Vision Techniques

Improving cyclist safety with Road Safety Week

With Road Safety Week around the corner, with thought we’d focus on cyclist safety in this week’s blog. We’ll be discovering what Road Safety Week is all about, taking a little look at how our products fit in with the aims of the campaign, and sharing some tips on how commercial fleet operators can make sure their vehicles are used safely.

Road Safety Week is the UK’s biggest road safety event and takes place between 17th and 23rd November. The annual event was founded in 1997 and is co-ordinated by the charity Brake. It involves thousands of schools and communities across the UK every year and raises awareness about road safety through programs, events and by promoting life-saving steps that everyone can take to keep UK roads safe.

Protecting road cyclists

The event, and the charity Brake, sets out to protect cyclists, pedestrians and other road users through education and training. Cyclist safety in particular has been in the spotlight more and more over recent years. According to a 2011 report by the Greater London Authority, the past decade has seen a 70 per cent increase in cycling generally, and a 173 per cent increase in cycling on major roads. The huge rise in the popularity of road cycling has in turn led to more incidents.

Technology from Vision Techniques

At Vision Techniques, we’ve developed a whole range of products to help ensure cyclist safety on the road and make sure that commercial fleet operators’ awareness is at its best.

Some of our products that help to tackle the road safety problem include:

TurnSafe – a cyclist detection system designed to reduce collisions between cyclists and commercial, public and municipal vehicles. Comprising of three complementary systems – an alarm, sensor and camera – this integrated vehicle safety solution gives drivers a better chance of spotting cyclists and warns cyclists and other road users to be aware of the presence of large vehicles.

Turnsign – an LED warning system designed specifically for waste vehicles, but suitable for any large vehicle. The high intensity LED can be installed to flash to pedestrians and cyclists when the driver indicates or it can be set to flash all the time. As a standard, the product days ‘CYCLISTS-WARNING’, but it can be tailored to say whatever you want.

Tips for commercial fleet operators

Pressure is mounting on commercial fleet operators and the HGV industry to tackle the issue of road safety. There are many ways commercial fleet operators can improve their practise but the key ways are listed below:

  1. Implement the latest technology – If approved by national governments, all new HGVs are to be designed with cycle safety in mind. For existing fleets though, we recommend Vision Technique safety products. The legal minimum requirement for operating in London is to have improved mirrors and side guards fitted.  All large vehicles should also carry visible warnings for cyclists to stay back.
  2. Set up robust management systems – In 2013, the Transport Research Laboratory recommended that companies have a management system in place to reduce operational road risk. ISO 39001 was one certification that was introduced as a result of this and has already proven its effectiveness.
  3. Invest in training – There are training courses all over the UK, one stand out course though is the Safer Urban Driving course
  4. Communication and best practice – Through events such as ‘Exchanging places’ in London and Road Safety Week, cyclists and road users can become better educated about the problem.

Why not take a closer look at our road safety products? You can call us on 01254 679 717 if you’d like to discuss any product in more detail.

What measures do you take to ensure cyclist safety? Tell us in the comments below or tweet us @VisionTechnique