New road markings trialled in Scotland have resulted in significant road safety benefits for motorcyclists approaching bends.
The PRIME (Perceptual Rider Information for Maximising Expertise and Enjoyment) markings utilise nudge psychology, the application of academic theories to human decision-making, to adapt driver behaviour as they approach a left-hand bend.
The research took place across 22 trial sites in West Scotland and is one of the most in-depth investigations into motorbike rider behaviour in the world. It manually assessed video footage of over 32,000 motorcyclists using the markings over three years.
PRIME markings give the impression of the road narrowing, encouraging riders into a safer position. Results from the study showed a significant improvement in road position, reduction in speed, and improvement in braking behaviour.
Transport Scotland has confirmed that since trialling PRIMEs, accident hotspots have been free from any motorcycle injury collisions, proving the research a success. It also hopes that the low-cost intervention will be of interest to roads authorities worldwide.
The scheme was conducted by Professor Alex Stedmon, an expert in rider behaviour and psychology. He said: “Project PRIME is the first time this kind of research has been done to look at dedicated road markings for motorcyclists.
“It’s been a great opportunity to use applied psychology principles in the real world to support behaviour change for a specific group of vulnerable road users which underpins the Safe System approach to road safety and supports Scotland’s Road Safety Framework to 2030.”
The Road Safety Trust provided over £215,000 to implement the trials. Sonya Hurt, the trust’s chief executive, stated: “PRIME addresses three of the five Safe System foundations – safe speeds, safe road use, and safe roads and roadsides.
“It is very pleasing to know that a road safety innovation piloted in Scotland, with funding provided by the Road Safety Trust, could play an important role in helping to keep riders safe – and reducing collisions and casualties across the globe.”