A cyclist in Cootamundra has invented a user-activated warning light for cars that there are cyclists ahead. Basically, you flip a trigger as you ride past and the lights flash for long enough to get you through the danger zone.


A few of the long, fast left-handers on Greenhill road and Belair road immediately spring to mind as good candidates for such a thing. Belair road especially (and I might be biased on this, but anyway ...) is well used by commuters.

One of the biggest complaints from motorists is about not being able to go too fast around blind corners and suddenly cyclists - this would surely help that situation immensely!

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I was impressed by the automatically-triggered warning signs on a few of NZ's bridges in 2011.  Refer to this technical note for some good discussion.

Sam, thanks for link to Technical Note 137, Bicycle Activated Warning Signs, produced by Qld Govt in Mar-2015. I can see the need for flashing warning signs for narrow tunnels, narrow long bridges, and bridges with poor line-of-sight (e.g. hump), as pictured in the technical note. However, it recognises the need for malfunction warning to authorities and back-up systems, when power failure, battery failure, vandalism or theft. So I think a good idea in the worst locations, but would not be installed in all bad locations.

Surely if it saves just one of our brothers or sisters its worth a trial?



And what if it actually puts lives in danger by encouraging even more complacency from drivers?

Here's another way to look at it - a comment on Sydney Cyclist:

"Possibly the worst cycling safety invention I've seen. No wonder it has support of councils and advocates.

 enables complacency

 validates poor driving

 attributes responsibility to victims

 adds complexity

 fail UNsafe

 ignores  "

It could also lead to motorists using a defence similar to SMIDSY in other locations: "I wasn't expecting a cyclist because there was no flashing warning sign."

See that's the bit I disagree on - I think there's already almost complete complacency, so if a sign were to not be triggered or malfunction then people would just go on not seeing it. Only cyclists are aware of the current bike signs.

The other thing I like to think is that, even if it only changes perception of safety, that will encourage more people to ride places they'd otherwise be too nervous to go. More people riding is more awareness, both from those new to it and the others encountering more cyclists on the road.

Ruddager: it sounds like the issues you describe could be addressed by flashing lights (either permanently flashing, or triggered by the detection of any vehicle) on prominent signs, without making the activation contingent upon successful detection of a cyclist.

Well then you've probably just got an always flashing sign which will eventually become ignored.

Bring on the robot cars!

Well, I still think it is a good idea.

I have been told by residents of a particular corner out Mylor way, where on certain mornings - depending on the angle of the sun - motorists are temporarily blinded by the rising sun, and the residents become quite apprehensive during these times.  In these situations it may well prove to be a life saver.

One life saved makes it worth it.

I too still think the positives outweigh the negatives.


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