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Cyclist Detection Unit

Wireless device to let lorry drivers know that a cyclist is nearby
  (+6, -5)
(+6, -5)
  [vote for,

I'm a motorist and a pedestrian. I hate motorcyclists and cyclists. Actually, I don't *hate* them - I'm just very mindful of the fact that they are more fragile and agile than the average car and as soon as one appears in a mirror you have to be mindful until you *know* they have departed your vicinity.

This issue is even more pronounced for lorry drivers who, by and large, have restricted visibility immediately around their cab. An interesting aspect of the lorry vs cyclist relationship is that of behaviour at junctions (UK-centric view coming up - I'll let you do the lefty-righty flip if you proceed on the right/wrong side of the road). Lorry drivers often cannot see a cyclist that is close by and immediately to their left. If the lorry turns left then it's "watch out!" for the cyclist.
<explained in link to BBC story>

I propose an inexpensive warning system based on Bluetooth (or other short range wireless in the 2.4MHz band): each bicycle has a battery/dynamo driven wirleless device that broadcasts a 'ping' type message. Lorry left hand indicators are fitted with a similar device that receives the ping and illuminates an LED on the dashboard and emits a 'ping' noise.

The lorry driver can be mindful of the pedalling fool.

Either the above or I propose a "Let's all" for cyclists to bang on all lorry doors at junctions...

Jinbish, Oct 09 2009

Lorries vs Cyclists http://news.bbc.co....agazine/8296971.stm
Women are apparently more prone to this phenomenon than men. this could be because they drive more 'defensively' and incorrectly take up position on the left, or possibly because men jump lights at junctions (leaving lorries behind).
[Jinbish, Oct 09 2009]

Sherlock Holmes http://en.wikipedia...iki/Sherlock_Holmes
of 221B Baker St. [jutta, Oct 15 2009]


       Hm, The approach diagram from that article is counter to the law in the US (every state I'm aware of anyway). That being said, the cyclist should stop behind unless they are certain they can get far enough forward to be visible.


       Despite all that, I actually like the idea, but think it should be expanded to all vehicles. I'll gladly carry a (light) transponder if it makes cars more likely to see me, I already use a blinking rear light whenever I'm on the bike. Getting universal uptake, however would probably prove impossible.
MechE, Oct 09 2009

       Would make it harder for those not fitted with the gear. Also would encourage lorry drivers to not bother being cautious.   

       Bottom line - cyclists should not scoot down the inside of lines of traffic waiting to turn left. Even if the road markings incite such behaviour.
pocmloc, Oct 09 2009

       Paranoia is the key to survival. Always assume that anyone who can't see you might kill you accidently; anyone who can see you might kill you intentionally.
lurch, Oct 09 2009

       // pedalling fool //   

       And with that, the case for the Prosecution rests.   

       // encourage lorry drivers to not bother being cautious. //   

       What's the climate like on your planet ?   

       // Always assume ... //   

       [lurch], we are going to make that into a poster and put it on the wall in our Cube.   

       The elimination of cyclists by traffic is just another selection pressure which operates in the environment. It weeds out the slow, the careless, the unthinking and the merely incautious. Selection is a GOOD THING. It preserves the vigour of your species, and you could well do with more of it.
8th of 7, Oct 09 2009

       Unfortunately, the elimination of cyclists by traffic 'weeds out' the fit and conciencious by the actions of the careless, the unthinking and the merely uncautios.   

       Selection is a good thing when it results in better survivors.   

       This kind of selection is more akin to survival of the fattest. In a few years our population will be reduced to the drivers of the heaviest vehicles, i.e. middle mangement, telephone hygenists, interior designers etc.   

       We should find some way to get rid of them in advance. Perhaps send them off on some interplanetary wild goose chase under the pretext that they are the cream of humanity and should be the first to.
Twizz, Oct 12 2009

       Well that's an idea: maybe I should rebrand this.
Jinbish, Oct 12 2009

       Although it won'1t benefit you, [UB], future generations will have been selectively bred to not see it (per Twizz).   

       Joking aside, I almost ran over a cyclist one morning on my way into work. He had one of those strobing red lights which I had mistakenly percieved as a large strobe (of the emergency vehicle type) far away instead of a small strobe very close. By the time I realized what I was seeing, it was to late for braking. A jerk of my steering wheel was the only thing that prevented a chevy caprice vs. bicycle collision.
MikeD, Oct 12 2009

       [UnaBubba], Fine, I'll behave exactly like a wheeled conveyance on a motorway if you promise that no one will illegally pass me when I do. (I'm actually pretty close already, and the few things I do different are the ones that are required by the differing nature of the vehicles)

That being said, In many states in the US at least, the cyclist is legally entitled to approach the intersection on the right of traffic. If there are separately marked bike lanes, then you, in fact, have the obligation to ride up to the line, exactly like a car would on a multilane road. This doesn't prevent vehicles from illegally and dangerously turning across this lane, however.
MechE, Oct 12 2009

       Not sure I like this idea. If people get too used to the 'ping' telling them that a cyclist is present, they'll start to assume that if there's no 'ping', there's no cyclist - when in reality it might just be that the battery's gone flat. [-]
Wrongfellow, Oct 14 2009

       //Selection is a good thing when it results in better survivors.//

Eh? Can you say that again, slowly please?
DrBob, Oct 15 2009

       I thought this was going to be like the old TV detector van, except going around weeding out unlicensed cyclists.
coprocephalous, Oct 15 2009

       Or the resident of 22B Baker Street, out & about on his Raleigh.
Ling, Oct 15 2009

       Not sure who lived at 22B Baker St.; a bicycle delivery boy perhaps? He may even have once run an errand for Sherlock, whose rooms were on the other side of the road and somewhat further along.
pocmloc, Oct 15 2009

       // Do British drivers not check their mirrors when turning? //   


       // Do British cyclists not stop behind the mirrors of trucks they pull alongside so they can be seen? //   

       Again, no.   

       // what's causing this problem. //   

       Is it a problem ?
8th of 7, Oct 16 2009

       //There's an obvious solution//
Mandatory rear-mounted flame-throwers on all trucks?
coprocephalous, Oct 16 2009

       I was nearly run over like that once. [+]
Bad Jim, Oct 17 2009

       riders do need to be a lot more careful about the places they put themselves. A militant "share the road" philosophy is fine but getting into a truck's blind spot (or even siding up to a truck that might be turning) is asking to get killed. "makes wide turns" means that the box is going to swing across the bicycle lane, sometimes even across the sidewalk, and in some intersections the rear wheels will ride the curb. There is no safe place for you to be in this situation.
WcW, Oct 17 2009

       I cycle and drive. Many cyclists just do very stupid things all of the time. Don't overtake on the inside; don't jump lights; generally, don't be an arsehole. That is enough to prevent probably 95% of accidents involving cyclists.   

       Of course, in the other 5% of cases, it's still the cyclist that comes off worst.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 17 2009

       // Cyclists (and especially motorcyclists) should behave as though they are wheeled conveyances when on public carriageways. That means they should take their turn in traffic, rather than assuming their agility allows them some divine right to weave through traffic and pull up at the stop light, on the front line.//   

       You've got that the wrong way round [UB]. It's not problematic behaviour for a sensible motorcyclist to filter because they have the power and speed to get past even a long vehicle very quickly, cutting to an absolute minimum the time they spend in the driver's blindspot. A cyclist is even smaller and way slower with very limited options to get out of trouble if a vehicle pulls out on them.   

       In either case, staying alert and behaving sensibly (which sometimes means filtering and other times doesn't) will generally keep a two-wheeled road user safe. The problem, at least in the UK is that a lot of cyclists have never passed any kind of test and ride like muppets and a lot of bikers have little appreciation for just how fast they can go and how fragile they become at speed.
DocBrown, Oct 19 2009

       I cycle and drive. Many drivers do very stupid things all the time. Don't weave through traffic, roll through stop signs, run red lights, and ignore the right of way of other vehicles. That is enough to prevent probably 95% of accidents involving cyclists.

Of course, in 100% of cases, it's still the cyclist that comes off worst.
MechE, Oct 19 2009

       // There is no safe place for you to be in this situation. //   

       Yes there is. It's called a "train".   

       // It's not problematic behaviour for a sensible motorcyclist to filter //   

       This is true.   

       // and ride like muppets //   

       Wrong - Muppets have a hand up their arse attached to a human being with a working brain. Would it were so with all cyclists. Just the hand would be a start. It might get their attention.   

       // it's still the cyclist that comes off worst. //   

       You say that like it's somehow a bad thing ....
8th of 7, Oct 19 2009

       //// There is no safe place for you to be in this situation. //

Yes there is. It's called a "train".//

Cycling on trains is actually pretty dangerous.
hippo, Oct 20 2009

       I'm sure there is a word for the kind of bias that assumes that a train is ubiquitously available to take everyone everywhere they need to go. Urbaniteist, maybe.
WcW, Oct 21 2009

       Whilst this would be a great safety feature, the sad fact is that safety systems are no substitue for common sense. One of the key aspects of UK HGV Training covers the problem of effective visibility, and the skills required to continuously manage information from in front, and to either side of the cab / trailer set. You all may have noticed that the cab mirrors are on opposite sides of the driver's cab, and unless you know of people who have 180 deg. horoizontally opposed eyeballs, you'll appreciate that scanning ahead & both sets of mirrors means that for an appreciable time the driver will be unable to see what's coming along either side of the Unit. This is why RoSPA trains cyclists to NOT creep aling the side(s) of HGV Units, and to always attempt to gain eye contact with the cab occupants (driver or passenger) - if they see you there, then they KNOW you are there.   

       This "awareness programme" was also a very central part of the British Motorcycle Federation New Rider scheme, which aimed to teach responsibilities as well as rights. It is of note that most BMF trained students passed the DOT test at their first attempt (and had a lower incidence of Insurance Claims than non-BMF trained motorcyclists).   

       Final message - everyone's got rights, but with those rights also come responsibilities - to yourself, and to other road users. The Road Traffic Acts apply to ALL road users.
Parrotile, Dec 22 2009


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