Catclaw: Ultimate pavement protection for people bursts car tyres in seconds

catclaw pavement protector

 

catclaw pavement protection


The threat from pavement parking and terror attacks involving cars could be dramatically reduced by a simple new device installed along kerbs that quickly punctures tyres.

Catclaw is the size of half a small orange and is designed to be installed in its thousands along kerbs and pavements. When a car or lorry drives over a CatClaw, its weight exposes a sharp steel tube that quickly punctures the tyre. However, it poses no threat to pedestrians – a person standing on top of the device would not be heavy enough to activate it.

cat claw pavement burst tyre

If a car mounts a pavement fitted with Cartclaw, it’s tyres are quickly and efficiently burst

Yannick Read from the Environmental Transport Association (ETA) was inspired to invent CatClaw after watching footage of terror attacks involving cars: “43 people were killed last year by cars and lorries as they walked along a pavement or verge, so I invented CatClaw to reduce this type of terror as much as to tackle politically-motivated attacks.”

Pavement protection for people

Catclaw can be installed surrounded by solar-powered LED marker if necessary

In order to prevent terror attacks at certain locations, physical obstructions such as steel bollards or concrete blocks are the only practicable counter-measure, but it is not feasible or desirable to install these everywhere.

CatClaw provides a cheap and effective secondary line of defence over a widespread area. For example, the car used to attack pedestrians on Westminster Bridge in March 2017 would have been rendered effectively undriveable had all its tyres been punctured by CatClaw when it first mounted the pavement – the driver would not have attained the high speeds he used to such devastating effect.

CATCLAW counter pavement parking

Early Catclaw prototype in action

Pavement parking danger

Furthermore, CatClaw can provide a powerful deterrent against the illegal pavement parking that blights the lives of thousands every day as it can be quickly and cheaply installed in its thousands along kerbs and other pedestrianised areas. Each individual unit takes only three minutes to install and costs only a few pounds to produce.

Quick facts about CatClaw

• The name is inspired by the Cats Eyes that line major roads in Britain and that compress under the weight of a vehicle
CatClaw poses no threat to pedestrians because it requires the weight of a motorised vehicle to expose the sharp spike
CatClaw is cheap to produce and maintain because it comprises only 4 readily available components and once installed, requires no power supply or upkeep

What is to be done?

Clearly there are many reasons why the Catclaw cannot become a commercial product. However, something needs to be done to prevent the illegal pavement parking and driving that is killing children and tantamount to terror attacks. Have a look at the photo below, which was taken last month near a school. Drivers faced with a blocked road ahead have taken to the pavement – forcing school children to take shelter in driveways.

cars driving on pavement

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Comments

  1. Fumblkrusch

    Reply

    Is a bike heavy enough to expose the spike? How about a fully loaded cargo bike?

    • The ETA

      Reply

      The film above shows an ‘inert’ device, which is why I am able to activate it with my thumbs. The working prototype is rated to 200KG, but could be rated at a higher weight…we’re still in the process of testing

    • The ETA

      Reply

      The current prototype is fitted with a spring rated at 200kg, so it is possible that a fully laden cargo bike would expose the spike. However, the catclaw is intended to protect pavements – not cycle lanes. On shared use pavements, it would be easy for a cycle to avoid the catclaw devices as they are installed along the kerb

    • Geofrey Biggins

      Reply

      I had to check this wasn’t an april fools but we are definitely still in Jan. This seems an incredibly bad idea. Tyres are a vital safety component of a vehicle hence the reason they are checked in the MOT test. If you punctured a tyre and the person was unaware and drove off they could have all sorts of accidents. What if it just caught the edge of a tyre and partially ripped the sidewall and the person then happily drives onto a motorway and has a blowout and wipes out a bus full of kids.

      sorry this is not a genius solution to the problem. Damaging people property is not the answer. It’s not much different to walking along with a bat and breaking peoples windscreens if they are parked on the pavement.

      • The ETA

        Reply

        If a driver is unaware two of their car’s tyres are punctured, they are not fit to hold a licence. This idea for spikes is just that, an idea. It’s primary purpose is to question why as a country, we show such apathy towards road danger..even when it’s a car mounting the pavement to park and crushing a four-year-old child to death in the process…an horrific event that is far from isolated and that surely fits with your baseball bat analogy

        • Geofrey Biggins

          Reply

          1. There is nothing to say that both tyres would be punctured as the front tyre can take a very different track to the rear. Indeed it could be the rear tyre that is punctured. This may not be immediately obvious until they pull out into traffic. The driver would then have to attempt to move to a safe location not blocking traffic and find somewhere to change the tyre whilst not causing an obstruction. Changing tyres on the side of the road is dangerous to both the person changing the tyre and the traffic which is now trying to avoid the obstruction.
          2. I mentioned partial damage to a tyre leading to failure which you have failed to address. A driver may not be aware of this until it causes an accident.
          3. Cars cross pavements millions of times a day. I drive into and out of my driveway across a pavement numerous times a day. Do you have actual statistics on road deaths/accidents caused by cars parking on pavements?
          4. I agree that people should not park on a pavement preventing wheelchair,pushchair or mobility scooter from passing easily by.
          5. The main problem is that goverments allow housing developments to be created without sufficient parking. A lot of new developments only have 1 off road parking space. But a vast proportion of people have 2 cars per house. Bursting their tyres is not the answer. Forcing housing developments not to cram in as many houses per acre as they possibly can would be better.

          • The ETA

            The answer is a systematic approach to road danger reduction, which is what they introduced in The Netherlands in the 1970s. In basic terms, it means that every road death is considered unacceptable and the effect is that many aspects of public life need to be altered in favour of people (infrastructure, legal framework, education, housing, enforcement etc). Funnily enough, all this means the Dutch have healthy and pleasant towns and cities and they certainly don’t have to rely on spikes in footpaths!

  2. dothebart

    Reply

    How bout accidents like hitting some obstacle, falling of the bike?
    So, cycling at ~ 30 km/h, weighting 100 kg, falling of, will it puncture my shoulder?

    • The ETA

      Reply

      Unlikely you would be injured in that unlikely event. The unfortunate reality is that currently over 40 pedestrians walking on the pavement every year are being killed by cars…countless more are injured or maimed.

  3. Lestat

    Reply

    And if one stood on it? Hmm… Try stepping barefoot on a Lego brick, then try this!?!

    Bad idea 101

    :/

    • The ETA

      Reply

      The device is rated at 200kg+ so you would be very unlikely to expose the spike and even if you did, if you were wearing shoes it would do you no harm

    • rocket

      Reply

      Lestat, READ THE ARTICLE PROPERLY DERRRR

  4. Jen

    Reply

    This is fantastic !!!!!! I hope they get installed all over the place as soon as possible, without delay. Cars are taking over our cities; enough is enough !!

  5. Baker

    Reply

    Seems pretty awful to me. It’s a massive trip hazard, even with painting, that I think councils would be considered liable for (anyone notice how they had to remove all those raised bump style lights that were installed in city centres about 10 years ago? This is why), would not slow down a car (try driving one with punctured tyres), but would make it far harder to control; what you might save from the odd terror attack would be tiny compared to the casualties from people losing control of vehicles after skidding or mounting pavements to avoid road traffic accidents.

    Speaking of which, pavements are -not- exclusive pedestrian zones and neither should there be. If a driver can safely mount a kerb to permit an ambulance to pass and get to an emergency before it’s too late, I would argue it’s chronically irresponsible for them to remain in the road and not permit the vehicle to pass. Plenty of our roads are simply too narrow and too congested for this to be in any way viable, both due to the increased delays to emergency services vehicles, and more importantly, because in many many places it is vital that cars be allowed to park on the pavement to facilitate traffic parking. There are whole streets all over London, Bristol, Birmingham etc etc etc with thousands of residents on each which would simply be impossible to traverse (even by bike!) if drivers did not mount one of the pavements.

  6. Bill

    Reply

    In the narrow cul-de-sac where I live cars, including ours park on the pavements! IF we all parked in the narrow road two abreast…. NOBODY would be able to dive into the road at all! Think on!

  7. Jen

    Reply

    Though what it won’t do, sadly, is stop cars who are legally parked but have their massive bonnets taking up the pavement and restricting pedestrian access !

  8. Andy D

    Reply

    Would be great way of protecting grass verges from being chewed up by delivery drivers too!

  9. Nick McGranahan

    Reply

    Great thought however not practical as it would be considered unlawful. Why not employ more traffic wardens to issue fines?

  10. Vin West

    Reply

    so what about someone driving a power wheelchair – weight of chair [65 kilos upward] plus weight of person, bearing in mind that the loss of mobility of many people who have to use wheelchairs means they can’t help gaining weight. This idea clearly would have no effect on terrorists who don’t care if they are driving on punctured wheels. Parking a car on a pavement and causing an obstruction is a criminal offence and the police are empowered to act.

    • Karen Varga

      Reply

      I was thinking the same about motorised wheelchairs.

      We all know though that councils a d the police don’t act – even if you happen to get one at the scene of a pavement parking they still won’t do anything -and out of town centres it’s impossible.

      I saw a car parked across a crossing point yesterday -and a motorised wheelchair user who was going to have to take a very long detour! Chances of getting anyone to come and even write a ticket before the car moved -zero I’d say.

      The cult of the car must end 🙁

  11. Mark B

    Reply

    I’m sure that the chance of a puncture should deter most terrorists! More seriously though it’s not going to do a lot if someone’s determined. What about when people genuinely need to mount a kerb like to allow emergency vehicles past?

  12. Tony Williams

    Reply

    “The unfortunate reality is that currently over 40 pedestrians walking on the pavement every year are being killed by cars…countless more are injured or maimed” you say. Yes, a friend of mine was seriously injured on Boxing Day as he waited to cross a road, a car came out of a side turning and hit another vehicle and pushed it into him. This device wouldn’t have stopped that.

    I don’t doubt that in some of the accidents where vehicles drive onto pavements the driver deliberately chose to do so. But not in all.

    And I don’t believe your glib assertion that it would be easy for a cycle to avoid the catclaw, in your response about a cargo bike.

  13. Dale Sanders

    Reply

    Bad Idea! as councils have narrowed roads all across the country. Many roads are now narrow and with most people now owning a car, two or more in most family’s, which as resulted in cars being parked on both sides of the road which restricts access to any large vehicle, such as vans, lorries, big cars etc. Also if the emergency services needed access and cars cannot safely park on the pavement to allow them access, then how are the emergency services suppose to get through. In view of this another solution needs to be found.

  14. Annabel Edwards

    Reply

    Catclaw is a brillant idea too many cars parking on the pavement and its getting dangerous especially if you have a baby buggy and the only way is to step into the road and hope you dont get hit by oncoming traffic.

  15. James Ansell

    Reply

    This idea should immediately be scrapped, if the thing goes into the edge of the tread or the side wall, not causing an instant deflation, it could cause a blowout at a later date. Likewise how does it recognise an emergency vehicle or ambulance, which often have to pull onto kerbs.
    A stupid idea that would, no doubt, cause accidents and life loss, and hopefully will never pass safety assessments.

  16. Darren mein

    Reply

    Wouldn’t it be criminal damage if this device actually punctured a tyre?

  17. arelbe

    Reply

    Like it.
    Anti crime – yes. Anti obstruction – yes. And stops cars damaging pavements which, never meant to carry the weight of a car, lack the necessary foundations. It must cost an awful lot to repair cracked and wobbly pavements caused by inappropriate and, for all I know, illegal parking.
    Parking: So many drivers put nearside wheels onto the kerb when parking, presumably in order to ‘free up’ the roadway. Inconvenient and inconsiderate to pedestrians (which the driver becomes once out of the machine), but it never actually keeps the carriage way wide enough for two cars to pass. So it’s utterly pointless as well as annoying. Edjukashun?
    Parking: Can a campaign be started to stop people parking on the wrong side of the road and leaving their headlights on? Annoying and dangerous.

  18. Cheryl

    Reply

    There are occasions when you may need to mount the pavement to let an ambulance through quickly etc. More traffic wardens needed instead as this device is probably too indiscriminate.

  19. Plevyadophy

    Reply

    As both a cyclist and motorist I regard this stupid device as an outrage; so the mint-tea drinking green lobby think it’s a good idea to damage the property of others?! 😮

    Really?!! 😮

    How about pedestrians join in the fray and puncture the tyres of cyclists with whom they are disgruntled.

    Like it or not there are times where a van will have to mount the pavement to better and safely carry out work (e.g. cash vans do it often to reduce the risk of armed robbery). Such matters are best left to “humans” in the guise of traffic wardens applying common sense and using their descretion rather than this ridiculous device that indiscriminately punctures tyres/damages the property of others.

    If this is the kinda nonsense ETA wanna promote it’s no wonder that “green” campaigners get mocked as a bunch of loons.

  20. PD

    Reply

    Certainly something needs doing. Pavement parking (and turining grass verges into ploughed fields) is getting normalised so walking/strolling becomes less pleasant and subtly marginalised. Absolutely a right issue to campaign on. Leaving it to discretion and light touch enforcement is not working.

  21. whobiggs

    Reply

    An interesting idea, may be good in certain places such as schools

  22. Richard

    Reply

    You might want to revise the 200kg weight trigger if you want to sell it in America. It would cause carnage to pedestrians.

  23. pedibus

    Reply

    I’m sorry about language : I’am french people, but i will wish to know other elements with this new device.

    Do you know if british cities are ok to adopt catclaw to experiment, in one or multiple streets ? : have you an example, to encourage to believe that solution will can extand at midle term…?

    In France, particulary in Bordeaux, situation is cataclysmic in a lot of streets ; you can evaluate with Google Steet View pictures below :

    https://www.google.fr/maps/@44.8124469,-0.5613304,3a,75y,139.4h,80.22t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sE77qe9w0eo7_kQOjoq-4vQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

    https://www.google.fr/maps/@44.8160332,-0.5746227,3a,75y,89.9h,88.35t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sQc4rnLiDOFdd4X5NXRsaHw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

    https://www.google.fr/maps/@44.8305706,-0.5971068,3a,75y,11.95h,81.64t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1ss5RGpy7YTssT8fNeMD9deQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

    https://www.google.fr/maps/@44.8217526,-0.5658612,3a,75y,286.11h,80.66t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sxTshswWsttTNC_g8S5nR4w!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

    and so on… then you will understand that I hope a lot of this technique of catclaw

    thanks if you could answer me quickly

  24. Joel

    Reply

    I like this idea but making it clear they exist will be tricky as they are so discreet.

    For all those getting irate the alternative is a bollard – if you drive into it you damage your car, what is the difference to driving over a cat claw?! We have many other vehicle deterants that can damage vehicles, including one way sleeping policemen (they have spikes on the other side) and width restrictors.

    A quick search on the internet shows this invention will not stop terrorists because if you don’t care about the safety of yourself and others you can drive very fast on flat tires.

  25. pedibus

    Reply

    Joel : “A quick search on the internet shows this invention will not stop terrorists because if you don’t care about the safety of yourself and others you can drive very fast on flat tires.”

    But I believe that terrorisme is a good pretexte to introduce this new device to protect pedestrian about illegal stationnement car.
    Sorry about of my english language…

  26. alex

    Reply

    A novelty invention that has too many things against it to be worthy of serious consideration. I did actually think of this device with a modification as an anti theft gadget but it would be too fraught with danger.
    What made me angry was suggesting it could be useful against terrorists which is a despicable way to market a rotten product.
    Id be angry if some government department wasted money testing this for that use.
    If you want to stop cars parking on pavements push a wheel barrow and exercise your right of way

  27. Don Duck

    Reply

    It’s all about the pressure on the device, not the mass of the object on it.

    A car tire pressure on the contact patch is the same as the inflation pressure and about 190-240 kPa. A bike has a tyre pressure of 500 to 900 kPa.

    Any device that will puncture a car tyre WILL puncture a bicycle tyre.

  28. mcr

    Reply

    ok, if i or my kids ‘d trip and fall down, and loose an eye, or ‘ll get my hand spiked throug.

    It’s fckng dangerous.

  29. pedibus

    Reply

    could ETA respond to Don Duck on this issue of greater pressure under the rolling of a bicycle tire …?

    Of course I would also be interested in an answer to my question, asked before yesterday …

    Thanks in advance…

  30. Crois

    Reply

    The rating seems way too low. The average car weights one-and-a-half tons, so half of that would surely be the correct rating?
    These could be set along the edges of paths, with warnings for pedestrians for the first ones installed in each place, so that they become part of the norm of expected obstacles. They could also be set between double yellow lines on roads – certainly not further out, or they’d be a bad slip risk for people on bicycles in the same way as tram tracks.
    They’re a great idea. I look forward to seeing them in use.

  31. pedibus

    Reply

    it is possible that Duck did not understand the physical characteristics of Catclaw:
    P = F / S

    and here the triggering element of the device is F = 200 * 9.81 = 1962 newtons, according to the prototype criterion:

    it does not matter what the contact surface of the car or bicycle tire, the footwear sole of the obese pedestrian …

    so no problem for other users of the public space … with the exception of uncivil or foolish motorists …

  32. The ETA

    Reply

    To those concerned about the safety of this product, worry not – it is it’s sole purpose. It’s not a real product – it is intended to raise awareness of our apathy, as a country, towards drivers killing people on pavements….unless it’s a politically motivated attack. To our mind both things are terror attacks.

  33. pedibus

    Reply

    it’s not a real product …! ?

    but we must immediately find a craftsman, an industrialist, a sector to produce it …!

    and all behind him …!

    and it’s sure he’ll be the first in the history of the Nobel to cumulate the price of medicine and the economy …!

    it is the ideal remedy against the global pandemic of obesity, with its comorbidities, because of the physical inactivity:

    do our utmost to pacify public space, to the delight of pedestrians and cyclists …!

  34. Tony Williams

    Reply

    Not a real product? I’m glad about that, because I was going to ask if it retracts itself after a car has activated it and then withdrawn from the pavement, leaving a dangerous spike sticking up.

    Just to raise awareness…You’ve probably also contributed to raising the threshold of direct action among people who are so convinced they are right that they think anything is permissible.

  35. pedibus

    Reply

    I think that we should not give up, the health issue is important, not so much for the safety itself as for the physical inactivity of the population, from the moment the car practice becomes strong, so in a number growing up of country …

    catclaw can help to change the perception of public spaces, made awkward and ultimately dangerous, which does not encourage, if only an extra margin of population, to practice walking and cycling more often …

    it would really be necessary to associate, with catclaw, good mechanical students and others, specialists in social engineering, political science and public health:

    a new multi-disciplinary European program …!

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