The Andrews Labor Government is launching an Australian-first trial using smart bike light technology that 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, the Labor Government brought into law safe passing distance requirements for motorists to 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, Belgium 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.
Victorian Minister for Roads and Road Safety Ben Carroll:
“Whether you’re in a car, on the footpath or on a bike – every Victorian deserves a safe space on our road and we will continue to find new ways to understand what impacts rider safety to ensure every journey is safe.”
“The Light Insights Trial will give us insights that we’ve never had before and provide critical data that may be used to improve the road network and overall safety of all road users.”
Transport Accident Commission Acting CEO Liz Cairns:
“We pride ourselves on exploring new and innovative ways to improve road safety in Victoria, and this Australian-first trial is a truly global initiative aimed at better understanding what people who ride bikes experience on our roads.”
“The trial will involve a diverse group of participants, allowing us to understand how many different types of people ride, and what more we can look at doing to better protect riders in Victoria.”
Dr Ashim Debnath, Deakin University’s project lead, said:
“Deakin University is delighted to be the research partner in this innovative project. With multidisciplinary research expertise and strong engagement with the transport industry, the Deakin research team will provide expertise in the areas of road safety analysis, cyclist safety evaluation and policies, data security and privacy, and collection and analysis of geospatial data. This cutting-edge smart lights data will drive safety for cyclists and all road users.”
Philip McAleese, CEO of See.Sense, said:
"At See.Sense we are on a mission to see more people cycle, so we are delighted to partner on the LiT project that brings together our technology and world-leading researchers to improve cycling safety. With a founding team that includes an Australian, we're delighted to launch this innovative project in Australia giving never before seen insights into how people cycle in Victoria".
For project information updates, visit the the iMove website here.
For any Victorian cyclists interested in signing up, please complete the EOI form here.
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