Traffic lights that turn green for bicycles

Crossroads in California have been equipped with radar that can differentiate between bicycles and cars, and triggers a green light for cyclists.

The ‘Intersectors’ use microwaves to determine whether a vehicle has two, four or more wheels and adjusts the traffic light accordingly.

“To the city of Pleasanton, this is the best of both worlds — providing additional green timing and green extension timing only when bicycles are present, while utilizing more efficient traffic signal timing more appropriate for vehicle traffic the remaining times,” said Pleasanton’s senior transportation engineer Joshua Pack.

Large mirrors are to be fitted to traffic lights in London in a bid to reduce the number of cyclists killed and seriously injured by left-turning lorries.

The majority of cyclists killed in London are in collision with a heavy goods vehicle and in most cases the lorry was turning left and the driver failed to see the cyclist.

Cycle insurance from the ETA covers against theft, accidental damage and vandalism (including at race events) includes third insurance, a breakdown recovery service for cyclists and worldwide cover. Find out more

Cars that talk to traffic lights

Audi has already developed a system that allows its cars to communicate with traffic signals and tells drivers how fast they should drive to reduce their time waiting at red lights. The “Travolution” system aims to reduce congestion and save fuel.

Anticipating red lights allows motorists to drive in a more fluid way and to avoid the type of ‘stop/start’ driving conditions that use more fuel and add to congestion.

It is possible to anticipate red lights simply by ‘reading’ the road ahead, but the Travolution system gives drivers precise information on what traffic lights will do. Slowing down well ahead of traffic lights that are red, or about to turn red, reduces the number of times a car comes to a standstill.

Audi invested two 1.2 million euros on the system to produce two prototype cars that communicate with three traffic lights in its hometown of Ingolstadt, Germany.

Why is stopping at red bad for the environment?

A spokesperson for the Environmental Transport Association (ETA) said: “The main reason that congestion is detrimental to the environment is because it means stopping and starting, which uses up energy. Energy in cars usually means burning fossils fuels.”

“The energy required to move from stationary to 1mph is far greater than moving from 1mph to 2mph. A car that is able to talk to traffic lights will make anticipating traffic lights easier for most drivers.”

Cycle insurance from 33p per week

Cycle insurance from the ETA covers against theft, accidental damage and vandalism (including at race events) includes third insurance, a breakdown recovery service for cyclists and worldwide cover. Find out more

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