Hackney aims to reduce cyclist accidents with driver-warning system

Hackney Council has launched a fleet of buses that can detect cyclists and alert drivers in an effort to reduce accidents.

The cyclist warning system at the back of the bus – Photo credit: Hackney Council

The technology, called Cyclear, detects passing cyclists and audibly signals to the driver that they are close.

It also alerts road users when the bus is turning left as a secondary protection measure, with an automated voice saying that the vehicle is turning left and a ‘bicycle strikethrough’ sign being illuminated on the back of the vehicle.

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Although other councils have used the technology on some of their vehicles, Hackney is the first local authority to install the system on buses. The move follows a year of tests, in which it trialled a number of other systems.

Norman Harding, corporate fleet manager at Hackney Council said: “We have long recognised the need to take steps to improve the safety of cyclists and vulnerable road users. Cyclear is a reliable system and our drivers feel reassured to have the equipment on board.”

In addition, there is a four-camera recordable system that will allow the council to review footage if there is any accident or near miss.

The 22 buses that have been fitted with the sensors and cameras are used to transport children with special education needs.

The council said in a statement that the systems would be fitted to 24 new refuse lorries that will be delivered from October this year, with a programme to retrofit the devices to existing bin lorries also planned.

“Going forward we will probably make Cyclear part of the standard fit on our HGV’s, as long as it remains the best technology available,” Harding added.

The number of cyclists deaths from lorries has risen dramatically in London in recent years, many involving large vehicles turning left onto cyclists, and there is a push from campaigners for government to take steps to address the problem.


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