The Xfire virtual bike lane
The Xfire virtual bike lane - does it give you more room?

Beam me up Scotty! Do 'laser beam' cycle lanes help make you safe?

A recent Guardian Bike Blog discussed the effects of a new 'safety' device: 'TheXfire.com - Bike Lane Laser Safety Lighting System' projects a set of red lines around your bike to give the illusion of a cycle lane, the idea being to encourage drivers to give you more space when overtaking.

But does it work? CTC's Technical Officer Chris Juden is somewhat sceptical.  He told The Guardian:

"Can the driver even see the nearside road surface? Not very near he can't. My bonnet blocks my view of that part of the road for some distance ahead. I think this is a mostly harmless gimmick. I'd rather have the extra light directed somewhere more obviously useful instead."

I'd rather have the extra light directed somewhere more obviously useful instead," 

Chris Juden
CTC Senior Technical Officer

 

Make up you own mind by taking a look at the Xfire in action. Meanwhile, you can always resort to the tried and trusted methods of riding out further from the kerb and keeping an eye on what's going on behind by looking over your right shoulder regularly: both techniques are included in syllabus of the National Standard in cycle training and have been shown to increase the amount of space drivers give when overtaking cyclists.

Julie Rand