Industry

Could radar-activated road signs cut motorcycle accidents?

The new road signs could help cut motorcycle accidents by providing an alert that a hazardous area is being approached

RADAR-ACTIVATED road signs could be used on UK roads in areas where motorcycle accidents are high in a bid to help cut injuries and deaths.

While illuminated sings are not new, using them to specifically try and reduce motorcycle accidents is, and it's something we can wholeheartedly get behind. The news of the new signs coincides with the release of a DfT report that states that of 1,572 accidents that could be attributed to road environment conditions, 228 were credited to masked or inadequate signage of a potential hazard. The data released also reveals that motorcycle fatalities have risen, with over 16,000 serious or slight accidents involving motorcycles being recorded across the UK – the most for any road user category.

The company behind the new signs is TWM Traffic Control Systems, who specialise in the design and manufacture of illuminated road signs. The new products are powered by ultra-bright LEDs and can sense an approaching vehicle. The chevron above is the kind you would normally encounter as you approach a sharp turn for instance. A normal sign would reflect the light given off by a vehicle’s headlights, but the new type of sign can sense an oncoming vehicle, illuminating the chevrons in the direction of the corner. The system can also be set to only activate if the approaching vehicle is travelling above a certain speed, working as a sort of final warning to the road user that they need to adjust their speed.

It’s hoped the new signs could make a seasonal difference, as statistics from the RAC’s 2018 report estimates that there is an increase of 20 road accidents each day when the clocks go back. Of that increase, three-quarters of the extra incidents happen in the afternoon.

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