News Reviews Quizzes Lists
My Garage
New hero

New Traffic Light System Favours Cyclists & Penalises Drivers

By Stephen Turvil | October 20, 2020


Why not leave a comment?

See all | Add a comment

New trial: smart traffic light system goes green for cyclists and makes motorists wait longer

New Traffic Light System Favours Cyclists & Penalises Drivers

The smart traffic light system that prioritises cyclists over motorists is to be tested in London, Southampton, Coventry, and Wolverhampton. Its purpose is to ensure that cyclists – rather than anyone in cars, vans, and lorries – are more likely to see a green light on approach to a junction. Why? To encourage more people to cycle by making it faster, safer, and more convenient than at present. 

New Traffic Light System Favours Cyclists & Penalises Drivers Image

How smart traffic light system works

Now Wireless is the company behind the system and it explained how it operates. Imagine a cyclist is approaching a crossroad and wants to continue straight ahead. Via a camera on the traffic light that faces the cyclist and artificial intelligence software, the system recognises that a cyclist is approaching rather than a big vehicle. The system now gives the cyclist priority. 

Red traffic lights therefore stop cars, vans, and lorries approaching from the cyclist’s left and right. These motorists cannot now move in front of the cyclist at a perpendicular angle. Furthermore, the system stops drivers ahead that directly face the cyclist who might (from their perspective) turn right. This prevents them cutting across the cyclist’s path as he/she pedals straight ahead.

Naturally, this smart traffic light system is more likely to keep cyclists safe if they follow the signals – but will they? 35% of cyclists revealed they ‘occasionally’ ignore a red light, a YouGov survey found. In contrast, The Institute of Advanced Motorists once said the figure is far higher (57%). Either way, Now Wireless appears to consider such behaviour an inevitable part of life.

Chief Executive Officer, Brian Jackson, said that the system 'deals with the reality’ that cyclists sometimes run through a red light. ‘It does so by making sure it is always green for them', he added. Mr Jackson further suggested the system helps local authorities emphasise that they support cyclists. He claimed: 

'The system will allow councils to send a message, where appropriate, that cycling is being encouraged by giving riders priority. Our system can be calibrated to prioritise even a single cyclist approaching a junction’, he revealed.

New Traffic Light System Favours Cyclists & Penalises Drivers Image

Government keen to encourage cyclists

The Government has been encouraging people to cycle since coronavirus struck. Why? Because it is easier to social distance on bikes than public transport. The traffic light trial is therefore one of many initiatives. In London, for example, there are new cycle lanes and cars have been banned from some areas. Whether motorists tolerate such initiatives long term remains to be seen.

Related Articles

DVLA bans rude ‘71’ registration plates
Revealed: the new, ‘71’, registration plates that are deemed to be controversial by the DVLA so they have been banned
Oct 19, 2021
Petrol prices close to record high
Petrol prices have almost reached the highest level ever recorded in the UK, according to Government figures.
Oct 19, 2021
Cheese and wine to fuel a DB6? What is the world coming to…
As us regular folk were getting our heads around the introduction of E10 petrol to our pumps, Prince Charles has told the BBC his Aston...
Oct 12, 2021
British cars now need UK stickers in Europe, not GB
British registered vehicles traveling through Europe must now have a UK number plate or sticker, rather than GB
Oct 12, 2021