A revolutionary bike light invented by a University of Brighton graduate has been hailed a major breakthrough in tackling one of the biggest causes of cycling deaths.
Blaze projects a laser image of a bicycle from handlebars onto the road ahead, alerting motorists that a cyclist is approaching.
The light is expected to particularly benefit drivers preparing to turn left or right but whose blind spot means they can’t see the cyclist riding alongside them.
Sussex Police figures reveal that in the 12 months to September this year, two cyclists died and 100 were seriously injured following accidents on the county’s roads.
Studies show almost 80% of casualties are hit when their cycle is going straight ahead and a vehicle drives into them.
Emily Brooke came up with her safety device – similar to the idea of Batman’s symbol blazing across Gotham City – while studying product design at the university.
The invention, after two years of product development, was launched to the public this week.
She said: “The journey has been incredible and it is so exciting to see the concept as an actual working product – and that it will go some way to helping cyclists be more visible on our roads.”
Ms Brooke, who graduated last year, won a place on an entrepreneurial scholarship at Babson College, Massachusetts, after being nominated by Beepurple, the University of Brighton’s enterprise network.
She worked with Brighton and Hove City Council, Brighton and Hove Bus Company, road safety experts and driving psychologists to further develop the project.
Her course leader Richard Morris, the principal lecturer in the university’s school of computing, engineering and mathematics, said: “Product design students are very good at generating creative ideas aimed at solving difficult problems as part of their final year.
“It is a real pleasure to see the university working at its best to help them do this, and providing support across a range of subject areas such as engineering, design and business to turn these ideas into fully developed products.
“It takes great drive to do this so Emily is an inspiration for all budding student entrepreneurs.
“Blaze is a great product too, with the potential to save many lives, so we will continue to give Emily our best wishes and to support her endeavours.”
Talking point: To what extent do you think this will improve cycle safety?
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