Two projects designed to make the roads safer and bring down the number of motorcyclist casualties are to share up to £450,000 worth of funding from the Welsh Government research development pot. This move was announced at the end of February by the Economy and Transport Minister, Edwina Hart.
The Welsh Government Small Business Research Initiative announced its first four successful projects in its first stage last year in July and from these four projects, focused on pioneering approaches to handling motorcycle casualty rates in Wales, two projects were selected for the second phase of the initiative. All four projects were given the opportunity to bid for the next stage and this second stage gives the projects further funding to bring them to the standard needed to be taken to market.
The projects which have been selected for the next phase are:
- Fusion Processing Ltd.’s junction alert system which has been developed to utilise a combination of radar and cameras to identify when someone on a motorcycle is approaching
- Armourgel Ltd.’s advanced helmet line which will incorporate their Amourgel material into motorcycle helmets. This material has the aim of protecting the motorcyclist from rotational acceleration brain injuries.
These final two projects were selected from a larger group of forty-seven applications initially as the Economy and Transport Minster issued a challenge to companies, public organisations and voluntary sector businesses to submit their creative ideas for improving the roads for motorcyclists.
Speaking on behalf of the projects Minister Hart said: “These projects are looking at innovative ways to protect motorcyclists and reduce accidents. Both successful products returned encouraging results at feasibility stage and I am pleased we are able to support them to develop their products further.”
Statistics show that across Great Britain motorcyclists account for 19% of all road user deaths yet they make up just 1% of all road traffic. They are approximately 38 times more likely to be killed than those in cars and in 2013 331 motorcyclists were killed on roads around Great Britain. The Welsh Government has made bringing down motorcyclist injuries and deaths one of their priority road safety targets and these new innovative projects could be a step towards making a difference.
With motorcyclists amongst the most vulnerable road users it is important there is a focus on their safety and both their own riding and the driving of those around them needs to be altered to ensure the best possible outcome. Awareness of vulnerable road users is essential to keep yourself, and them, safe.