A new technologically-innovative, data-driven project that aims to prevent cyclist collisions before they happen is being launched on Birmingham’s roads.
Cycle Smart Brum will see cyclists gathering data as they ride around the city, collecting intelligence on issues such as near misses, poor road surface and potential problem junctions, enabling authorities to identify and prioritise infrastructure projects to make Birmingham a safer place for cycling.
The project is being launched by Edgbaston-based charity the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) in partnership with cycling technology and data company See.Sense, and is funded by the Department for Transport.
Officially launching today (Friday, May 1), RoSPA is seeking 200 cyclists who regularly ride into or around the city to take part. They will each then be sent a free, award-winning intelligent See.Sense bike light, and data collection will start once coronavirus restrictions have been lifted.
Nick Lloyd, RoSPA’s head of road safety, said: “This is a cutting-edge project that uses the latest technology to develop data-driven insights that will make Birmingham’s road safer for cyclists, and we’re really excited to get started.
“If you already commute by bike, ride for work, or regularly cycle in Birmingham, then please register your interest in taking part. Using information gathered as undertake your normal ride, we’ll be able to gain insight about problem areas, such as potentially-dangerous junctions or poorly-maintained roads. And, crucially, you’ll be able to report any near misses or non-injury collisions that you have, to give us a really good picture of where more serious incidents could take place.”
The initiative has also received support from Drew Bull, who was cycling with his sister, Dr Suzanna Bull, when she was struck and killed by a lorry at a junction on Pershore Road in 2017. Although her death was caused by a driver whose view was obstructed by clutter on his dashboard, Drew is keen to back Cycle Smart Brum.
He said: “This project provides a great opportunity to help protect cyclists in and around Birmingham and to prevent death and serious injury. Cycling on roads brings certain hazards but hopefully together we can minimise the risk to us all. If this project helps to make cycling safer and save even one life then it will be worth it. If you are a cyclist in Birmingham then I would encourage you to sign up as this could help save the life of someone you love, or even your own life.
“I lost my sister as we cycled through Birmingham, after a lovely ride around the surrounding countryside. Since Suzie died and the trial that followed, I have looked for ways to help make cycling safer for everyone so I am so pleased to be supporting RoSPA in this project.”
To volunteer for Cycle Smart Brum, check out www.rospa.com/CycleSmartBrum
and fill in the application form.