Professor Alex Stedmon, Science Witness Limited

Professor Alex Stedmon is a world expert in transport research investigating driver behaviour and driver psychology.

Alex has worked as Professor of Transport Design within the Institute of Future Transport and Cities at Coventry University, with a specific focus on ‘Two Wheel Design’ – looking specifically at aspects of motorcycle road safety and rider behaviour.

Alex has been riding motorbikes for over 30 years and has literally ridden the length and breadth of the UK (organising a charity ride taking in the furthest points N, S, E and W on the mainland). He has also ridden abroad throughout Europe and over in New Zealand.

Throughout his long-established and internationally recognised career, Alex has managed and worked extensively on transport research projects. He has over 200 mainly peer-reviewed publications and has contributed to winning over £31 million in research funding.

Alex regularly acts as a reviewer for various international journals and has co-edited special issues of the journal ‘Applied Ergonomics’ specialising in future transport research. He has presented keynote and plenary lectures around the world, including speaking at the Parliamentary Advisory Committee for Transport Safety Conference (2010), Goodyear-Dunlop’s Road Safety Day (2011), advising the Australian Government on motorcyclist training and safety (2012) and briefing the EU at the European Motorcycle Forum (2014). More recently, in 2015 Professor Stedmon was invited to join a strategic EU network (TU-1407: Scientific and technical innovations for safer Powered Two Wheelers) dealing with aspects of motorcycle safety in Europe.

Since 2017, Alex has contributed to motorcycle safety research in New Zealand in the Coromandel region with a specific focus on novel road designs for riders negotiating dangerous bends.

In late 2019, Alex left Coventry University to focus on his work as an expert witness and as an independent transport consultant through his own company, Science Witness Ltd.

Presentation: Priming behaviour change in motorcyclists – a cognitive tool for maximising enjoyment and expertise
Throughout the UK and around the world, motorcyclists represent a uniquely vulnerable road user group. In many ways, traditional approaches to road safety present a major challenge for engaging with riders who are hard to access.

In a novel approach, research was conducted in New Zealand to investigate the use of road markings to help riders approaching and navigating dangerous bends. In this way, any rider travelling on a specific road would benefit from this type of intervention. Field trials were conducted and the results illustrated changes in rider behaviour at dangerous bends (e.g. improved road position, speed, braking).

This presentation will review this work and extend it with a UK focus and explore new research opportunities. The underlying principle is to develop unique tools that ‘prime’ rider behaviour in a positive way to increase rider enjoyment and expertise. If these tools become more widely implemented there is real potential to engage with any rider in new ways and also enhance their safety.