Approximately half of all deaths in London are caused by a collision between a lorry and a cyclist, at junctions where the lorry has turned left across the path of a cyclist that the driver has not seen. New technologies are aiming to correct this deadly blind spot to protect both drivers and cyclists.
SM UK are experts in delivering vehicle safety technology to multiple industries including freight, construction and waste across the UK. They have recently introduced a new piece of HGV cycle safety technology called HALO that uses LED lights, sensors and a speaker alarm system to alert cyclists of a left turn.
“According to ROSPA, over 21,000 cyclists were injured in reported road accidents in 2014, with over 3,500 being either killed or seriously injured – and around 75% of these accidents occurred in urban areas,” said Steve MacDonald, Managing Director, SM UK. “These figures equate to a major safety issue for cyclists. Adoption of our Halo system by HGV operators will reverse this concern.”
HALO instantly informs the driver and warns cyclists of the vehicle’s intended manoeuvre. The system is fitted at the near side of a HGV, and includes LED lights, sensors and an external speaking alarm. When the driver indicates left, LED lights flash in conjunction with a warning speaker which is set to say ‘WARNING: VEHICLE TURNING LEFT.’
LED lights glow on the ground when the HGV travels below 10mph, whilst the in-cab display monitor allows drivers to see any cyclists hidden in blind spots. Unlike other systems, HALO does not require cyclists to fit tags or sensors to their bicycle.
“Our drivers have only been using HALO for a couple of weeks and the feedback they have given me has been fantastic,” commented Nigel Woolford, CEO LSS Waste Management. “They say this new awareness makes them feel more secure behind the wheel than ever before, a feeling that has certainly been mirrored by the cyclists I’ve told about the system. HALO will make a big difference to cyclist safety on our roads.”
The blind spot and left turn jointly pose a significant hazard to cyclists so the clear early warnings provided by HALO could prevent collisions in the future. SM UK encourages both HGV drivers and cyclists to work together to take responsibility for making the road a safer place.
For more information: 0845 388 3816 or www.smuk.co.uk
This article originally appeared in FACTS issue 131. To read the magazine in full: bit.ly/FACTS131