Damian James' blog: 19 July 2010 - All vehicles should have esafety systems
19 July 2010
Damian James is Head of Transport Provision for Bracknell Forest Council and a technology champion
Have you ever witnessed a motorbike coming hurtling towards you at 30 miles per hour with the rider to then suddenly jam on the brakes? In this critical scenario the rider then loses control as the brakes lock up and the bike topples over. It sounds like a terrible and potentially tragic scene and if you ride a motorcycle a situation you hope you never have to face. Well the other day I witnessed someone do this deliberately!!!
It's true that the bike involved had huge steel stabilisers attached so it couldn't topple right over and the rider was obviously extremely skilled in what he had just demonstrated but as I said at the time, rather him than me. Actually this was a demonstration of what happens when you don't specify ABS on a motorbike because then the event was repeated (yes, he did it twice!!). The second time around the rider turned the ABS on and this demonstration ended with the rider coming to a controlled stop and the bike remaining upright.
I was at an e-Safety event that was set up to demonstrate the effectiveness of technology in vehicles in saving lives and preventing accidents. If ever there was a strong case for the mandating of safety technology in vehicles this was it. Amongst the other demonstrations were systems that stopped vehicles hitting pedestrians, other vehicles and anti skid technology.
I recognise that all of this technology represents a huge investment programme for the manufacturers involved and it will be some years before these systems will be standard on all vehicles. It does make you think about the people that will die and be injured in avoidable (if this technology is fitted) accidents in the interim period. I know this is a sobering thought for us all but that is the current reality. All I can ask for is to hope that these types of systems are rolled out to all vehicles as soon as possible.
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