Ealing Council leads the way in cycle safety

A new cycle safety system that has been trialled by lorry drivers in Ealing has helped prevent 15 potential serious collisions in six months.

Independent results of the Cycle Safety Shield detection system, first trialled by Ealing Council, also revealed a significant 20% improvement in driver behaviour and cash fuel savings of £1,000 per vehicle per year, due to less aggressive acceleration and breaking.

The system is the first of its kind to use intelligent cameras to filter out inanimate objects, such as bus stops and fences, to monitor and detect only pedestrians, cyclists and motorbikes and eliminate blind spots 360 degrees around the vehicle.

During the trial period, which ran from January to June, the system detected more than 40,000 cyclists, pedestrians and motorbikes but an alarm only alerted the driver on 15 occasions, when they became close enough to collide with the lorry.

Cycle Safety Shield has proven so successful it is one of several safety systems currently being further independently tested by Transport for London (TfL) on buses and lorries.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for transport and environment, said: “We are committed to reducing lorry danger because we know they are involved in approximately two thirds of cyclist deaths in London.

“This technology can save families from hearing the tragic news of a loved one’s death. In each of the alerts during the trial the driver was travelling an average of 13.6mph, which means that 15 potentially serious or even fatal collisions were avoided because the driver was warned.”

Ealing Council developed this technology in partnership with Safety Shields Systems and the trial was funded through TfL’s borough cycling programme. Ealing Council has fitted the system to a ten-plate grab lorry, which is operated by its highway contractor, Murrill Construction, and is currently still in use in the borough.

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