New intelligent cameras have prevented 15 serious collisions between cyclists and lorries during a six month trial.
The Cycle Safety Shield System was trialled by Ealing Council between January and June this year. It uses software that focuses on detecting people, filtering inanimate objects such as bus stops and road signs out of the footage.
Independent results showed that the system alerted lorry drivers on 15 occasions where they had come close enough to collide with a cyclist. This gave the driver time to react and brake, as well as alerting cyclists that the vehicle was turning. The results of the trial also showed a significant improvement in driver behaviour.
Transport for London will now be trialling the technology on two London bus routes, and is in discussion with Ealing Council to roll it out further across the borough.
Collisions with lorries are the cause of more than half of all cyclist deaths in London each year, and a third of those across the whole of the UK.
A Loughborough University report published this week also suggested a revamped lorry design that could save the lives of hundreds more cyclists each year. The new design minimises blind spots, often a significant factor in fatal lorry collisions, through a longer cab, lower driver position and additional glazed areas.
Helen Williams, a senior road accident solicitor based in Thompsons Solicitors’ Bristol office, said, “We have long campaigned for the need to make road safety for cyclists a priority across the UK. While infrastructure is an important part of this, so is the appropriate and responsible behaviour of other road users, particularly lorry drivers.
"As the results of the trial show, this system is a significant step forward in improving the safety of cyclists on our roads. In just six months, it has prevented 15 potentially fatal collisions, which means 15 families have been saved from the tragic news of a loved ones’ death.
“We would now welcome further trials of this technology, and would encourage councils across the UK to adopt it on their own streets.”