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The Friday Blog | Project PRIME Using Road Markings & Nudge Psychology to Enhance Safety




Summary

In a groundbreaking initiative aimed at improving road safety for motorcyclists, Transport Scotland and BEAR Scotland, supported by WJ Group, have conducted a three-year trial in the West Highlands of Scotland. The project, named PRIME (Perceptual Rider Information for Maximising Expertise and Enjoyment), has shown promising results, with significant improvements in rider behaviour and a notable reduction in accidents.

 

Project Prime


The PRIME project, led by Professor Alex Stedmon, an expert in rider behaviour and psychology, used applied psychology and innovative road marking design to influence motorcyclists’ riding behaviour.


The new road markings, known as ‘gates’, encourage motorcyclists to naturally drive through them, leading to safer lane positioning around bends.


The trial, run by Transport Scotland and BEAR Scotland, spanned 22 sites on the A83, A84, and A85, covering 750 square miles, and involved the analysis of over 32,000 motorcyclists. WJ Group was instrumental in implementing the new ‘gates’ using permanent road marking tape. The results demonstrated a significant reduction in speed as well as an improvement in road position and braking behaviour, with no motorcycle collisions occurring at any of the sites where the new road markings were deployed.


Brian Smith, General Manager of WJ Scotland, expressed his pride in the company’s involvement in the project.




 

This initiative aligns with WJ Group’s commitment to road safety and innovation. Road markings are critical to maintaining the safety of all road users, and it’s been fantastic to be involved in a project exploring additional uses, and the role psychology can play in influencing driver behaviour. It’s been an honour to be part of this project that has had outstanding results in the trial and could significantly enhance the safety of motorcyclists and all road users across Scotland and the rest of the UK.

Fiona Robertson, owner of the Green Welly Stop in Tyndrum and a road safety observer, praised the new road markings. The simplicity of it is absolutely ingenious. It’s incredible how such simple road markings can potentially make such a difference to the safety of motorcyclists.

The PRIME project comes at a crucial time, as recent figures revealed that more riders died on Scotland’s roads in the past year than in the previous three. Motorcyclists make up only 1% of road users in Scotland yet account for around 17% of all road deaths.

The success of the PRIME project offers a cost-effective intervention that significantly improves road safety for motorcyclists when used in the right conditions. This initiative combines engineering with grounded scientific theory, tested and proven in the Scottish Highlands, with the potential to save more lives and make roads safer for bikers across the globe.

The next step will see guidance packs delivered to road authorities to help them implement PRIMEs locally, with the hope of expanding the scheme across roads nationwide.

The PRIME project is a testament to the collaborative efforts of Transport Scotland, BEAR Scotland, and WJ Group in their commitment to creating safer and more sustainable journeys for all. WJ Group, as a participant in this project, continues to contribute to the field of road safety and lead our sector in innovative solutions for road users.

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