Trail blazer for cycle safety

A safety device that projects a bright green laser image of a bike on to the road ahead – alerting motorists to its presence – could be a life saver.

Developed by Emily Brooke, a student at the University of Brighton in England, the invention has won her a place at Babson College in Massachusetts in the US, on an entrepreneurship programme.

Her innovation, BLAZE, is a small, battery-powered device that is attached to the handlebars of bicycles, motorcycles or scooters, and projects a laser image on to the road ahead.

The bright green bicycle symbol travels ahead of the cyclist, alerting others to its presence. The image can be flashing to make it more visible and can be seen “even in daylight”, the university said.

Emily plans to work on developing the product in Massachusetts, it added.

“I wanted to tackle the issue of safety of cyclists on city streets by increasing the visibility, footprint, and ultimately the awareness of the bicycle,” said Brooke, a final-year product design student.

“Eighty per cent of cycle accidents occur when bicycles travel straight ahead and a vehicle manoeuvres into them. The most common contributory factor is ‘failed to look properly’ on the part of a vehicle driver. The evidence shows the bike simply is not seen on city streets,” she said.

“Even when lit up like a Christmas tree a bicycle in a bus’s blind-spot is still invisible. With BLAZE, you see the bike before the cyclist and I believe this could really make a difference in the key scenarios threatening cyclists’ lives on the roads.”

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About dbda
dbda is a corporate social responsibility consultancy embracing education and safety in the community. We are privileged to work with a large number of blue chip corporate clients, Government organisations, charitable bodies, Institutes and local authorities. We also have a network of schools, professional bodies, associations, universities and partners, with whom we regularly work in collaboration.

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