Different road users have different needs, that's just basic math. A car driver, for instance, doesn’t need to worry as much about the surface of the road as compared to a motorcyclist. A car's enclosed cabin, thick insulation, and climate control do a great job of filtering out the harshness of the road.

For motorcyclists, however, we rely on feedback from the bike, as well as a heightened sense of anticipation in all facets of riding. Keeping our heads on a swivel is an essential part of keeping safe on the road. While instilling road safety in individual riders is indeed essential, improving roads to be safer for riders is always a good thing. This is exactly what a project in West Scotland hopes to achieve.

Transport Scotland, the government agency responsible for road safety, among all other things concerning transport, recently tested new road markings known as Perceptual Rider Information for Maximizing Expertise and Enjoyment, or PRIMEs. These road markings were strategically placed on blind corners on twisty roads (in Scotland’s case, left turns, as they drive on the left side of the road over there).

The goal? To improve the riding behavior of motorcyclists when navigating blind corners.

Markings on the road encourage riders to take the optimum line through the corner

Markings on the road encourage riders to take the optimum line through the corner

The PRIMEs are designed under the simple principles of “nudge psychology.” That’s to say, riders are primed ahead of time on what to expect when approaching a corner. So, instead of coming in super hot only to be surprised by a decreasing-radius turn, riders know ahead of time that the corner they’re approaching is either sharp or gradual.

As you can see in the image above, arrows inform riders of a continuous left-hander, while markings on the road instruct them of the ideal road position when entering the corner.

These markings not only encourage riders to scrub off speed long before they enter the corner, but also gamify the riding experience by encouraging riders to take the optimal line through the turn.


Transport Scotland set up a total of 22 PRIME trial sites covering 750 square miles across the West of Scotland. And, unsurprisingly, the results were extremely successful.

The agency reported that there was a significant reduction in speed, particularly in riders entering corners. Perhaps more importantly, riders’ road positioning approaching the corner, and at the apex of the turn, improved significantly. Along with this came improvements in braking behavior, too. Best of all, no motorcycle accidents were reported at sites with PRIME markings since trials began.

The science behind it is simple really, and quite frankly, it’s a shame that we don’t see stuff like this in other parts of the world. It’s really awesome to see governments working towards making roads safer and more enjoyable for motorcyclists, rather than slapping tons of restrictions and regulations on motorbike use.

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