Fri, Nov 10, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Motorcycles on freeways more accident-prone: CIT

EXPONENTIAL:The Chinese Institute of Transportation said motorcycles driven on Expressway No. 64 were 11.6 times more likely to crash than cars per kilometer driven

By Cheng Wei-chi and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Motorcycles are more likely to be involved in collisions and have difficulty maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles, a task-force overseeing a year-long trial permitting motorcycles to drive on highways and freeways said as it released its first-quarter observations.

The taskforce consists of members of the Chinese Institute of Transportation (CIT), the Ministry of Transportation and Communications’ Department of Railways and Highways, the Directorate-General of Highways, the National Freeway Bureau, the Institute of Transportation and the National Highway Police Bureau.

It held its first review meeting on Oct. 30.

The taskforce was formed following a rally by motorcyclists on July 1 petitioning the government to allow motorcycles on freeways.

In response, the government designated portions of National Freeway 3A and Highway No. 64 as trial routes.

The report measured incidents per 1 million vehicle-kilometers, the CIT said.

The average motorcycle volume on National Freeway No. 3A was estimated at 154,570 vehicle-kilometers, while cars were estimated to have driven 24 million kilometers, more than 156 times the distance of motorcycles, the CIT said.

On Highway No. 64, the volume of motorcyclists stood at 2.5 million vehicle-kilometers, while cars drove 88 million kilometers — 35 times the volume of motorcycles, the CIT said.

No safety index — measuring accidents causing deaths and injuries — could be calculated for motorcycles traveling on National Freeway No. 3A, as there were insufficient data, it said.

The institute measured “A2 incidents,” in which people are injured or die more than 24 hours after an incident.

Per vehicle-kilometer, motorcycles were 11.6 times more likely to be involved in collisions on Highway No. 64, as the first quarter saw five A2 incidents for motorcycles and 15 incidents for cars, the CIT said, adding that motorcycle incidents injured five and incidents with cars injured 17.

Per 1 million vehicle-kilometers, motorcycles committed four times as many violations as cars, the CIT said, adding that during the first quarter, nine motorcyclists were pulled aside for traffic violations, while cars were stopped 352 times.

On Highway No. 64, motorcyclists committed 113 traffic violations, compared with 2,649 for sedan drivers, meaning that motorcyclists committed 1.5 times more traffic violations per 1 million vehicle-kilometers.

Motorcyclists on National Freeway No. 3A committed 24 violations included in the committee’s eight-item watchlist, while sedan drivers committed 278 such violations; and divided by the respective traffic volumes, motorcyclists committed seven times as many violations as cars, the CIT said.

On Highway No. 64, motorcycles committed 44 documented violations on the eight-item watchlist, while cars committed 351, the CIT said, adding that motorcycles comitted 4.6 times more violations than cars.

Not maintaining a safe distance between vehicles was motorcyclists’ most common violation, the CIT said, adding that the ministry should make an effort to educate drivers and motorcyclists about safe distances.

The trial’s results are to be used to decide whether motorcycles will be allowed full access to freeways, the ministry said.

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