Evaluating Motorcycle Safety Treatments


Department of Transport (North Eastern Office – NER) is delivering a $1.7 million motorcycle safety improvement project (the Project) on the Murray Valley Highway between Wodonga and the NSW border, east of Corryong. The Project is funded from the Motorcycle Safety Levy and includes infrastructure treatments such as sealing bellmouths and shoulders, installing/ retrofitting safety barrier under-run protection, removing roadside hazards and improving warning signage.

As part of the Project, NER wishes to trial Perceptive Countermeasures (PCM) targeting motorcycle safety. Specifically, innovative line-marking aiming to reduce rider’s speed on approach to a curve and encourage selection of a safer riding path through the curve.



The objective of this evaluation project is to assess whether PCMs improve safety for motorcycles travelling through a curve. The study aims to assess changes to speed and lane positioning of motorcycles, while also considering whether the treatments may affect other road users. Through data collection at two treatment sites and two corresponding control sites, the evaluation is to be designed to answer the following questions:


–  Did the PCM result in a change to motorcycles speeds on approach and/or through the curve?

–  What was the effect of the PCM on motorcycle riding line through the curve?

–  Were there any impacts on other travel modes?





Speed Analysis at Curve Entry

A key objective of the motorcycle PCM is to reduce the speed of motorcycles as they enter the curve to reduce the likelihood and severity of crashes. The speed of entry to the curve impacts the trajectory of the motorcycle through the curve and the ability to control the movement when the line of travel is close to the edge or centreline.

An analysis of speed data collected by radar technology the entry to the curve will determine if, and by how much, the PCM has reduced curve entry speeds of motorcycles. The same data collection method and analysis will also be employed to measure impacts on other vehicles (i.e. light and heavy vehicles).

Data for each site will be presented in the form of percentage change and actual change (km/h) in mean and 85th percentile speeds across the survey period.


Speed Analysis Through Middle of Curve

The longitudinal speed data collected using the CCTV cameras, which collects data as a motorcycle or vehicle travels through approximately 50 metres of the mid-curve, will be analysed to determine if the PCM has changed motorcycle and other vehicle speeds through the middle of the curve.

Data for each site will be presented in the form of percentage change and actual change (km/h) in mean and 85th percentile speeds across the survey period.

The Computer Vision technology is able to capture speed at several points through the 50 metre section, allowing speed profiles to be plotted and analysed for other observations regarding motorcycle and vehicle speed behaviour around the curve.


Lane Positioning Analysis

The lane positioning data will be obtained using CCTV cameras. Computer Vision technology is able to collect data as a motorcycle, or vehicle, travels through approximately 50 metres of the mid-curve. This will be analysed to determine the effect of the installed PCM on the lane positioning of the motorcycles, as well as other vehicles.

The lane will be divided into several sections to determine where in the lane the motorcycle is travelling and in particular, if they are travelling in the high-risk zones of the traffic lane, near the edgeline and centreline. The mean distance between the wheel path of a motorcycle/vehicle and the edge/centreline will be measured and reported in centimetres. The pre- and post-installation data will be compared to determine if the treatment has improved lane positioning.

Heatmaps will also be prepared to provide a visual representation of motorcycle, and other vehicle, lane positioning (Figure 1: heatmap of early results showing motorbike wheel paths)

Data analytics made simple

Figure 1: wheel path heatmap.



Radar Technology for Spot Speed

Radar technology was used to collect spot speed, volume and classification data at the intersection. This was a cost effective non-intrusive, off-road technology with a remote access capability to enable live survey monitoring.

Each radar was mounted at 6 – 8m high on self-standing structure with a small footprint. The structure houses a solar-power system with high-capacity back-up batteries. This configuration guaranteed optimal operability with no down time over an extended period of time i.e. months.


Figure 2: Radar Technology


Computer Vision Technology for Conflict Analysis

RTT deployed state-of-the-art computer vision CCTV technologies highly sought after on all of our projects. Video surveys was undertaken using high definition, PTZ (Pan, Tilt, Zoom) CCTV cameras deployed throughout all project treatment and control sites. Similar to radars, cameras were solar powered mounted on a self-standing structure with solar power system and back up batteries. This configuration guaranteed optimal operability with no down time during the entire duration of the surveys.


Figure 3: Camera Technology

More to come!

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