New Lorry Safety Device Tested in Ealing

Bid to cut down on road deaths

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New technology to make the roads safer for cyclists is being tested out in Ealing.

It follows a spate of recent accidents in the Capital with six cyclists killed in just two weeks.

The device, which fits in a lorry, is the first of its kind that can detect cyclists and pedestrians while filtering out other inanimate objects, such as bus stops, lamp posts, cars and other vehicles.

It can detect cyclists and pedestrians within a 30metre radius and displays the position of each in relation to the vehicle on a monitor fitted to dashboard inside the cab. Unlike other systems, cyclists and pedestrians can be monitored around the entire vehicle, not just on the one side.

The system should also help improve driver training and awareness, with additional features including an alarm to control speed and notify drivers when the vehicle is overlapping into another lane, as well as automatically dimming high-beam lights when oncoming traffic is detected.

Ealing Council has fitted it to a ten-plate grab lorry, which is operated by its highway repairs contractor, Murrills Construction. It's being tested over a six months period and findings are expected to be released by summer 2014.

The technology was developed in partnership with Safety Shields Systems and the trial is funded by Transport for London’s borough cycling programme.

In March this year, Ealing Council committed to providing Safer Urban Driving training for heavy goods vehicle drivers working for council contractors, including drivers who collect refuse and recycling in the borough. The training involves the drivers taking to two wheels to experience life on the road as cyclists.

See more on BBC London here

27th November 2013