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Ping if you care: volunteers map cycling danger spots

16:47 01/06/2017

The Brussels-Capital Region has launched a pilot project that will allow cyclists to contribute to a map showing the danger spots on the region’s roads. Secretary of state for road safety Bianca Debaets sent out 540 volunteers this week equipped with “pingers” linked to an app that highlights dangers.

Each volunteer uses an app, connected by Bluetooth to a piece of kit attached to their handlebars like a bicycle bell. If the cyclist feels unsafe on the road at any point, they tap once on the pinger and the app records the location.

Once the information is uploaded to the database, along with any feedback the cyclist wants to give, it can be added to a map of the most dangerous places for cyclists on the region’s roads. It would then be up to the authorities to do something to remedy the situation if possible – in the case of a dangerous junction, for example, though not in the case of a vehicle parked on a cycle path.

“This information is crucial for us to make the right decisions about where we have to step in on questions of road safety or enforcement policy with the police,” Debaets said.

The public can consult the gathered information online. Another 500 volunteers will be recruited in August for the start of the new school year.

Photo courtesy

Written by Alan Hope (Flanders Today)