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26 October 2016

Canada: Ottawa Councillors and Staff Guinea Pigs for New Light-Up Bike Helmets

The Lumos Helmet uses bluetooth technology to connect
the helmet's lights sensor buttons on the bike's
handlebars.  (CBC)
[Bluetooth technology radiating microwaves right next to the brain...]

Ottawa councillors and staff guinea pigs for new light-up bike helmets
by CBC's All in a Day, CBC News
25 October 2016

Safer Roads Ottawa bought 12 helmets 
for $180

Some Ottawa city councillors and staffers are testing out a new bike helmet that lets others on the road know when they're turning and braking, just like a car's lights.

The Lumos Helmet uses bluetooth technology to connect the helmet's 60 or so LED lights to buttons that can be attached to the bike's handlebars.

Watch the video to see how it works. [See original article.]

"Once you click the button to turn left or right on your handlebars the actual helmet itself will light up a turn signal on that same side of your helmet so anyone behind you knows what your intent is out on the road," said Rob Wilkinson, co-ordinator of Safer Roads Ottawa.

The group is a partnership between Ottawa paramedics, police, fire, public works and public health services dedicated to trying to stop road deaths and serious injuries.

The sensor inside the handlebar remote can also tell when a cyclist is slowing down and will turn the helmet's brake lights on.

"The obligation of the cyclist is to signal with their arm, but where we kind of envision this is all about visibility at night," Wilkinson told CBC Radio's All in a Day.

5 city councillors test driving

Wilkinson said his team spotted the helmet on social media about a month ago and reached out to the founder to test it out. They ordered 12 helmets at a cost of about $180 each. Only about 1,000 helmets have been made so far, said Wilkinson.

Five city councillors — Jeff Leiper, Catherine McKenney, Mathieu Fleury, David Chernushenko and Tobi Nussbaum — are currently using the helmets along with paramedics and bylaw parking officers. Two helmets are also being sent to Citizens for Safe Cycling for community members to try.

"Because of the lights and the battery pack in the back it's slightly heavier, but most people adjust," said Wilkinson.

So far "people feel much, much more visible on the road."

Wilkinson said the pilot project isn't about selling Ottawa cyclists helmets, but he does believe they could be useful for city employees whose work involves riding a bike in the dark.

Safer Roads Ottawa plans to go through all the surveys their test drivers fill out to determine whether the helmets are worth the city's investment.


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