the use of high visibility vests and special clothing should be promoted for all two
wheeler drivers.

Cyclists, who face higher risks when mixed with regular traffic, should be obliged to wear
such vests, which should not be covered by dark colour back bags, as we observe in many
cases in our every day experience.

In the case of PTWs, as speeds are high in relation to bikes, conspicuity can be only assured
by the use of lights, even during daylight (DRL).

The participation of two wheelers in the urban transport is highly depended on their drivers
mentality and perception of the pros and cons of the use of bicycles and PTWs in their
every day travel.

By the moment they are convinced that two wheelers offer safety, flexibility and contribute to
less environmental damage, the length of travelling is a significant parameter on their final
mode decision. The longer they have to travel the less they would use bicycles and turn to
PTWs.

As the daily commuting length could be restriction for the use of bicycles and pushes for the
use of cars or PTWs, the availability of bicycles to move around in the city centre may be
low.

RESEARCH PAPER ON THE SAFETY ASPECTS OF THE TWO WHEEL COMMUTERS
(NON-MOTORISED AND POWERED ONES) IN THE URBAN TRANSPORT IN BELGRADE

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This could be compensated by introducing bikepooling services as in many European cities.
Under this concept, a bicycle will be always available at central spots, to facilitate citizens
mobility in the city, even in the pedestrianized areas.

Secure parking at both trip ends enhance attractiveness of the travel mode to be used.
Therefore parking lots for bicycles could prove a motive to increase their usage.

Another motive to promote bicycle usage on length restricted trips, is the design and
operation of special car parking lots, in the perimeter of the city centre, easily accessed by car,
on which one has loaded his bicycle, park there and continue to the city centre cycling.

4.3 Increase two-wheeler drivers confidence on the transport environment regarding
safety

As fears regarding safety seem to be a significant restriction in the use of bicycles, to confront
them actions are needed to ensure a cyclist friendly environment.

The extension of the bicycle paths / lanes provides secure routes for cyclists and reduces their
travelling on street sections, mixed with the rest of the traffic.

This extension should be based on planning studies considering the type of travel they serve
and the major trip generation / attraction zones that can be served by cycling.

The bicycle network, after planned, has to be carefully designed to accommodate safely bike
traffic and minimize conflicts with pedestrians and rest of traffic.

The clear and comprehensive signage offers to cyclists relaxing driving conditions, avoiding
so overstressed reactions in cases where quick decisions have to be made regarding the
positioning of the bikes on the network, especially of crossings with the rest of the road
network.


RESEARCH PAPER ON THE SAFETY ASPECTS OF THE TWO WHEEL COMMUTERS
(NON-MOTORISED AND POWERED ONES) IN THE URBAN TRANSPORT IN BELGRADE

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5 CONCLUSIONS

Concluding, we can brief the necessary actions as follows:

- Improve accident data collection to assure reliable conclusions from accident analysis
- Aware two wheeler drivers on their vulnerability against the rest of the traffic
- Tackle the mentality of the two wheeler drivers on adjusting their driving behaviour to
prevailing conditions.
- Persuade them to use all protective device available (helmets, lights, reflection) as well as
high visibility vests and clothing to minimize their exposure to accidents and injuries.
- Extent the driving education to schools, as behaviour on road has to be comprehended
since childhood. This training is useful also for the pedestrians, to help them understand
how drivers perceive and how they behave.
- Define major destinations that could be accessed by bicycles and design network to
connect them; assuring that it is isolated from city traffic.
- Employ Traffic Engineering to design bicycle tracks, low speed road sections, bicycle
lane crossings with the rest of the road network.
- Identify city centre points / poles and other potential trip generators such as schools and
universities
- Provide secure and sheltered parking facilities


RESEARCH PAPER ON THE SAFETY ASPECTS OF THE TWO WHEEL COMMUTERS
(NON-MOTORISED AND POWERED ONES) IN THE URBAN TRANSPORT IN BELGRADE

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6 ACTION PLAN TO MEET TARGETS

An action plan to meet these targets by providing priorities and assigning actions should be in
line with the EU acquis on Transport and the National policy on road safety, employing short-
term and long-term targets.

This action plan has to be defined through a close collaboration of all stakeholders and parties
involved and monitored regarding its implementation.

Supervision and coordination should be kept at a high, commonly accepted level, to assure
integration of all actions.

Monitoring and reporting on the performance of the plan will contribute to the overall targets
achievement.