Blaze Laserlights – the brain child of entrepreneur and cycling enthusiast Emily Brooke – will be fitted to all Santander Cycles in London early in 2016.
To raise awareness of the development and improvement to the bikes, Santander have produced a short film ‘Santander Brings Light To The Dark Side’ in which brand ambassadors Jenson Button, Rory McIlroy and Jessica Ennis-Hill ride London's streets with the lights and put the ‘Force’ to good use (scroll down to watch it).
The lights aim to cut down on ‘Sorry Mate I Didn’t See You’ (SMIDSY) accidents by giving advance warning of an approaching cyclist and were given a trial run earlier this year in which 250 bikes were fitted with the beams.
A street survey shows that three-quarters of cyclists felt more confident riding with the Blaze Laserlight, and half said they would be more likely to use a Santander Cycles bike at night with it fitted.
Transport for London and Mayor Boris Johnson were confident that the lights, now supported by a rear light available via Kickstarter, played an important role in cutting down on accidents so they’ll now be fitted to all 11,500 bikes.
Commenting on the development, Boris Johnson MP, said: “It’s fantastic that our Santander Cycles will be able to bring light to the dark side of the street with these nifty Blaze Laserlights. We’re always looking to develop new and innovative ways to help people cycle around the Capital more safely and these green lights will help all our cycle hire users to stay seen at night. I’m delighted that through this great partnership, we’re able to help improve safety and support the enterprise of another brilliant London start-up."
James Mead, TfL’s General Manager of Santander Cycles, said: “The addition of Blaze Laserlights on our Santander Cycles is a great safety initiative that has been made possible through our partnership with Santander. Our first priority is to protect the safety of all road users. We have received positive feedback throughout the trial and are confident that the new addition will encourage more cyclists, new or experienced, to use the bikes for commuting or leisure."
The lights were initially available via Kickstarter and the business has grown rapidly - with shipments being made to 52 countries and research demonstrating a 25 per cent reduction in the bling spot of HGV's. CEO and founder, Emily Brooke said: "We are truly thrilled our Laserlight technology is being integrated into the entire fleet of Santander Cycles... this incredible partnership immediately takes things to the next level and will make thousands of cyclists more visible and safer on our roads."
Here's the Star Wars theme short film for your viewing pleasure...