Saturday 20 September 2014

Lorry sensor could save lives

A safety system attached to an Ealing Council lorry has detected and helped prevent 15 potentially fatal collisions.  The Cycle Safety Shield can detect the presence of pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists, but ignores false alarms from railings, lampposts and other street furniture. In Ealing Council's six month trial, which ended in June, the system detected over 40,000 pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. On 15 occasions, they were considered close enough to be in danger, and the system's alarm warned the driver, who was able to brake and avoid a collision. Most alerts came from cyclists on the left side of the lorry as it travelled straight ahead or turned left. On average, it was travelling at 13.6mph at the time of these alarms. They system apparently produced a 20% improvement in driver behaviour, due to less aggressive acceleration and braking - with the added bonus of a reported £1000 per year saving in fuel.
TfL is now trialling the equipment on two buses, and the City of London Corporation will test it on its rubbish trucks.
Bassam Mahfouz, Ealing council's cabinet member for transport,  said: "We are in discussions with TfL and if their own independent results support these so far, we are keen to look at further roll-out of this system across our fleet."
The photo shows Bassam Mahfouz cycling in the lorry's danger zone to demonstrate the system.
Ealing Council report on the results of the trial
BBC TV news report at the start of the trial