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Chinese-Made Laser Technology Improves Cyclist Safety

August 28, 2014

A Chinese-made device that uses lasers to project an image of a cyclist on the road could help reduce the number of accidents that occur when a cyclist is hit by a vehicle that has not noticed them because they happen to be in their blind spot, the Guardian newspaper reports.

The laser device was developed by Emily Brooke, a 28-year-old British designer, whose Newton-and-the-apple moment happened when she was almost hit by a van turning left. Brooke told the publication that she realized she had been in the driver's blind spot (the driver's seat in British cars is on the right side), and also that if she had been five meters (about 15 feet) ahead, the driver would have been aware of her

So the device she developed years later addresses this problem. Called the Laserlight, it is mounted on the bicycle's front and projects a bright green image of a cyclist on the road some 15 feet ahead of the bike. Designed to be clearly visible during the night—as most cyclists' commute to and from work takes place outside of daylight hours—it alerts drivers and crossing pedestrians that there is an incoming cyclist that they might not have seen.

The Laserlight, the Guardian writes, is assembled in Shenzhen, China, and is designed to operate only when attached to a bike. One unit reportedly costs £125 ($207), with Brooke's company Blaze already having sold more than 3,000 of the potentially life-saving devices across the UK, as well as in the U.S. and traditionally bike-friendly countries like Denmark and the Netherlands.

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