Fast Company (August 22nd, 2016)

This Bike Sonar Catches Drivers Who Drive Too Closely To Cyclists

In Ottawa–which is using the device on its police bikes–the information could also be helpful for deciding when and how to redesign roads to make them safer for cyclists.

“In 28 states, it’s illegal to drive past someone on a bike without giving them at least three feet of space. Many drivers don’t know the laws exist. And it doesn’t matter, because the laws are rarely enforced–and hard to prove unless a cyclist is actually hit by a car (and sometimes not even then, if a driver can claim that it was the bike that swerved).

“There is a learning curve for cyclists and drivers.”

That’s why some cities are starting to use the biking equivalent of a radar gun. A small gadget mounts to the handlebars on a police bike, sending out sonar that can measure the exact distance to a passing car. If someone veers too closely, the cop can give out a warning or a ticket.

After launching in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in 2015, the technology, called C3FT, is now in 11 cities, including Minneapolis, Houston, and Las Vegas. One of the latest is Ottawa, Canada.



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