Posted on 24th Mar, 2014 by Jonathan Peach
This week on the Vision Techniques blog, we take a look at a deceptively simple invention that could be set to revolutionise cyclist safety here in the UK.
With accidents involving cyclists firmly in the media spotlight since a spate of fatalities on London’s roads late last year, any development that makes UK roads even slightly less hazardous must surely be viewed as a move in the right direction.
In a recent survey, carried out as part of a London Assembly report, more than two thirds of cyclists questioned stated that they were increasingly worried about their safety on UK roads. A further one-in-five of those surveyed admitted to making fewer journeys by bike as a result.
Worryingly, 68 per cent of those questioned stated that dedicated cycle superhighways were no safer than other routes, and 79 per cent said that these priority lanes were not respected by other road users.
It’s often said that the simplest solutions are the best. And that might well hold true for an innovative new product by urban cycling kickstarter company, Blaze.
The Blaze Laserlight, developed over the last year, is a cycle front light with a difference. As well as lighting the way and making cyclists generally more visible, the Laserlight uses a powerful green laser to project the image of a bike on to the surface of the road approximately six metres ahead.
This gives other road users such as cars and HGVs advanced warning when a cyclist is pulling up alongside them, and helps to prevent them cutting across in front of cyclists who are positioned in their blind spot.
With an estimated 79% of cycle accidents occurring when a vehicle manoeuvres into a bike travelling straight ahead, the Laserlight could be a life-saving development.
Rechargeable, USB compatible and 100% waterproof, the Laserlight features an easy-to-use control panel and a built-in intelligence system that preserves energy when the light is not affixed to a bike.
Created off the back of a crowd-funding project, the Laserlight has already been featured on the BBC, on CNN and in the New York Times. Little surprise that the product’s first run sold out quickly – a second batch is set to be released this May.
Here at Vision Techniques, we welcome any technological developments that can help to keep Britain’s cyclists safer on the roads. By investing in a product like Laserlight, cyclists can do their bit to prevent blind-spot accidents from occurring.
Owners and drivers of goods vehicles can play an important role, too. Vision Techniques’ TurnSafe™ range of vehicle safety systems can help to prevent collisions between large vehicles and cyclists located in their blind spot. Each of the products in our TurnSafe range combines audio and visual alarms to alert cyclists to any impending manoeuvres.
If cyclists and commercial fleet owners alike all do their part to make Britain’s roads safer, we can help to prevent another year with cyclist fatalities on the rise.
To find out more about our TurnSafe range of vehicle safety systems, including the TurnAlarm, TurnSensor and TurnCamera, talk to a member of the Vision Techniques team today.