Tag Archive: Road Safety

  1. Bird reveals new Visual Parking System – a revolutionary parking tool

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    Source: Bird

    Powered by Google, the new parking tool from LEVA-EU member Bird uses ARCore Geospatial API to geo-localize parked scooters

    The new tool is a solution to a prominent challenge for micromobility implementation – cluttered sidewalks due to poorly parked vehicles. The system utilizes years of Google 3D scanning, augmented reality technology, and street view data to create the world’s first scalable, hyper-accurate Visual Parking System (VPS).

    Upon parking, riders are prompted to quickly scan the surrounding area with their smartphone, followed by the vehicle’s QR code. The VPS then compares rider images against the vast Google database using stationary objects as reference points.

    The process is near-instantaneous, giving centimeter-level results. Such precise data ensures scooters are left only in approved areas. Justin Balthrop, Chief Technology Officer at Bird shares, “The new ARCore Geospatial API from Google is an absolute game-changer for micromobility that allows us to offer cities a first-of-its-kind Visual Parking System that’s unmatched in terms of accuracy and scalability. With Bird VPS, we’re able to meet cities’ number one need, proper parking, in a way that’s never been possible before, and we’re able to do it at scale in cities around the world thanks to Google’s robust global data and technology.”

    Bird VPS is already being piloted in, or will immediately be rolling out in, cities including New York City, San Francisco, San Diego, Madrid, Bordeaux, and Tel Aviv. Additional locations will be added in future months.

  2. The 2021 European Mobility Week Awards winners are announced

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    Kassel, Rethymno, Tampere, and Valongo were revealed as European sustainable urban mobility awards winners

    This March, the winners of three award brackets were announced; the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK awards 2021; the 10th Award for Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning (SUMP Award); and the EU Urban Road Safety Award.

    The announcement was shared during a hybrid event based in Brussels, hosted by Matthew Baldwin, Deputy Director-General of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Transport and Mobility.

    Kassel (Germany) walked away with the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award 2021 for larger municipalities. Meanwhile, Valongo (Portugal) was awarded the title for smaller municipalities. The 10th SUMP Award was given to Tampere (Finland) and Rethymno (Greece) was revealed as the winner of the EU Urban Road Safety Award.

    For full details on the awardees’ achievements, visit the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK website.

  3. Dutch Government introduces speed cameras on bicycle paths – Van Raam

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    Before the end of 2022, the Dutch government will install speed cameras on bicycle paths. This is to reduce the speed on the bicycle paths. LEVA-EU member Van Raam has a solution with which you no longer have to worry about your speed and possible traffic fines. Read more about this innovative and unique solution here that you can try out on the Van Raam bike test track from the first Friday of the second quarter.
    A Van Raam cyclist on the Easy Sport tricycle tests the invention on the test track at Van Raam

    Reduce speed on bicycle paths
    It is getting busier on the bike paths. More people have electric bicycles and accidents often happen because people cycle too fast. The government, therefore, wants to reduce speed on bicycle paths by installing speed cameras before the end of the year; there will be various bicycle zones where a maximum of 10, 15 or 25 km/h may be cycled. Do you have a (Van Raam) bicycle? Then you will soon have to be careful that you are not caught out and fined.

    Watch Van Raam’s speed-limiting invention as a solution for the speed cameras on bicycle paths in this YouTube video.

    Speed-limiting invention via app
    Van Raam has an innovative solution for your electric Van Raam bicycle that will help you with this. Thanks to this speed-limiting invention, you will be informed via the Van Raam E-Bike App about the permitted speed and possible speed cameras in advance, your bike will automatically adjust to the maximum permitted speed.

    We can have the bicycle react in such a way that it takes over the maximum speed of the area in which it is cycling at that moment.” – Maikel Fraikin (Information Manager)

    How exactly does it work?
    The current Van Raam Smart E-Bike App can communicate with your bicycle. Thanks to push notifications, you know, for example, when you need to charge your battery. The newly developed feature will inform you via the app about the permitted speed and possible speed cameras. In addition, Van Raam can adjust the speed of your bicycle as soon as you enter a speed camera zone. Thanks to Van Raam’s smart technology, your bicycle automatically takes over the maximum speed of the area where you are currently cycling.

    • Riders will be informed about the allowed speed
    • Riders will be informed about bicycle speed cameras
    • Van Raam bikes comply with the speed limit

    Test phase at Van Raam bicycle test track
    Van Raam are now working on the first trials. These tests take place on the test track at the company’s bicycle factory in Varsseveld. A flash installation has been set up to be able to test representatively. The first results are looking good and Van Raam hopes to launch the updated app this summer.

    I don’t have to worry about speeding and associated fines. That’s what everyone wants, right?” – a satisfied Van Raam cyclist

    Try it yourself?
    Want to try out this speed-limiting invention for yourself? This is possible during a free test drive at Van Raam! During a test ride, one of our technical advisors will tell you everything about our special needs bicycles and associated options. You then test the bike on the test track and make sure that you are not being flashed with the help of the E-Bike App. A test drive is possible by appointment and can be scheduled yourself via www.vanraam.com.

    Maikel Fraikin (Information Manager) talks about the speed-limiting invention
  4. Sustainable Urban Mobility Awards – Winners announced

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    Source: Eltis, Hannah Figg

    Four European sustainable mobility champion locations were recently unveiled in Brussels by Matthew Baldwin, Deputy Director-General of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Transport and Mobility.

    The four awards and victors were; European Mobility Week Award 2021 for larger municipalities, Kassel (Germany); European Mobility Week Award 2021 for smaller municipalities, Valongo (Portugal); the 10th annual Award for Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning (SUMP), Tampere (Finland); and the EU Road Safety Award, Rethymno (Greece).

    European Mobility Week is an annual event, running from 16-22 September. Cities and towns across Europe can take this opportunity to trial new ideas, promote infrastructure and technologies, and track their own air quality. Residents become involved with and begin discussions surrounding sustainable mobility, heralding a social change towards a greener world. The event saw record-breaking levels of participation in 2021 with over 3,100 towns joining the scheme.

    Adina Vălean, European Commissioner for Transport, commended the award winners’ and finalists’ achievements, sharing:

    “I would like to extend my congratulations to the winners of the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Awards as well as to all finalists. These cities have taken concrete actions to tackle transport emissions, noise, and congestion through innovative actions. With the new EU Urban Mobility Framework, we will support better planning of sustainable urban mobility, putting public transport, walking, and cycling at the core of local authorities’ efforts to improve people’s everyday lives.”

    For the full list of finalists, and an in-depth overview of their efforts toward sustainability mobility, view the Eltis coverage of the awards here.

  5. UK government advised to consider new private e-scooter legislation

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    Source: European Transport Safety Council

    European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) member, PACTS, has set out recommendations for private e-scooter use in the UK if the vehicles are to become legal. This includes mandatory helmet use and a minimum rider age of 16. Recommendations were based on a nine-month research project.

    At present, e-scooter use in the UK is limited to city-specific rental schemes. Private usage is restricted to private land, despite this over a million such vehicles have entered the UK in recent years and it is not uncommon to see them in a public setting. Many users are either ignorant of or ignore the ban on public use and face fines or confiscation.

    Following its research, PACTS has published a comprehensive report looking at many aspects of e-scooter design and use which took into account research and experience from across the rest of Europe, where e-scooters are legal in most countries. This is seen by PACTS as the ideal legal scenario in which to launch private e-scooter ownership in the UK. Recommendations are as follows:

    • Maximum possible top speed of between 10mph-12.5mph (16-20km/h)
    • Maximum continuous rated motor power 250 W
    • Anti-tampering mechanisms should be included in the construction. Tampering should be prohibited by law
    • A maximum unladen weight of 20kg
    • A minimum front wheel size of 12 inches (30.5cm) and minimum rear wheel size of 10 inches (25.5cm)
    • Two independently controlled braking devices
    • Lighting to be mandatory at all times
    • An audible warning device to be mandatory
    • Helmet wearing to be mandatory
    • Rider age limit of at least 16 years
    • Riding on the pavement to be prohibited
    • Carrying of a passenger to be prohibited
    • Drink driving, dangerous or careless riding, and mobile phone use to be prohibited
    • In-person rider training recommended
    • e-scooters should be regulated as motor vehicles
    • Public liability insurance for riders recommended
    • The rider should inform the police if there is a collision involving an injury 
  6. Taito aims to improve e-scooter safety with new design elements

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    Source: Bike EU

    Belgian start-up Taito aims to combat the safety issues of e-scooter use in city traffic, developing a three-wheel e-scooter with floating deck and propriety suspension.

    As the popularity of e-scooters has risen, so have the associated injury and accident statistics. The Belgium Institute for Road Safety has determined the main causes of such incidents to be instability and uneven roads. Alongside providing a comfortable and fun ride, LEVA-EU member Taito aims to tackle these safety issues directly.

    Taito co-founder François Desmet shares, “We started with a three-wheeled design to increase stability. Then we developed a suspension system that allows users to tilt and turn the front wheels while also dampening road vibrations. The wooden deck is isolated from the frame with rubber studs which gives it a floating appearance. To further improve safety at night we integrated indicator lights and a rider light, which illuminates the back of the rider in bright red, to be visible from all angles.”

    Finally, by partnering with Accelerated Systems Inc. (ASI) as a motor controller supplier, Taito can precisely program their scooters using the BACDoor Engineering Software. This allows for an extra smooth ride and unique rider profiles.

  7. Newly published: Road safety in cities – International Transport Forum

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    The new booklet covers street design and traffic management solutions

    Source: International Transport Forum

    The booklet presents methods that could transform urban areas in regard to safety, covering key areas including city street design, traffic engineering, speed management, and improved mobility options. The booklet reflects policy makers’ new focus on converting typically motor-vehicle focused areas into liveable and safe spaces for residents.

    9 measures are presented, each having proven to reduce traffic related deaths or serious injury. Case studies within each measure explore both the cost and the effectiveness of each method, allowing consideration for their application in comparable roads and cities. The booklet offers a truly global perspective into city road safety, and acts as a valuable new resource for transportation policy makers in urban areas.

    Read the full text here.

  8. 2021: increase road fatalities among (e)cyclists, users of e-scooters & self-balancing vehicles on French roads

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    The French National Interministerial Observatory for Road Safety (ONISR) has decided to compare the 2021 traffic accident figures, not only with 2020 but also with 2019. According to the Observatory, due to the Corona measures, 2020 was a very atypical year, whilst in 2021 there was a certain return to normality. The Observatory also points out that, the popularity of individual travel modes, such as the (e)bicycle and the so-called Personal Motorized Transport Equipment (EDPM), such as e-scooters and self-balancing vehicles, continued to have an influence on the exposure to risk last year. This explains why the overall number of road fatalities has decreased, except for the (e)cyclists and users of EPDM.

    Last year 226 (e)cyclists lost their lives on French roads. That is 39 more than in 2019 and 48 more than in 2020. It is the first time in 20 years that the number of dead (e)cyclists exceeds 200. This is due to two factors. On the one hand, (e)bike use in France has increased significantly: by 14% in rural areas, 20% in suburban areas and 31% in urban areas in 2021 compared to 2019.

    On the other hand, the highest number of road fatalities mainly fell outside built-up areas, where the higher speeds of motorized vehicles cause higher risks for (e)cyclists.

    Among EDPM users, there were 22 deaths last year compared to 10 in 2020 and 7 in 2019. That figure, too, must be seen in the context of a sharply rising use of EPDMs.

    Photo by Christina Spinnen on Unsplash

  9. United Kingdom highway code changes in force from 29 January

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    Source: GOV.UK

    Changes to the highway code provide fresh guidance to increase road safety, including a hierarchy of road users and promotion of the ‘Dutch reach’.  

    From 29 January 2022 changes to the highway code which act to protect the most at-risk road users come into effect. Notably, the UK will see the introduction of a road-user hierarchy, which ensures quicker or heavier modes of travel have the greatest responsibility to reduce their dangerous impact on others.

    Cyclists will also receive a reminder to ride in the centre of quiet roads, during slow-moving traffic, as well as in the approach to junctions. This guidance ensures riders remain as visible as possible, particularly in typical ‘danger zones’. Additionally, the legality of riding two abreast will be reinforced, which in many cases is the safest formation for larger groups, or those travelling with children.

    Finally, the ‘Dutch reach’ will be encouraged amongst motorists, in which one opens an adjacent door with the opposite arm. This manoeuvre physically encourages the motorist to look over their shoulder, and therefore, reduced the chance of injury to passing pedestrians or cyclists.

    Changes will be communicated to the public via the acclaimed THINK! road-safety campaign, backed with £500,000 in funding. It should be noted that all updates are advisory, and therefore not reinforced with a fine.

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