Trial to increase safety for bike riders

An Australian-first trial using smart bike light technology will assist in finding new ways to reduce road trauma in cyclists.

Cyclists are among our most vulnerable road users because they don’t have the same protection as people in vehicles and are exposed to greater risk of death or injury when the unexpected happens.

The 12-month trial will see a diverse group of 1000 Victorians given access to a See.Sense smart bike light, with the technology capturing crucial road safety insights, as well as providing safety benefits in the form of increased visibility.

The technology will gather data such as crash events, near miss incidents, abrupt acceleration and deceleration, swerving, road conditions, average speeds, dwell time and rider feedback.

The light operates in tandem with a smartphone app, which transmits data, while additional safety features include a brighter flash in high-risk situations, such as intersections, and when riders brake.

The Transport Accident Commission collaborated with Northern Ireland cycling technology company See.Sense to develop the trial, which will also involve research partners Deakin University and iMOVE CRC.

Earlier this year, mandatory minimum passing distance laws came into effect and motorists must now allow one metre when passing a rider at speeds up to 60 km/h, and 1.5 metres at higher speeds. 

The Government has almost completed the delivery of a $100 million Safe Cycling and Pedestrian Fund, including new cycling infrastructure in regional centres and metropolitan Melbourne to better protect cyclists, such as separated paths and lanes on key networks, and commuter and school routes.

Data from the Light Insights Trial (LIT) will provide fresh insights into how people ride and what can impact their safety. It could also help inform future policy planning and infrastructure improvements for cyclists.

The See.Sense light has been trialed with government authorities in Dublin, London, the Netherlands and Manchester, but the Victorian trial will be the largest of its kind.

The TAC has launched its recruitment drive to find 1000 participants for the trial, and is also working with Bicycle Network, Auscycling and Amy Gillett Foundation to ensure it captures a truly diverse range of riders.