ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

Motorcycle and Scooter Speeds at Urban Intersections

Walton, D, Murray, S (Peer reviewed)

Speed - Travel Speeds


Motorcycle and Scooter Speeds at Urban Intersections Darren Walton - HSC Stephen Murray - HSC Five urban, uncontrolled T-intersections known to be motorcycle crash 'black spots' were monitored using instrumentation and a roadside observer. Two sets of twelve-hour days of observations were collected for each site (N ≈ 100,000). Instrumentation recorded the 'events' of vehicles passing to measure, speed, direction, lane position, vehicle type (broadly characterised) and headway. Observers further recorded times of bicycle events, type of motorcycle (scooters or motorcycles), the behaviour of motorcycles and the use of 'high conspicuity' gear such as clothing or helmets. Results establish that motorcycles travel around 10% faster than the other traffic (car mean speed = 34.97 kph), with motorcycles travelling on average 3.3 kph faster than cars. Motorcycles were 3.4 times more likely to be exceeding the speed limit than cars. Similar results are described for scooters along with an examination of the influences on mean speeds such as the time of day, the presence of a car at the T-intersection, and the influence of free headway. The results are compared for robustness across locations and days. It is concluded that in urban areas motorcycles are travelling significantly faster than other traffic. These findings are discussed against a concern to reduce motorcycle crashes by improving conspicuity and previous research that implicates a 'looked-but-failed-to-see' effect for car drivers. These results suggest a 'looked-but-failed-to-judge-the-approach-speed' effect, and this may have little to do with motorcycle conspicuity.