back to article Careful - your helmet might get squashed by a Volvo

Volvos will soon be capable of squawking their presence to cyclists wearing a helmet made by the cycling brand POC, letting the Lycra louts get out of the way of the four-wheeled Scandinavian middle lane hoggers. The idea behind the new technology from Ericsson is that both the car and the bicycle can determine when their …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What a stupid fucking idea....

    so it takes off and is implemented en-mass then every 5 seconds the cyclist get an alert saying a car is approcahing.

    Here's a better idea. GET SOME FUCKING LIGHTS and stop jumping red lights and weaving in and out of traffic.

    1. Stuart 22

      Re: What a stupid fucking idea....

      If there is anyone more criminal than a cyclist it is a motorist ... see RAC statistics!

      "Of course, all this means cyclists only get warned of approaching Volvos. It's not a standard yet, but it’s better than no warning at all."

      So what am I supposed to do - jump behind a hedge and quiver? Might be more useful if Volvo built a 1.5 metre buffer zone into the car control system. Remember cyclists don't kill drivers but drivers do kill cyclists. Its what they call asymmetric warfare.

      Be nicer if we could all be friends (after all most cyclists are also motorists, might be better for everybody if that was reciprocated). The problem is not helped by stereotyping people as the post above.

    2. Bloodbeastterror

      Re: What a stupid fucking idea....

      Now, now, calm down...

      We aren't all like that. I myself shout at other cycling imbeciles who go through red lights.

      But I agree with your title - it's a stupid idea which does not add any value to the simple proposition that every cyclist should have 360-degree awareness and, if in doubt, should pull over to the side of the road and actively check behind before trying to get across even a single lane of traffic. I've survived 35 years of city traffic accident-free apart from one bloke who actually uttered the immortal words "Sorry, I didn't see you" even though I was wearing a bright red cycling jacket in broad daylight.

      But the loud squawk in the car is a good idea, though it's needed far more in BMWs & Audis, which appear to be driven mainly by arrogant asswipes...

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: What a stupid fucking idea....

        But the loud squawk in the car is a good idea, though it's needed far more in BMWs & Audis, which appear to be driven mainly by arrogant asswipes...

        Unfortunately the reaction of the aforementioned asswipes to an unexpected squawk would probably be to pull their phone out of their pocket to see who's sent them a message, and flatten the cyclist without even seeing him.

      2. Sir Alien

        Re: What a stupid fucking idea....

        Ah, I see your problem. An unofficial pub statistic is it seems that all accidents seem the have this uncanny attraction to the colour read. We had a red Rover and everyone seemed to treat it like a target (probably being a Rover too)

        Had a blue car for many years since and not a single incident.

        - SA

    3. Harry the Bastard

      Re: What a stupid fucking idea....

      yes, it would be great if SOME DRIVERS got some lights, didn't run red lights and stopped weaving from one lane to another

      also SOME DRIVERS not speeding, not indicating right then turning left, not ignoring solid white lines, not driving on the wrong side of the road and not driving the wrong way down one-way streets would also be welcome, some of them are scary enough from inside a car, let alone when on a bike

      perhaps these things could be made part of driving lessons and the test, and, here's a thought, enforced by the police

      over the last few years people seem to be a bit more considerate on the road, true fuckwits are rare, but these include cyclists, pedestrians as well as drivers, and yes, audis and bmws seem to have a disproportionate share of imbeciles behind their wheels

    4. the spectacularly refined chap

      Re: What a stupid fucking idea....

      GET SOME FUCKING LIGHTS

      The fucking lights are there and there. They are substantially brighter than the legal minimum. If you can't see them then you shouldn't be on the road. Yes, I have had this very conversation before.

      Remember, it is your job to make sure the road ahead is clear. Sure, the cyclist should have lights on but even if he doesn't case law is clear that you are still at fault if you hit him.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What a stupid fucking idea....

        I would say on my journey home about 70% of cyclists are NOT using lights on front and rear. reflectors are just that, reflectors. If no light is hitting them, say as a cyclist you are approaching a T-junction, and you have no lights, you are almost invisible on the road, especially on unlit roads.

        "Remember, it is your job to make sure the road ahead is clear"

        If you are on an unlit / poorly lit road and some knob is wearing black with no lights, the road does look clear, it is that simple. My car has daylight running lights (now a legal requirement) as well as cornering lights, but it is still, unfortunately, not enough to see many of these idiots.

        I'd like to see both drivers AND cyclists being prosecuted for bad road behaviour, I just really don't get why people can't be arsed to spend £10 on a set of lights which could save their lives.

        I used to have a kit car, which was so low, my head was level with the door handles of most cars. Did i make it difficult to see it? No, I fitted an additional high level brake light (now a legal requirement on all cars) and added daylight running lights to the front and additional indicators to the sides. My attitude is

        if I think I may not be seen, I will do my utmost to bloody make sure they can see me.

        I live in a village with very few street lights and often no footpaths and even the pedestrians will carry torches with them, not to see where they are going, but to make sure they are seen, it's just 2nd nature for us.

      2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        Please wear something reflective

        The first time I saw a cyclist on an unlit road in the dark, he was only about 5 meters away. He is still alive because I was keeping to the speed limit, paying attention, and I have good reflexes. He did have lights, but they were pathetic compared the amount of light that comes back from the road with the head lights on. If I had killed him, it would have been my fault and I would have been very sorry but he would still be dead.

        Reflectors are far more visible than bike lights. I have one velcroed to my back-pack for when I go cycling. It won't stop idiots from thinking: 'cyclist - cannot possibly be doing 30mph on a steep down hill section, so I can pull out in front of him - what's that loud screeching sound*?'. It will give sensible drivers plenty of time to slow down or overtake safely.

        * Narrow road, lots of turnings, two schools near by, so the 30mph limit is thoroughly justified. The new brake blocks were really loud. Three drivers saw me and pulled out anyway. I wish I had had a camera, because the expression on the drivers' faces were priceless. After three emergency stops on the ride home from the bike shop, the brakes were worn in and stopped screeching. Anyone know how to fix that?

        1. Tapeador

          Re: Please wear something reflective

          I like your point about wearing reflective stuff a lot - I actually had no idea my lights might not be nearly as visible as reflectors, but that makes perfect sense. Do you think a high-vis vest counts?

          However I was very concerned about your other point. It doesn't surprise me that drivers didn't think you'd be cycling at 30mph. I think you (and we all) will find that, always, simply because 1) a bike is small and you notice it much later therefore than cars and thus don't see it moving for a period and can misjudge its speed, and 2) because for reasons of strength and safety (see 1) most cyclists simply don't cycle that fast, so it's extremely unexpected that someone will be, contributing to the misjudgement.

          It winds me up as much as anyone else when a driver pulls out in front of me but I think for the reasons I gave, 30mph is too fast to ride in many if not perhaps almost all circumstances, for your own safety, and possibly that of pedestrians, to whom you/we are just as un-visible as drivers, and who are not so visible to you yourself in fact, and yet who have even less protective padding than you.

          1. Andy Christ

            Re: Please wear something reflective

            @tapedor: Dahlink! You missed the part of the post saying this incident occurred when going DOWNHILL on a RURAL road. Pretty sure most everyone is well enough acquainted with the laws of physics to understand that a cyclist could be going rather fast in that situation. I routinely exceed 30 mph on certain precipitous drops along my commute (and yes, I am lit up like a carnival.) Out in the sticks, the distances between destinations is not typically walkable: so really not a hazard to pedestrians, as there are none. IMHO it makes cycling sense to go as fast as possible whenever sharing the road with motor vehicles, in that they will (well, should!) pass at lower frequency.

            As to whether reflectors might be more effective than lights... The new LEDs can be visible for miles. But there is no reason not to use both; in certain jurisdictions, when traveling after dark, it is the LAW.

            Wish you the best in all your cycling endeavors. Peace and love, peace and love.

          2. Alan_Peery

            Re: Please wear something reflective

            I'd upvote your first two paragraphs, but not your last one. Even in the middle paragraph, you're forgiving the motorist for *not being aware* of the fact that road they are pull into has a significant slope. This will affect the ability of *all* traffic to accelerate or slow down, and taking that into account should be an expected part of their driving skills.

      3. TimB

        Re: What a stupid fucking idea....

        > Sure, the cyclist should have lights on but even if he doesn't case law is clear that you are still at fault if you hit him.

        And this attitude right here is the problem. It's not a question of right and wrong, it's a question of self preservation. "I had priority and it was totally the other guys fault!" makes for a shitty epitaph.

      4. John Lilburne Silver badge

        Re: What a stupid fucking idea....

        It might not be politically correct but cyclists are a pain in the fucking arse. I don't mind them in the city if they are going along at 20mph, that is not so much of a problem, but outside of the city/town limits they are nothing but a menace and an annoyance.

        In my area they use the roads as some form a race track with a line of the bastards going up one side and another line down the other. Its a 60 mph road not 35 mph or 15 mph on the up hill. Nothing can get past the buggers not even farm traffic. Then on the windy country lanes they are two abreast or bunched up in a pelletron.

        At least one a year gets killed and then we have the aggravation of the road being closed whilst the police investigate and the ambulance crews collect up the bits.

      5. Fluffy Bunny
        Coffee/keyboard

        Re: What a stupid fucking idea....

        "you are still at fault if you hit him."

        Not really. The moron that goes through red lights, slowly crosses multiple lanes of traffic until he's travelling the wrong way on the opposite side of the road, all without looking for other traffic, cheefully cycles the wrong way down the cycle lane. These are the ones that bleat most about it must be a car's fault.

        A while ago, there were two cyclists crossing Commonwealth Avenue Bridge & they crashed into one another. One of them was propelled across the safety rail into real traffic. So, what did our illustrious lead of cycle lanes (Urban Services Minister, Shane Ratenburry) do? Did he say cyclists are a bunch ot twits that should stop doing this? No, he said cars need to be more careful of cyclists. Hang on, how was this a car's fault?

        We have got to stop wasting millions upon millions building cycle lanes for twits that can't (won't) even use them properly.

    5. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

      Re: What a stupid fucking idea....

      Here's a better idea. GET SOME FUCKING LIGHTS and stop jumping red lights and weaving in and out of traffic.

      It would also help if cars would stay out of ASLs, look for cyclists (and motorcyclists) when changing lanes (or generally when driving).

      In general, all road users need to be aware of those around them, and obey road markings and rules of the road. There would be a lot less accidents if people did that. There are plenty of cyclists who break the rules, but there are more car drivers who do.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: What a stupid fucking idea....

        It would also help if cars would stay out of ASLs,

        and if cyclists would stay IN them. One rule for them, one rule for everyone else, as always.

        Round my office there are separate pedestrian and cycle lanes alongside the road, and the road itself has been designed with islands so that cars can't overtake such things as stopped buses. for safety. Fine until you get a two-wheeled dickhead cycling along in the car lane at 10MPH, ignoring the cycle lane right beside him (it's always a him), and impossible to pass due to the road layout. The pedestrians manage to stay on the marked path, why can't the cyclists?

        Forget Volvos, what about a GPS-assisted helmet that yells "get off the road and use the cycle lane, asshole" in his ear?

        1. Stuart 22

          Re: What a stupid fucking idea....

          "Round my office there are separate pedestrian and cycle lanes alongside the road, and the road itself has been designed with islands so that cars can't overtake such things as stopped buses. for safety. Fine until you get a two-wheeled dickhead cycling along in the car lane at 10MPH, ignoring the cycle lane right beside him (it's always a him), and impossible to pass due to the road layout. The pedestrians manage to stay on the marked path, why can't the cyclists?"

          You might wish to read the Government's official publication on riding a bicycle. It's called Bikeability. I think the sections on using cycle lanes and taking primary position may come as a bit of a shock to you. The book is written with the safety of the cyclist in mind and safety conscious riders, like me, may well be following its recommendations. This is not helped by many motorists not understanding why they do what they do and giving the responsible cyclist the benefit of doubt rather than calling them dickheads.

          Not that I blame you or the average motorist. The UK has a dismal record in educating (and sometimes re-educating) road users in the evolving use of the road once they have passed the test.

          1. John Sturdy

            Re: What a stupid fucking idea....

            Or indeed educating them before the test, which is very rudimentary. One of my first laws on becoming dictator will be to make a reasonably advanced cycling proficiency certificate a prerequisite for getting a provisional driving licence.

        2. Whiskers
          Go

          Re: What a stupid fucking idea....

          [quote][quote]It would also help if cars would stay out of ASLs,[/quote]

          and if cyclists would stay IN them. One rule for them, one rule for everyone else, as always.[/quote]

          I think in this instance "ASL" stands for "Advanced Stop Line"; sometimes found at traffic lights, where pedal cycles are allowed to gather in front of all the cars and so have a head start when the green light shows. Car drivers sometimes encroach into the cyclist's space.

          Cycle lanes are something else. In London they are usually too narrow, frequently blocked by parked cars or delivery vans, or double as bus lanes, and create conflict with pedestrians and motor vehicles at road junctions, site entrances, bus stops, etc. Not to mention the surface is usually coarser than the rest of the road, and littered with things that make punctures, as the sweeping and polishing action of car tyres is less effective in cycle lanes - so cyclists in a hurry find it quicker, safer, and more comfortable, to use the same lanes as the cars. The cyclist should use discretion when doing this of course; let the pack of cars go past before moving out, there's usually a break in the stream of cars before the next pack turns up (thanks to the effect of traffic lights).

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: What a stupid fucking idea....

            I think in this instance "ASL" stands for "Advanced Stop Line"; sometimes found at traffic lights, where pedal cycles are allowed to gather in front of all the cars and so have a head start when the green light shows.

            Genius! Put all the slowest traffic at the front of the pack, and then show a green light. Someone deserves a prize for that idea.

          2. Fluffy Bunny
            Holmes

            Re: What a stupid fucking idea....

            'I think in this instance "ASL" stands for "Advanced Stop Line"; sometimes found at traffic lights, where pedal cycles are allowed to gather in front of all the cars and so have a head start when the green light shows. Car drivers sometimes encroach into the cyclist's space.'

            Why on Earth would you need on of those? In Canberra, there is no need for cyclists to stop at red lights. They just keep on going. Oh, and if there is too much cross traffic to go right over, they will slowly weave their way forwards over one, two, even three lanes until they can get across.

            Oh yes, and it is never, ever, ever the cyclists fault when an accident happens. Remember that cardinal rule and you will be alright.

        3. Mark Price

          Re: What a stupid fucking idea....

          There are many reasons for a cyclist to move out of a cyle lane, ranging from "I'm turning right" (you'd be amazed how many drivers object to that) through "That's a big pothole" to "There's a car/bus/bin bag of rubbish blocking the cycle lane."

          For the record there is no legal requirement for a car to avoid driving in the cycle lane, and no legal requirement for a cyclist to stay in it, so I guess that's a case of one rule for them and an equivalent rule for everyone else. There is no such thing as the 'car lane', but hey, let's not allow the facts to get in the way of a good rant.

          1. Graham Marsden

            @Mark Price - Re: What a stupid fucking idea....

            > For the record there is no legal requirement for a car to avoid driving in the cycle lane

            Actually there is, if it's bounded by a solid (not dashed) white line.

        4. Kubla Cant Silver badge
          Flame

          Re: What a stupid fucking idea....

          @Phil O'Sophical

          It would also help if cars would stay out of ASLs,

          and if cyclists would stay IN them. One rule for them, one rule for everyone else, as always.

          ASLs and cycle lanes are intended to protect a vulnerable class of road user from motor vehicles. They aren't a corral for cyclists.

          a two-wheeled dickhead cycling along in the car lane at 10MPH

          What excatly is "the car lane"? I don't recall having seen a part of the carriageway that's reserved for cars. Is it just reserved for your car, Phil O'Sophical? I think it's pretty clear which vehicle is being driven by the dickhead.

          1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Re: What a stupid fucking idea....

            What excatly is "the car lane"? I don't recall having seen a part of the carriageway that's reserved for cars. Is it just reserved for your car, Phil O'Sophical?

            You're the only one using the word "reserved". There's a basic principle of traffic management which seems to have escaped you, that of "grading". You optimize certain lanes for certain types of traffic, for safety and improved flow. These aren't necessarily reserved for one type, but the users are supposed to show some common sense and consideration for the preferred users of that lane. Junctions are also sometimes graded with over- and under-passes to isolate different types of traffic.

            For example;

            · Cars shouldn't park in cycle lanes.

            · Pedestrians shouldn't walk on tram tracks, perhaps unless crossing the road.

            · Buses should stay in bus lanes unless there's an obstruction.

            · Cyclists shouldn't cycle in car or bus lanes when they have an empty, well-maintained, preferred track right be-fucking-side them

            If the cycle lane is blocked then of course the cyclist must use one of the other lanes, with due care and consideration. Unfortunately the blockages usually seen around here are between the ears, when cyclists who are asked to use the cycle tracks reply "I've paid my bloody taxes and I'll ride where I like.". Makes me wonder why we wasted his taxes on the cycle lanes in the first place.

            I think it's pretty clear which vehicle is being driven by the dickhead.

            Oh yes, no question there.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: What a stupid fucking idea....

              Where is this 'empty, well-maintained, preferred track' that you speak of? Because I cannot think of many in London and should like to have a look at it.

        5. skeptical i

          Re: What a stupid fucking idea....

          Hi, Phil: Are you sure the lanes near your workplace are actual bike lanes? I ask because 'roun my neck of the woods a true legal "bike lane" has to be 60" wide. Anything less is a "bike route with edge striping" or similarly worded entity. I believe that if a true bike lane is available, cyclists must use it (barring hazards), but not the BRES thingies. Unfortunately, this is a fine point of transportation law that (a) probably varies by locale, and (b) is not known to car drivers who likely see a striped lane with a bike symbol and assume it is a real deal bike lane and that, by extension, cyclists not in it are not in compliance (and deserving of whatever abuse befalls them).

          Relatedly, and counter-intuitively, striped bike routes may be more dangerous because many drivers are lulled into a sense of "if I stay on my side of the line, I'm good" even if the route is only 24" wide and the driver passes /JUST/ outside the line (which, clearly, is not safe for driver or cyclist). Not having a striped route forces drivers to actively think about proper clearance. (I've observed this on unstriped streets in my burg; while there are always asshats who think that anything not on four wheels should stay the hell offa' King Car's turf, most drivers get that we've all got someplace to go, and we can all get there in one piece if we're aware and considerate of our fellow asphalt-users.)

          1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Re: What a stupid fucking idea....

            Hi, Phil: Are you sure the lanes near your workplace are actual bike lanes? I ask because 'roun my neck of the woods a true legal "bike lane" has to be 60" wide.

            Oh yes. When they remodelled the road they widened the pavement (sidewalk, for US readers) to something over twice the normal width, and marked it with a lane for pedestrians, and two lanes (one each way) for cyclists. All are at least 60" wide, possibly more. Separated from the road by a kerb, and labelled with the usual symbols. Only at junctions does it meet the road, where there's a separate, narrower, green lane marked across the road beside the black/white striped pedestrian crossings. And still the cyclists blithely swan along among the traffic.

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

        6. Graham Marsden

          @Phil O'Sophical - Re: What a stupid fucking idea....

          Cycle lanes are not obligatory for cyclists, they are "recommended" routes, however it's clear that you're not a cyclist because, if you were, you'd realise that a lot of them are simply intended to try to get cyclists out of the way of cars, *NOT* to actually be useful or helpful for cyclists.

          Let me give you an example from down here in Portsmouth.

          If you want to get from Goldsmith Avenue to Winston Churchill Avenue you have to:

          1) Leave the main carriageway of Goldsmith Avenue, crossing a bus stop (where all sorts of crap kicked up from the road tends to gather) assuming there's no bus there.

          2) Go up onto a pavement next to a pedestrian crossing, ie where there may be people standing waiting to cross meaning you have to slow down to avoid them.

          3) Cycle along that pavement for about 15 yards until you get to the top of Fawcett Road.

          4) Stop and check to see if any traffic is coming from your right.

          5) Cross to the island in the middle of the road and stop again as you try to find a gap in the cars waiting to get onto the roundabout or avoid those coming from your left.

          6) Cross the other half of the road onto a pavement where, again, there may be pedestrians.

          7) Cycle down that pavement, watching out for cars coming out of the school car park on your left which have to cross the pavement to get onto the road and which don't always stop to check if a cyclist is coming before they do.

          8) Go between the posts of a road sign, one pillar of which is located right into the centre of the pavement.

          9) Get to the top of Victoria Road North and again, stop to wait for a gap in the traffic on the roundabout to your right.

          10) Cross to the island in the middle of that road.

          11) Watch for traffic coming to your left getting onto the roundabout

          12) Get over to the pavement on the other side

          13) Cycle along another shared pavement until you get to the top of Somers Road

          14) Again, stop and wait to cross a road where traffic may be coming.

          15) Finally get onto Winston Churchill Avenue.

          Alternatively you can go:

          1) Say "Fuck that for a game of bloody soldiers, I'm going to use the road and position assertively as I am entirely legally entitled to do, and save all that pissing around and wasting energy starting and stopping".

          Try cycling some time and you'll get a new appreciation for *why* cyclists don't use those "oh so wonderful" cycle lanes.

        7. PassiveSmoking

          Re: What a stupid fucking idea....

          You're confusing cycling lanes with ASLs. ASL = Advanced Stop LINE. The space ahead of the car stop line that's meant for cyclists to stop. If you pull into the ASL box you've technically jumped the lights.

          As for cycle lanes, a) cyclists are not legally required to use them. b) they're usually full of rubbish that's hazardous to cyclists (broken glass, old coke cans, bits shed off cars like hubcaps and wings mirrors, etc. c) They're usually poorly maintained and full of potholes which are also hazardous to cyclists. d) They're full of drainage channels and drain grills, again not good for cyclists. e) They put you in a very dangerous place at T-junctions. f) Car drivers treat them like parking spaces so you keep having to duck out of them to avoid parked cars, causing you to jump in and out of the main traffic flow. It's safer to just stay in the main traffic flow. g) They're usually designed by total morons. They're usually far too narrow, often contain obstacles like lamp posts in them, they tend to run right in front of bus stops or even through them, etc. http://homepage.ntlworld.com/pete.meg/wcc/facility-of-the-month/book.htm

          But if you're such a great driver and are fully familiar with the rules of the road because you've studied the highway code extensively as required for being a competent driver, then you'd know that already.

      2. Refugee from Windows

        Re: What a stupid fucking idea....

        It needs a bit of care both ways. Of course this system will not work on the windy country lanes in $NationalPark where there is no data connectivity and you can't see round the bend. Takes the cyclist to assume that drivers won't see them til the last minute and be able to take avoiding action, and the driver to be driving such that he/she could stop safely.

        This goes as well if the warnings are too frequent they will be ignored, far from the other distractions that could be encountered en route from "sat-nag", phone etc.

        There are idiots behind wheels and on saddles, you just have to assume you're going to come across them. However go the other way, if a driver lets you pull out or in other ways behaves well, a friendly wave is appreciated. The driver who ignored you is just going to ignore the unconventional hand signal you want to give him anyway - don't bother it's not worth it.

        Yeah, I am both a cyclist and a driver.

      3. Kubla Cant Silver badge

        Re: What a stupid fucking idea....

        Here's a better idea. GET SOME FUCKING LIGHTS and stop jumping red lights and weaving in and out of traffic.

        The odd thing is that many motorists seem to have difficulty seeing cyclists who do have lights, even though they can spot hundreds without lights.

        1. gloucester

          Re: What a stupid fucking idea....

          "The odd thing is that many motorists seem to have difficulty seeing cyclists who do have lights, even though they can spot hundreds without lights."

          Round here (semi-rural) it sems to be de-rigeur to wear (rear) lights, but *blinking* perhaps two at different heights, preferably differently phased for maximum confusion of depth perception: oh, what's that, oh it's a lorry turning the bend half a mile away, of **** is it a cycle at 100 yards, no 10! *swerve*.

          It's actually worse when they're bright ones, 'cause then retina non-adaption means the (usually also darkly attired) cyclists disappear completely every so often.

          1. John Lilburne Silver badge

            Re: What a stupid fucking idea....

            Yep I nearly had one of them binking bastards last week in a pitch black country lane. At first I thought it was one of those new fangled flashing bend markers.

        2. Captain DaFt

          Re: What a stupid fucking idea....

          "The odd thing is that many motorists seem to have difficulty seeing cyclists who do have lights, even though they can spot hundreds without lights."

          It's the way the brain interprets things.

          You see the road the bike's headlight is illuminating, you see the twinkly tail light/reflector on the rear.

          What the brain tends to completely ignore is the bike and rider sitting in the dark right between them!

          I knew a guy that came up with a solution that I've tried and it works: Put a second headlight on the back of the bike, facing forward, so it illuminates the bike and rider.

          Sounds stupid, but you'd be amazed at much more visible you are as a bike rider at night!

      4. Eddy Ito Silver badge

        Re: What a stupid fucking idea....

        There are plenty of cyclists who break the rules, but there are more car drivers who do.

        There are more car drivers in general so you haven't said anything here. The biggest problem is the speed mismatch between cars, bicycles and pedestrians. Bicycles have the distinct disadvantage of having being roughly the same size as a pedestrian with a much higher speed. The advantage pedestrians have of being slower and thus easier to pick out their speed and direction gives operators of both bicycles and automobiles slightly more time to react. Yes, lights help but ultimately it's up to everyone to be aware of what's around them because you never know when a ball will come bouncing out from between two parked cars - with a child running after it.

        As for that video, what kind of city doesn't have some form of traffic controls at intersections?

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What a stupid fucking idea....

      "Here's a better idea. GET SOME FUCKING LIGHTS and stop jumping red lights and weaving in and out of traffic."

      Here's an even better idea - 3/4 of cyclists killed or seriously injured are hit from behind and where the driver is deemed by the police to be fully responsible for the collision.

      Having been hit from behind (twice) whilst dressed up like flashing rave edition xmas tree I can tell you that cyclists can do absolutely nothing to avoid getting hit by drivers who are far busy on their phones / yapping to actually bother looking at the road ahead. The only thing that will change the current road safety culture is permanent loss of driving license for causing a serious injury / death, and minimum fines of £1000 for mobile use along with 9 points on driving licenses.

    7. unwarranted triumphalism

      Re: What a stupid fucking idea....

      I have 6 headlights and 3 tail liights, and *still* you lot claim not to see me.

      How many lights do I need for you to see me, then? Is there a magic number?

      1. unwarranted triumphalism

        Re: What a stupid fucking idea....

        Nice one. Wonder if it's the same person saying 'get some f------ lights' who's downvoted me for having some?

  2. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Megaphone

    My ears!

    In fixie hipsterville (a.k.a. London), you'd hear nothing but the alarm!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Your helmet might get squashed by a Volvo". F'narr! F'narr!

    Honestly, how long have you been waiting to run that headline??

    This is the sort of puerile, schoolboy humour that brings me back and back to this site. Merry Christmas!

    1. Bloodbeastterror

      Re: "Your helmet might get squashed by a Volvo". F'narr! F'narr!

      Gee, and I thought *I* was dirty-minded, but I completely missed that one... duh... :-)

    2. malle-herbert Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: "Your helmet might get squashed by a Volvo". F'narr! F'narr!

      I'll just leave this here :

      http://xkcd.com/671/

      1. Captain DaFt

        Re: "Your helmet might get squashed by a Volvo". F'narr! F'narr!

        Reminds me of that old joke:

        "That's why I'm divorcing you, Harry. You think a vulva's a type of car!"

  4. Whiskers

    Yellow sash

    That cyclist would be better protected by wearing something bright instead of that road-coloured jumper; might not distract Volvo drivers quite so much as a high-tech heads-up thingy in the car, but would work for all makes of vehicle and doesn't need batteries.

    Of course, no-one ever rides a bike under leafy trees or between tall buildings, where the GPS signal isn't.

    1. Stuart 22

      Re: Yellow sash

      Volvo could supply their cars in any colour - so long as it was fluorescent yellow.

      Nice change from the ever popular metallic foggy grey? Might help to stop them crashing into each other which kills a magnitude more motorists than motorists kill cyclists.

    2. Elmer Phud Silver badge

      Re: Yellow sash

      "That cyclist would be better protected by wearing something bright instead of that road-coloured jumper; "

      Ah, unfortunatley it seems that the more protective stuff a cyclist has the closer drivers feel they can pass. Research has been done to prove this - the more reflective, flouro, helmetted, lit-up a bike is then the risk assessment by the driver causes them for feel safer in passing and thus end up closer than is comfortable for the cyclist.

      I pass loads and loads of unlit cyclists -- not managed to kill one yet.

      I can't understand how they can be 'invisible' yet spotted in 'great numbers'.

  5. Frankee Llonnygog

    Maybe the tech could send an SMS

    That way, texting drivers could be alerted to the presence of something else on the road apart from them

  6. tony2heads
    Devil

    volvo approaching

    deploy caltrops

    1. Elmer Phud Silver badge

      Re: volvo approaching

      "deploy caltrops"

      Easy enough:

      Offside pannier with small flap.

      Or rows of them on top of the rack.

      Often considered when being screamed at by White van occupants and school run jockeys in bus lane.

  7. Stuart 22

    Cruise Control

    May be a better idea if Volvo used the GPS to reduce the speed to the local limit. If we could do this in all cars we could dispense with those irritating and expensive, but currently necessary, speed humps. Alternatively introduce a new law "you can't overtake a Volvo - unless you are on a bike;-)"

  8. an it guy

    Ok. interesting, but...

    So, all cyclists now need to purchase new helmets* and need to have an always on data connection...

    What happens when a data connection is lost by the cyclist/driver? Do we now have to try to pair via bluetooth to see if each and every passing car will be problematic?**

    Nice idea, but I think that the implementation sucks as we'd be forever using the battery life of a smart phone, which when using GPS and constantly using some other radio signal (or searching for wifi), drains a battery fast. Not a good idea when you're a vulnerable road user. Good lights (cyclists and car drivers) and retesting of car drivers every 4 years might be a better proposition, and good to build yet another section of the economy. I know a few people who drive cars that would never cycle because they perceive it as too dangerous to the cyclist and also afraid of cyclists who jump lights***

    Yes, I am a cyclist, and I drive, but not as often as I cycle

    * Actually you should do so every 3 years no matter what hasn't happened as ozone attacks the polystyrene

    ** also not every cyclist uses a 'smart' phone. I know a few people who use cheap phones because they've much better battery life. Yes, some of those are very geeky people.

    ***where's the skill in that? balancing on your bike at the lights is much harder, and safer than jumping out in front of the next mercedes/BMW that you didn't see...

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Ok. interesting, but...

      Or don't carry a phone at all. When I'm biking (or driving for that matter) to the gym, I leave my phone at home.

      The whole idea seems silly, how you can tell if the car "imperils" you? If it is headed directly towards you? Every time I'm rounding a curve to the left (or to the right for you UK folks) the cars behind me will be going directly towards me for a moment. Not that even having a 100% perfect warning system that depends on the cars is practical (what about non-Volvos, or cars earlier than the date of implementation....I only need to wait a couple decades before I'm really safe?)

  9. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    Vitriol

    My, there's a lot of vitriol in these comments!

    I'm a cyclist and a car driver and so see the problem from both angles. My general view is that neither cyclist nor car (or lorry or bus or whatever) drivers are saints. Both sides have their faults.

    I don't think this Volvo tech is really the answer though. Cyclists and drivers both need to engage this device called "common sense" and look out for each other. Car driver turning left? Double check there isn't a cyclist on your inside. Cyclist pulling out into road? Check and make sure it's safe to do so, rather than just blindly pull out and expect the traffic to part for you.

    1. Bloodbeastterror

      Re: Vitriol

      I agree. Cycling seems to stir up a lot of dislike - I don't know why. Maybe because the few idiots who jump lights and frighten grannies on footpaths poison public perception of the majority of cyclists who behave responsibly?

      Me, I'd quite like an Audi or BMW, but I'm afraid I'd become a supercilious overbearing twat... :-)

      1. Fluffy Bunny
        Holmes

        Re: Vitriol

        "Maybe because the few idiots who jump lights and frighten grannies on footpaths poison public perception of the majority of cyclists who behave responsibly?"

        This is yet another case of 95% of cyclists giving the rest a bad name.

    2. TimB

      Re: Vitriol

      The driver vs cyclist argument is always fun to read. The problem isn't that either one group is worse at their chosen mode of transport, it's that particular subsets of those groups (cyclist hating drivers and driver hating cyclists) are both so very vocal.

      And then you get idiots like Wolf Simpson (youtube him) who have no road sense of which to speak, but prefer to abuse other road users rather than addressing their own shortcomings.

  10. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

    @Phil O'Sophical

    A3 or A4?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    waste of time

    This won't work as most drivers are far too busy looking down at their groins and texting with the phone "out of sight" to worry about running someone over.

  12. Elmer Phud Silver badge

    Helmet protection

    Hmm, considering most bike helmets are not designed for impact over about 12 mph and Volovo's tend to be heavy and go at more than 12mph while a pair of eyes are just visible over the dashboard -- what's the bloody point?

    1. Simon Rockman

      Re: Helmet protection

      The point is that there are are other things to hit. Principally the pavement. A volvo might do more than 12mph in town but a cyclist probably won't so when you hit your head on the pavement it will protect you,

  13. Andyf

    Idiots be idiots, regardless of what they're riding or driving, doesn't matter if it's the moron riding without lights, or the moron texting while driving.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not the same

      The moron cycling without lights is a danger to his or her self, the moron sending text messages while driving is a potentially lethal threat to the rest of us.

  14. Mark Price
    Facepalm

    I'd be more impressed if

    Volvo hadn't just lobbied successfully to have rules allowing safer lorries on the roads to be posponed for a decade so they don't have to redesign their vehicles

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-30436153

  15. ukgnome Silver badge

    It's the ass hat cyclists that want to overtake cars and motorcycles that are the problem.

    Here is a hint cyclists, if I have a flashing orange light on the right hand side of my motorcycle, and I am positioned in the centre of the road and sort of half way through overtaking a bus, then what the actual numb fuck are you doing trying to overtake me.

    I get that you can nip and zoom, terrific. But please remember that safety is your responsibility too.

    Oh, and wear a freaking helmet you helmet!

    1. Sir Sham Cad

      Re: I get that you can nip and zoom

      This also goes for so many motorcyclists too.

      When I was riding, I was constantly aware that I was a soft fleshy with some padded clothes and a bonce potty for protection and, whilst filtering, especially on the South Circular, was useful, it wasn't my Divine Right of Two Wheels and Being a Smaller Vehicle to do so all the time and without caution.

      Now I had my share of fucknobbing drivers who have tried to wipe me off the road because I was quicker than them away from the lights, including one especially bright individual who spent so much time dicking around with me in the central lane that he didn't see the car pull out slightly ahead of him until *SQUEEEEEEEEEEAALL* *bang*.

      I know many good cyclists and know more than one who had a horrific accident because the woman in her Chelsea Tractor just decided to cut him up at a roundabout assuming he'd just cease to exist in her universe as soon as he was behind her wing mirrors. I also know cyclists who lane-hop like lunatics, ride without brakes whilst listening to music, pull out from behind a bus without looking behind and banging on the door of the car they've just pulled out in front of and think "fuck me, you don't *want* to live, do you?"

      Look out for each other and espcially look out for yourself, vulnerable road user. Ride defensively.

  16. MiguelC Silver badge

    POC

    Is that the sound a cyclist makes when being hit by a Volvo?

  17. Tony W

    Cyclists and motorists behave EXACTLY the same

    Considering they are all people and very often the same people, it would be very strange if it wasn't so. And the way people behave isn't specific to road transport, it applies very generally.

    They will mostly break rules when convenient if (a) they don't themselves think it will do much harm to themselves or others that they consider important, (b) there isn't much chance of getting caught and (c) they think their mates do the same thing. But which rules they break varies with the circumstances. Cyclists can't break all the same rules as motorists and vice versa.

    In many cases people will seek to justify their rule-breaking with spurious arguments or minimise the extent of their rule-breaking: I was only going x over the limit, speed limits cause motorists to bunch up and increase danger, it's safer to jump lights and/or cycle on the pavement, data should be free, I pay too much tax anyway (for the huge VAT-free cash payment brigade).

    I have my share of horror stories about motorists cyclists and bikers but I won't bore you with them.

    I am not a professional psychologist but I base these comments on 60 years of observing people on the road and in other places.

    If this is true, you would expect that the way to change behaviour is with a combination of enforcement and campaigns to alter public perception of acceptability. This worked to a large expent with drunken driving. But enforcement had to come first because people rely on their peer group to judge their behaviour and this is very hard to change from outside.

  18. Anomalous Cowturd
    Holmes

    My 16 year old Volvo has an excellent collision prevention device.

    Me.

    This argument is all down to driver's and cyclist's attitude to each other. We are ALL road users.

    Driving requires your full attention at all times.

    If you can't give driving/riding your full attention, don't do it.

    TL:DR Watch where you're going.

  19. Ian Halstead
    Stop

    Separation

    This problem will never be solved until cyclists are physically separated from motor traffic. Time we have a government able to forward plan infrastructure beyond the next six months. Or at all.

  20. smartypants

    Separation is not viable in many places

    It isn't too much to ask that road users are vigilant, courteous and obey the law, whatever their means of getting around.

    The sad fact is that time pressure, congestion, aggression and plain old stereotyping of different Road users often turns us into ranting fools. We shouldn't encourage this, especially as it can lead to horrific consequences that even the most foaming ranter will regret for the rest of their lives.

  21. Tikimon Silver badge

    Same problems on a motorcycle...

    I wear screaming hi-viz yellow and have lights all over my motorcycle, drive like everyone I see is trying to kill me. I've STILL had close calls from cars because the driver was not paying attention. Be serious! Cars and trucks are much larger than bikes or motos yet people slam into them daily. Granted that bikers et. al. should not camouflage themselves in traffic, but visibility is not the answer when drivers are being stupid.

  22. Chris G Silver badge

    Cyclist lying under a Ford:

    Cop: What happened to make you swerve for apparently no reason?

    Cyclist: I heard this warning 'Look out there's a Volvo' so I swerved to avoid it, I didn't realise it was around the next bend.

  23. Fluffy Bunny
    Joke

    Volvos

    The volvo is often regarded as the world's safest car. Which is a good thing because volvos are driven by, how should I put it, volvo drivers.

  24. wx666z

    Having ridden a motorcycle to and from work for years in the '80's and early '90's in Florida, U.S. I can assure you that cyclists are invisible. My Honda was red and blue with orange fenders, I had an Orange helmet with red rain suit. Some elderly lady rear ended me at a stoplight with my left turn signal blinking brightly. No damage, but scared the crap out of me, Since then, I cut cyclists a lot of slack, and look for elderly drivers, especially now that I am one...

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