Meeting minutes - Road Safety Framework Motorcycle Focus Group - 7 March 2024


  • Michael McDonnell (Chair) - Road Safety Scotland
  • Ally Johnson - Police Scotland
  • Rod Mitchell - Motorcycle Law Scotland
  • Hannah Green - Transport Scotland
  • Craig Carey-Clinch - National Motorcycle Council
  • Millie Dixon - Scottish Government
  • Neil Greig - IAM RoadSmart
  • Colin Brown - Motorcycle Action Group
  • Scott Tulip - IAM RoadSmart
  • Maria Solarin - Scottish Government
  • Peter Laidlaw - British Motorcycle Foundation
  • Andrew Paterson - Transport Scotland
  • David McKenzie - Transport Scotland
  • Caroline Hood - School of Applied Social Studies, Robert Gordon University
  • Stuart Wilson - National Operations Manager Safety and Development, Transport Scotland
  • Anna Zee - British Motorcycle Foundation


  • Tom Duncan - British Motorcycle Foundation
  • Karen Cole - Motor Cycle Industry Association Ltd
  • Louise Blakelock - Police Scotland
  • Rebecca Ashton - IAM RoadSmart

Welcome and Introductions

The Chair welcomed all to the meeting and apologised for the time passed since the group last met. The Chair then proceeded with round-table introductions.

Previous Minutes and Actions

The previous minutes were circulated and were accepted as an accurate record; they have since been published on the website.

An Action Log has now been created and there has been no change to any of the actions currently marked as ‘Ongoing’. (Items 7,10,11,13,15,17,18).

Casualty Statistics - Andrew Paterson

Motorcyclists are disproportionately likely to be injured or killed on our roads.

Over the five years up to 2022, Motorcyclists accounted for 17% of fatalities, but less than 1% of traffic.

With regards to longer-term trend of motorcycle fatalities since 1994, there have been many peaks and troughs, and we are still in the same position we were in 30 years ago.

The Killed and Seriously-Injured (KSI) target within the Road Safety Framework is a 30% reduction in motorcyclist KSIs by 2030.

Of those who are injured, over 90% are male and the most common age group is the 50-60 year-olds.

Motorcycle casualties to tend to be more seasonal than other modes, and are more likely to occur on weekend.

When looking at where the collisions occur, the data show they tend to occur on 60 mph A class roads.

The most common contributory factors assigned to motorcyclists involved in injury collisions are:

  • Loss of control
  • Poor turn or manoeuvre
  • Failure to look properly

The most common contributory factors for 'other vehicles involved' in motorcyclist collisions are:

  • Failure to look properly
  • Poor turn or manoeuvre
  • Failure to judge others' path/speed
  • Careless, reckless or in a hurry

In around a third of motorcycle injury collisions, the motorcycle was the only vehicle involved.

Motorcycles are more likely to be involved in injury collisions when 'going round bends' than other vehicle types, particularly on higher speed limit roads.

A percentage of motorcyclists who were killed were not wearing helmets.

Data on motorcycle miles travel comes from DfT annual traffic estimates and Transport Scotland’s own automatic traffic counts.

The Chair invited discussion on the statistical presentation. The discussion focused on:

  • The aging motorcycle population and the casualties age range widening.
  • Driver causation vs motorcycle causation and other contributory factors.
  • Changes in motorcycle use and policy over time.
  • Changes in modern motorcycles mean improved power to weigh ratios and the risks which that brings.
  • Returning to motorcycle use without additional/ further training.

Action Point 20: Investigate the link between motorcycle fatalities and criminality/illegal activity.
Owner: Andrew Paterson

Action Point 21: Share Casualty Statistics Presentation with group.
Owner: Secretariat

Action Point 22: Share the In-depth Fatality Report.
Owner: Secretariat

Road Safety Framework Update - Michael McDonnell

At present the annual delivery plan is being developed, this will highlight the work that has taken place over 2023/24 and will look at the deliverables for 2024/25.

The aim is for the  plan to be published in April 2024.

There was an emergency road safety summit held in February 2024, this was to address the rise in fatalities in 2022. The Scottish Government and Transport Scotland wish to refocus activity and efforts to reduce the number of fatalities to achieve the Road Safety Framework 2030 intermediate targets.

Future Direction

Engineering - Stuart Wilson

Budgets for engineering and maintenance have been sustained and, in some cases, increased for the coming year. It is clear Ministers recognise the benefits of maintaining our trunk road asset and improving safety.

A risk map has been developed for the trunk road network, and it is now being used, in addition to the annual road safety programme, to help inform road safety investments.

The process of developing the Safe System Manual will help others understand how the Safe System impacts them and how we actively engage in delivering it. It is worth noting the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges (DMRB) does not refer to the Safe System in any form.

A lot of working ongoing within Active Travel can support the casualty reduction outcomes where it is reasonable to do so.

Work is also ongoing around the PfG commitment to roll out 20 mph limits on all appropriate roads by 2025. We are currently a third of the way through our assessment and a quarter of the way through our delivery. TS has also been working with Highland Council and Scottish Borders Council who are early adopters of the roll out.

The National Speed Management Review is also still ongoing.

The Chair invited discussion on the Engineering update. The discussion focused on:

  • Funding streams and how they impact the decision-making process and how the work is progressed.
  • Possibilities of re-engineering spaces to impact casualty reduction and the RSF 2030 targets.
  • Interventions and estimated scale of change/rate of return.
  • Dispersed settlement areas and the speed limit review.

PRIMEs - David McKenzie

There is an article in this month’s IAM RoadSmart Magazine on PRIMEs.

This is an update on the introduction given at a previous Motorcycle Focus Group meeting.

PRIMEs commenced in 2020, and Phase One ran from 2020-22. It is a fairly unique project combining human factors and psychology with engineering, to design, trial and evaluate innovative road markings and associated signs to being about positive behaviour change when riders are negotiating bends.

Initially there was a profiling exercise undertaken in north-west Scotland, along with the OC (Operating Company), who were able to highlight cluster sites in the region.

Next was to go through a user-centred design process which involved a range of potential designs and engaging with motorcyclists through in-person interviews, motorcycle events, and online surveys. This narrowed all design options down to the now implemented design (they are not standard measures).

Phase One had 22 sites, each site received bespoke non-standard approval to use the signs and marking as they do not fall within the traffic signs manual.

During the first three years of the project there was no proactive media, as the team were trying to see impact on intuitive rider behaviour.

Through on site monitoring in Phase One there were 32,000 motorcyclists recorded through the 22 sites and it is believed to be the biggest motorcycle only study in the UK.

The project is currently in Phase Two which will run from 2023-25; there are an additional 18 sites being developed and there will be a further exploration into right-hand bends.

In 2023, the project won a number of road safety awards.

Action Point 23: Share PRIMEs presentation and academic report and video link with group.

Owner: Secretariat

The Chair invited discussion on the PRIMEs update. The discussion focused on:

  • How advanced motorcycle rider training works alongside the position of markings on the road.
  • How each individual rider assesses corners will vary and the markings are to assist the general populus.
  • Within the markings there are no brake marks, however braking positions are being evaluated as part of the project.
  • Any questions on human factors and psychology should be directed to Alex Stedmon.

Education & Publicity - Michael McDonnell

Road Safety Scotland is continuing with motorcycle activity, starting the season with the Scottish Motorcycle show, Police Scotland bikers will be there engaging with the attendees.

Budget-permitting, we will be looking to advance the Look Fast Die Old and Breathtaking Roads activity.

There will also need to some work around the younger rider group and how we can engage with them.

Rider Refinement and Enforcement - Ally Johnson

Over the last year there have been 434 reported collisions (slight, serious and fatal), with 26 fatal collisions involving motorcyclists resulting in 28 fatalities.

The motorcycle safety campaign launched on the 18th April 2023, and this year’s campaign will be launched in line with the Easter weekend (Friday 29th March).  

Priority locations and local engagement areas will be the focus for part of the campaign.

This year will see the use of more of unmarked motorcycles which assist in breaking down the barriers with regards to engagement with the motorcycle community.

There will be dedicated weekends throughout the year with increased activity on:

  • 24-27 May
  • 26-28 July
  • 9-11 August

There will also be links to large scale events throughout Scotland, including the aforementioned Motorcycle Show on 16-17 March

For the North West 200 in Ireland, there will be a joint operations between both forces, with events taking place at the ports and also on the boat itself.

Super bikes at Knockhill: there are ongoing conversations surrounding this event.

Thunder in the Glens in August will see increased engagement.

The Safety Camera Partnership - there are set site deployments right now but this year will bring flexible deployment vans where Police Scotland can use these vans, particularly at problematic sites.

Rider Refinement was launched in the North in 2018 and 2023 saw the launch of Rider Refinement in the East. Planning is ongoing for the launch in the West this year with a view to it being a national programme.

Rider Refinement North evaluated very well with members of the public who participated and also with those involved in the delivery.

The Chair invited discussion on Rider Refinement and the Enforcement update.

The discussion focused on:

  • Last week seen a road safety event, between Police Scotland, Biker Down Scotland and Motorcycle Law Scotland, there was around 150 delegates in attendance over two nights and there was increased promotion of Rider Refinement.

  • Various group participants looking to increase the promotion of Rider Refinement.

  • Educating other road users on motorcyclists, with regards to what they do and where the key points of danger are is part of what the Take Another Look campaign is trying to do. Discussions have also taken place about the possibility of using the VMS signs to highlight these messages to other road users.

Action Point 24: To share the Rider Refinement North evaluation report with the group.

Owner: Secretariat

Partner Initiatives - All

IAM RoadSmart - Campaigning is still ongoing to have VAT removed from airbag vests; currently there are over 10,000 signatures, but it needs 100,000 for it to be taken to Parliament.

IAM RoadSmart is having to increase its prices, but there will be a discount available at the motorcycle show.

AOB and Date of Next Meeting

Chair thanked all for attending the meeting, and advised the next meeting would be held in June, with invites to follow in due course.

Published Date 26 Apr 2024 Type Topic