Safety Appraisal - Bus Shelter Full Motion Digital Display Screens
Case study

Safety Appraisal - Bus Shelter Full Motion Digital Display Screens

The Mayer Brown Safety Team were instructed by JCDecaux to appraise the road safety implications of a pioneering bus shelter advertising scheme using full motion digital display screens incorporated within bus shelters provided on Princes Street, Edinburgh.

Transport Planning
Infrastructure Design
Environmental Assessment


Safety Appraisal Project

The purpose of the appraisal was to consider the effects of the full motion digital display screens in relation to road user behaviour and consequential risk as a collision causation factor, utilising the first years recorded collision data since the scheme was introduced.

The bus shelter full motion digital display screens show a combination of static and animated advertising copy primarily to road users on Princes Street, but also for the benefit of waiting bus passengers and other non-motorized users (NMUs) as they travel along the retail frontages on Princes Street. It is self-evident that advertising is intended and designed to attract attention and in the most part the displayed images promote commercial products and services, as well as community related messages.

The purpose of the study was to examine whether the manner of advertising featuring full motion clips has a negative impact upon driver behaviour and or accident occurrence.

How was the Safety Appraisal Implemented?

A site inspection in Princes Street was undertaken by Martyn Parr (Mayer Brown’s Road Safety Manager) in February 2017. The locations of the 13 bus shelters incorporating the full motion digital display screens were inspected and road user behaviour in Princes Street was observed.

Back at Mayer Brown headquarters, an in-depth analysis of recorded collision data was carried out relating to a period of 5 years prior to the installation and 1 year after installation of the full motion digital display screens.


The collision records showed that, as was expected, large proportion of collisions of all types were occurring at junctions along the length of Princes Street. The full motion digital display screens are located some distance from the junctions so it was considered that they were highly unlikely to be a contributory factor.

The site inspection indicated a general casual attitude by pedestrians when crossing Princes Street and / or the associated side roads.

The programming of the full motion digital display screens was considered appropriate and sympathetic to the environment in which they are provided. A 10 second rate of change between advertisements was considered sensible in this particular location, a faster rate of change ‘could’ become a distraction to road users, however further analysis would need to be undertaken to confirm this supposition.

In conclusion therefore, it was considered from analysis of the recorded data and the site inspection that no increase in road accident risk within the study area occurred as a result of the introduction of full motion digital display screens in the bus shelters located in Princes Street.

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