Blindspot system should improve cyclists’ safety

12.00 | 12 October 2012 | | 4 comments

In a move to attempt to reduce cyclist casualties in London, Transport for London (TfL) has approved a detection system which warns a HGV driver if there is a cyclist, pedestrian or other vehicle in a blind spot.

Of the 16 cyclist fatalities in London during 2011, nine involved a HGV.

To help combat this, TFL has approved the use of the ‘Blindspot Detection System’, produced by Bridgend-based company Backwatch, for its Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS).

The Blindspot Detection System comprises three ultra-sonic proximity sensors located over the nearside front wheel arch, plus side and rear camera with an optional turn alarm.

Steve Steele, TfL’s freight and fleet programme manager, said: “We have implemented initiatives to ensure all businesses working for, and on behalf of TfL, take measures to improve the safety of their vehicles and we’re pleased to be working with providers such as Backwatch to enable this.”

Click here to visit the Backwatch website, or for more information email:


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    The main problem with this is:
    1. Cyclists shouldn’t pass on the kerb side.
    2. Traffic planners put cyclists on the kerb side with Advanced Stop Lines (these boxes are the exact same size as lorry blindspots) and the filter lanes into the ASLs.

    Cyclists who see the green / blue paint assume that they are meant to go that way and end up in the vehicle’s blindspot.

    Steve, Merseyside
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    When we were at school (many years ago) we were always instructed to overtake on the OFF SIDE of any vehicle and never to ride up the nearside. Common sense really.

    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    Just go on Youtube and watch ‘Silly Cyclists’ filmed by a sensible cyclist, then decide who is at fault. Yes by all means put blindspot systems on vehicles, but please do not think that accidents involving cyclists will disappear overnight if at all. As Dave states we must also focus on education. I would go one stage further (if we had police on the streets) to prosecute in the worst of cases to just hammer the message home. Maybe bring back road safety personnel into schools to teach the next generation of cyclists.

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    It’s a good move, but we should focus on educating cyclists and pedestrians to be aware of the blind spots of large vehicles and not put themselves in danger. Basic advice to cyclists is not to undertake long vehicles anywhere near a junction.

    Dave, Leeds
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