Operation Zenith - Reducing Motorcycle Casualties in North East Scotland Using a Multi-agency Approach

Operation Zenith - Reducing Motorcycle Casualties in North East Scotland Using a Multi-agency Approach


R Fraser, AECOM, UK


This paper outlines the innovative methods used by partners in North East Scotland to successfully reduce motorcyle casualties. Results from evaluation of Operation Zenith, based on accident analysis and surveys with bikers, will be reported.


During 2009, motorcyclists accounted for only 2% of road users in Grampian and yet 26% of those killed on the area's roads were motorcyclists, indicating the disproportionate vulnerability of this road user group. With a diverse range of issues associated with road safety, tackling the problem singularly would be resource intensive, potentially developed from a limited viewpoint and with limited scope in terms of deliverable interventions.

Led by Road Safety Grampian (the Police and Fire and Rescue Services), Operation Zenith was therefore developed and launched in 2010 and sees the North East's Road Authorities (Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen City and The Moray Councils, and Bear Scotland) working in partnership with local motorcycle groups, Community Safety Partnerships and the North East Safety Camera Partnership towards the shared target of a 15% reduction in motorcycle casualties over a five year period.

As a result of the multi-agency approach, Operation Zenith has successfully improved motorcycle safety by drawing together expertise from within the group to consider the four recognised strands of Education, Engagement, Engineering and Enforcement, with Evaluation being used to monitor progress. Amongst the innovative measures adopted have included bikesafe training courses, hard-hitting radio advertising, social media, new temporary bike specific safety signage on popular biker routes, trials of anti-skid manhole covers, targeted enforcement, and the organisation of Safer September Open Days as well as a free film night for bikers.

Following its first full operating year in 2010, which saw engagement with over 4000 bikers and a 22% reduction in overall motorcycle casualties on the North East's roads achieved, the campaign picked up the Scottish Transport Award for Best Transport Team/Partnership. Spurred by this achievement, evidence has revealed that the 2011 campaign has been even more successful. This paper will detail the results from evaluation of the campaign to date, both in the form of accident analysis statistics and surveys with bikers, outline the factors that have been critical to its successful implementation, and discuss some of the new approaches helping to shape the 2012 campaign.


Association for European Transport