Home Your Tech Mobility Frickin' laser beams strapped to bikes makes cycling safer

Watch out - it's not sharks that need frickin' laser beams attached to them, but pushbikes, with a university student in the UK's Brighton University now receiving global acclaim for her brightly shining invention.

Although the news of a new bike laser was first published in a media release by the UK's University of Brighton on the 31st of May, 2011, the news has clearly taken a little while to spread itself across the world.

The student in question is Ms Emily Brooke, a final year 'Product Design' student, who cleverly figured out that a bike-mounted laser, which can project 'a bright green laser image of a bike on the road ahead' is an excellent way of 'alerting drivers to the presence of a cyclist'.

Indeed, it's one of those blindingly obvious and simple ideas that seems so damned blindingly obvious and simple once someone else has come up with the idea.

The invention is called 'Blaze', and is a 'small, battery-powered device that is attached to the handlebars of bicycles, motorcycles or scooters' projecting 'a laser image ahead on the road' - one which can be set to 'flash' to 'maximise perception', with the laser even easily visible during daylight. 

Ms Brooke says that: 'I wanted to tackle the issue of safety of cyclists on city streets by increasing the visibility, footprint, and ultimately the awareness of the bicycle.

'Eighty per cent of cycle accidents occur when bicycles travel straight ahead and a vehicle manoeuvres into them.

'The most common contributory factor is 'failed to look properly' on the part of a vehicle driver.

'The evidence shows the bike simply is not seen on city streets.

'Even when lit up like a Christmas tree, a bicycle in a bus's blind spot is still invisible.

'With Blaze, you see the bike before the cyclist and I believe this could really make a difference in the key scenarios threatening cyclists' lives on the roads.'

For more information, including awards and recognition already heading Ms Brooke's way, please visit the University of Brighton's media release
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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

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One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks, including stints as presenter of Ch 10’s Internet Bright Ideas, Ch 7’s Room for Improvement and tech expert on Ch 9’s Today Show, among many other news and current affairs programs.

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