March 25th, 2015
Ealing Council is pioneering a new cycle safety sensor by fitting ALL its lorries with the safety device, the Cycle Safety Shield system, in an attempt to reduce cycling fatalities in its district. The sensors alert the lorry drivers to the presence of pedestrians, cyclists and motorcycles when they are near to the vehicle.
The safety sensors work by flashing an audio alert inside the cabin when there is a potential danger close to the lorry. The technology is so advanced on the sensors that they can filter out false dangers like other vehicles, road signposts and railings.
The Council decided to take action after a cluster of deaths occurred involving cyclists and HGV’s in their region. They decided to trial the safety technology on a 26-tonne lorry which, in the course of 6 months, detected 40,000 vulnerable road users on its journeys around the district The majority of these alerts were triggered when the cyclist was on the left side of the lorry as it travelled straight ahead or turned left.
Transport for London are also currently trialling the safety technology on their buses and rubbish trucks. It has been claimed that the cyclist safety sensor has potentially saved 15 lives in six months.
Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for transport and environment, said: “We are committed to reducing LGV danger because we know they are involved in approximately two thirds of cyclist deaths in London.
“This technology can save lives and prevent more families having to experience the heartbreak of losing their loved ones in road accidents.”
Charlie Lloyd, road danger reduction campaigner from the London Cycling Campaign, said: “There have been another three tragic cyclist fatalities involving large lorries in London in the past few weeks.
“Preventing more deaths from these lorries is almost always the greatest concern for people cycling in London.”