Ealing Council has given the go ahead to install an innovative new lorry alert system on its fleet of Light Goods Vehicles (LGVs) to improve cycle safety in the borough.
Thought to be the first local authority in the UK to use technology of this kind, the Cycle Safety Shield system works by recognising pedestrians, cyclists and motorcycles in a 360 radius of the vehicle and warns the driver if a collision is about to occur. By filtering out other objects, the system eliminates unnecessary distractions for the driver. An alarm will only sound to the driver if a cyclists or pedestrian becomes too close to the vehicle. The system also scans the road ahead for speed signs, road markings and other vehicles, so it can notify drivers if they are travelling above the speed limit or if they drift into another lane. It also ensures drivers keep a safe distance behind vehicles in front, and automatically dims the lorry’s high-beam lights if on-coming traffic is detected.
In addition to road safety, it is estimated that using the system will also result in a fuel cash saving of £1000 per vehicle per year by improving driver behaviour.
The council decided to install the system on its fleet of vehicles after undertaking a six-month trial in 2013, which resulted in preventing 15 potential serious collisions with vulnerable road users and a 20% improvement in driver behaviour. The council has been given £60,000 by TFL to fund the installation with Murrill Construction and Amey also contributing to the costs.
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 lives and prevent more families having to experience the heartbreak of losing their loved ones in road accidents.”