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Nudge theory markings trial delivers 'outstanding' safety results

7 July 2023

New nudge theory road markings trialled in Scotland have had significant road safety benefits for motorcyclists taking left-hand bends, resulting in speed reductions, better braking and improved road position on the approach.

Since the start of the trials there have been no motorcycle injury collisions at any of the previously identified accident cluster sites where the markings have been deployed, Transport Scotland said.

The markings are called Perceptual Rider Information for Maximising Expertise and Enjoyment (PRIMEs) and apply academic theories on human factors – commonly known as 'nudge' psychology – to prime riders to adapt their riding as they approach a bend.

PRIMEs consist of 'gateway' road markings and associated information signage - the lines direct the rider to a better position and give the impression of the road narrowing to encourage slower speed.

The research was undertaken over three years at 22 trial sites across the West of Scotland, in what is believed to be the most in-depth investigation of motorcycle rider behaviour anywhere in the world to date.

The Road Safety Trust provided over £215,000 to Transport Scotland to test the experimental markings.

The next step will be the production of a guidance pack for road authorities in Scotland on how they can implement PRIMEs locally.

Transport Scotland said it hopes this low-cost intervention will be of interest to roads authorities worldwide.

The Scottish Government aims to have 'the best road safety performance in the world by 2030' and zero harm by 2050.

 

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