Vision Techniques

Government fights to keep cyclists safe

Transport for London (TfL) is fighting to change an EU law that allows construction vehicles to operate dangerously.

TfL is lobbying to make it mandatory for commercial vehicles used in urban areas to be fitted with vital equipment, such as side cameras, proximity sensors, side guards and under-run protection.

The TfL report, welcomed by London Mayor Boris Johnson, makes key recommendations that champion “transforming conditions for walking, cycling and public transport”.

Central to this is “shifting LGVs and freight out of peak hours as seen during the London 2012 Games”.

It comes in light of pro bike campaigners staging a protest after three cyclists were killed on London roads in three weeks.

1,500 people rode through Aldgate to protest about the lack of safe space for cyclists.

Five people have died so far this year, according to the BBC.

Between 2008 and 2011, 56 per cent of the cyclist fatalities in London have involved large commercial vehicles.

The Tfl said it “will push for an early resolution of the issues highlighted by this report and publish the outcomes”.

There are a few options for transport operators wishing to install side cameras and proximity sensors.

For maximum visibility, some industry experts recommend 360-degree cameras. VT Overview™, for example, gives the driver a bird’s eye view around a lorry or truck using a single monitor, meaning you can easily spot cyclists or other hazards in your blindspot.

It does this using four wide-angle cameras positioned around the vehicle and uses the latest video software to combine them into a single image.

It also pre-warns the driver with an audible alarm if a car, cyclist or pedestrian enters a danger blind spot on either side of the vehicle.

However, if you just want an alarm rather than cameras, you can also opt for VT Turnsafe – Cyclist Detection System, which also uses blind spot proximity sensors to alert both cyclists and drivers of each other in a lorry’s blind spots.