Bright idea to tackle cyclists’ deaths

12.00 | 13 December 2012 | | 6 comments

A graduate entrepreneur has invented a handlebar mounted bike light which projects a laser image of a cyclist on to the road ahead, in an attempt to cut cyclist deaths (Telegraph).

DfT figures show that 79% of cyclists killed last year were travelling straight ahead when a vehicle manoeuvred into them, and Emily Brooke is raising money from the public for her initiative which attempts to tackle this key cause of cyclists’ deaths.

Her invention, ‘Blaze’, gives an early warning to drivers and pedestrians of a cyclist’s presence, aiming to combat this type of collision. Ms Brooke is currently attempting to raise £25,000 on ‘crowd-funding’ site Kickstarter to fund manufacturing of the product.

She had the idea while studying at Brighton University and has worked with road safety experts, a bus company and driving psychologists to develop it.

Click here to read the full Telegraph report.


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    I’ve taken the trouble to read up on this product and it works by displaying a conventional white headlight AND at the same time also casting forward (bat man style) a green laser like circular image onto the road surface about 10m in front of the bike.

    I think I like the product, but many of the accidents it seeks to prevent would also be preventable with bright clothing and other products such as bright spoke lights/reflectors.

    I always get a bit confused when critics talk of being “dazzled”. I may be wrong but I’m pretty sure that no cyclist uses anything brighter than car headlamps! Any light can dazzle, that’s just life…..if the lux/lumens level is permitted by law than its OK.

    I would be very interested to pick up on Bob’s point about colour legality. As it is a white source there are no problems there, but the green image is something that would need legal advice I think. On the basis that I can see no possible harm or confusion with the bat-man aspects of this, the law should fall into line (if it indeed needs to). The manufacturer’s website seems to be silent about this issue which is a bit of a concern.

    pete, liverpool
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    It’s dificult getting any cyclist to have lights on at night at the moment never mind another.

    If our traffic laws allow this then I would suppose that anything goes when we come to displaying diferent coloured lights to the front. At the moment for mechanical propelled vehicles it’s white lights only.

    But then again they are cyclists, aren’t they? To my mind this can open up a can of worms, never mind it being a good or even brilliant idea, I have many good ideas but the law prohibits their usage.

    bob craven Lancs
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    There is strong evidence from comments made by experienced and professional drivers and witnessed daily on the roads, that high powered lights cause dazzle and are hazardous to all road traffic. Just this afternoon a cyclist was using what appeared to be two lights in alternate flashes directed straight at oncoming traffic. This on a single carriageway A road. The effect was to dazzle oncoming vehicles. This irresponsible action on behalf of certain cyclists will only serve to create and strengthen antipathy towards what should be a valued and respected form of transport.

    Were I as a car driver found to be aiming such bright lights at cyclists, doubtless my number would be reported and I would be receiving a call.

    Derek Reynolds
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    Sounds a good idea, but what is it’s visibility actually like? Can the symbol be seen from all angles? Also I would caution that drivers still need to take responsibility for their own driving and this doesn’t take away the need for drivers to be appropriately vigilant when in control of their lethal weapons.

    Steve, Merseyside
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    This looks like a great idea. The designer has clearly identified the problem she is trying to solve and the device she proposes directly addresses that problem.

    I’d be concerned about the possibility of firing lasers into the eyes of other road users if the device is misaligned, I’d want the green projected image and a flashing white light at the same time (can it do that?) and what is the battery life (can it use rechargeable batteries?).

    I haven’t personally had cars pulling out when I’m cycling, but it certainly occurs when motorcycling. If successful, the designer might consider a motorcycle version which can be powered from 12v.

    Good luck!

    Dave Finney – Slough
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    Sounds a good idea. My concern is there may be a bright light pointing towards drivers as they scan the major road when emerging from a minor road. It would be good to see a picture of the device from this angle.

    Dr James Whalen DSA ADI (car) Wolverhampton
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