The Isle of Wight Council, in partnership with Amey, is leading the way in employing innovative technology on the Council’s new recycling vehicles, which is designed to prevent accidents involving cyclists and pedestrians.
Larger vehicles such as goods vehicles make up only 5% of traffic on the roads in Great Britain but on average are involved in about a fifth (18%) of cyclist road deaths a year. Most collisions between cyclists and goods vehicles occur during lorry manoeuvres and/or at junctions. Roundabouts and left turns are a particular problem.
The council’s new fleet of 7 recycling vehicles feature a ‘CycleSafe’ camera which uses software designed to look for cyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists. Should the camera detect movement, it gives an audible warning to the driver that something is next to the vehicle.
The vehicles are an example of ‘direct vision’ vehicles where drivers benefit from a lower seating position and a larger glass window surround – which combines to give an improved panoramic view and reduces blind spots.
Isle of Wight council executive member for environment and local engagement, Councillor Paul Fuller, said:
“The advanced CycleSafe technology and “direct vision” on our recycling vehicles means people can chose to use sustainable travel options safely such as cycling and walking around the Island.
“New intelligent transport technologies such as CycleSafe have the potential to save thousands of lives. Cyclists, pedestrians and other road users will all benefit from the increased safety on the roads.”
The procurement of the ‘direct vision’ fleet places the Isle of Wight at the vanguard of ensuring pedestrian and cyclist safety, in advance of London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s commitment to quickly increase the number of direct vision lorries in London and his promise of a plan to do so by this Autumn; and the Governments latest Think! cyclist safety campaign, launched in September.
Paul Southall, Director for Amey on the Isle of Wight, added:
“As well as CycleSafe technology, the new vehicles also feature 360 degree cameras, giving the driver a full view of the surroundings and eliminating blind spots.
“This type of technology all helps to improve the safety of not only road users and pedestrians, but also that of our crews who use the vehicles every day.”
Tim Thorne, Chair of CycleWight – which campaigns for improvements to cycling on the Island – said:
“CycleWight are very supportive of such initiatives that make walking and cycling safer. We congratulate the council and Amey on their commitment to the local community.”