Road Safety News
 

Bike light inventor appears on The One Show

Thursday 17th January 2013

The graduate entrepreneur behind the ‘Blaze’ bike light has surpassed her funding goal and last week (16 January) appeared on the BBC’s The One Show to exhibit the product.

Emily Brooke’s invention – a handlebar mounted bike light that projects a laser image of a cyclist on to the road ahead – attempts to reduce collisions involving bicycles by giving an early warning to drivers and pedestrians of a cyclist’s presence.

DfT figures show that 79% of cyclists killed in 2011 were travelling straight ahead when a vehicle manoeuvred into them. By forewarning motorists of a cyclist’s presence it is hoped that Blaze can combat this problem.

Blaze more than doubled its funding goal of £25,000 on 'crowd-funding' site Kickstarter. Ms Brooke had the idea while studying at Brighton University and has worked with road safety experts, a bus company and driving psychologists to develop it.

On The One Show, Ms Brooke appeared in a segment dedicated to young inventors. She impressed the show’s presenters and guests with her invention and revealed that she is currently in talks with many big retailers.

Click here to visit the Blaze website for more information.

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Great idea in principle but I cannot help wondering how bright the image can be, and how effective it would be in bright sunlight. Anyone know?
Idris Francis Fight Back With Facts

Agree (1) | Disagree (5)
-4

Neil, the law through legislation decided what lights can be shown on whatever vehicle and that includes bicycles. If a green light were to be show as an example there would have to be legislation enabling that. It is a light a that is generated and thrown foward whether it's LED or whatever.

Another concern is that if this is a constant light then when a cyclist comes alongside a car driver and stops by its side the light emitted might just be reflected by the nearside mirror and into the car driver's eyes and could possibly affect his vision adversely. Not good from a road safety point of view.

We already hav flashing white and red lights that could adversely affect persons with light sensative epilepsy.
bob craven Lancs

Agree (0) | Disagree (2)
-2

Bob - what is the issue with the lights? Originally, I understood it to be some kind of 'laser' projection - but looking at the site, it appears that they're just powerful LEDs. If that's the case, surely they can't be any worse than the HID beams many drivers are using now?
Neil Hopkins, Sussex Safer Roads Partnership

Agree (1) | Disagree (2)
-1

Nice idea, but the best (and least used) invention for bicycle safety is a rear view mirror. SMIDSY's and random car door opening are a problem for push bikes as much as they are for motorbikes, yet a lot of collisions are from the rear or the side. The relative speed of motorised traffic in comparison to push bikes means that the threats are mainly approaching from the rear, yet cyclists have no way of reacting to these threats because they simply can't see them coming.

There was a documentary on TV the other week about cyclists v drivers and from the helmet camera footage it was blindingly clear that the 'enemy' was coming at them from the rear yet they seemed surprised when cars suddenly appeared close alongside them. Had they known the vector of the approaching vehicle a bit sooner they could easily have done something about it.
Duncan MacKillop, Stratford on Avon

Agree (2) | Disagree (1)
+1

Does anybody actually know how much one of these lights cost to buy? Reading through some of the comments and watching the site video, the driver would notice a green 'Apparition' approaching them, think 'I wonder what that is?' before pulling out into the path of the cyclist!

There is also the implication that if these devices became popular, hoodies may point laser pens towards cars to fool the drivers that a cyclist were coming! Like most people here, encouraging cyclists of all ages to actually use lights would be a greater help!
Joe - Sefton

Agree (3) | Disagree (1)
+2

I can only hope that the law will allow such a light to be shown as suggested. Otherwise good luck to Emily.
bob craven Lancs

Agree (3) | Disagree (0)
+3

Whilst applauding the idea as a well intentioned concept, am I the only one to worry that the distance ahead of any cycle so equipped is so short as not to make any real difference to a car driver pulling out? (Decide for yourself, have a look at the video on the site referenced: the cycles using the light are travelling much slower than many cyclists and the throw is only some 5-6 metres.)
tony,bristol

Agree (3) | Disagree (0)
+3

As I understand it they are a laser projection coupled with an LED light - all already legal and in use on some brands of rear cycle lights. But again I must stress that this doesn't lead to a dumbing down of the responsibilities of drivers to be aware of other road users.
Steve, Merseyside

Agree (8) | Disagree (0)
+8

Just getting some of them to display lights would be a positive step. I regularly perform late night runs taxiing my kids to swimming etc and see the vast majority around 10.30pm w/out lights. Invariably with dark clothing, some are teenagers, but commuting shift workers too.
Olly, Lancs.

Agree (10) | Disagree (0)
+10