Boris Bikes Now Come With Frickin' Laser Beams

By James O Malley on at

A new type of bike light is being tested on 250 Santander's "Boris" cycle hire bikes in the capital.

Blaze bike lights don't just blast out light, but use lasers to project an image of a bike on to the pavement six metres in front of them. The idea is that the laser projections will ensure cyclists can make their presence known when in the blind spots of motorists - as there will be a projection flagging up that fact.

Tackling blind spots is a particularly important issue for cycling in the capital, as most cycling fatalities tend to involve massive lorries, which have correspondingly massive blind spots.

The Evening Standard reports that the lights are the invention of Emily Brooke, who founded the start-up Blaze, based in Bethnal Green.

Preliminary tests by TfL apparently showed that the lights make bikes "96% more visible" to buses, and if successful Transport for London could roll out the new lights to all 11,500 bikes in the cycle hire fleet.

Or, you know, London could get serious and build a comprehensive network of Amsterdam/Copenhagen-style separated cycle paths to take bikes away from motor traffic, with all of the corresponding congestion-easing and public health benefits such an investment would bring. But I guess a few laser lights is better than nothing. [Evening Standard]