Cycle-Activated Electronic Signals Making Scotland’s Roads Safer

The City Council of Glasgow, Scotland has installed cycle-activated electronic signals on its road network, with the goal of reducing incidents of conflict between vehicles and cyclists.

“We want people to think of cycling as accessible, safe and attractive, and as an everyday transport mode and leisure activity,” said councillor Angus Millar, transport and climate convener. “Creating a safer cycling city is a key element of our Cycling Plan in which we have pledged to improve safety for cyclists by providing better facilities and encouraging mutual respect between all road and path users.

The signals are solar-powered LED warning signs that illuminate a cycle symbol to alert drivers to the presence of cyclists. Locations are chosen where they can best minimize the likelihood of conflict between road users – particularly where vision may be reduced and those that have the greatest potential for drivers pulling out into traffic or turning across the path of cyclists.

After the pilot project demonstrated a decrease in the percentage of conflicts between drivers and cyclists at a test installation on a downtown crossroads, other signals have been installed at multiple locations across the city.

“Our cycle-activated signage project is an innovative and environmentally-friendly solution that seeks to prioritize and protect vulnerable road users and prevent collisions,” said Millar. “Initiatives such as this which focus on reducing potential incidents on our road network benefit all road users and highlights our resolute commitment to making cycling an enjoyable and viable way to get around.”

The pilot project and subsequent installations of the signage is funded by a grant from Cycling Walking Safer Routes from Transport Scotland which promotes cycling, walking, and road safety projects.