Cyclists light up

INNOVATION: Rod Holder demonstrates the new bicycle safety warning sign he has produced, and hopes to soon see around Cootamundra Shire. Picture: Harrison Vesey
INNOVATION: Rod Holder demonstrates the new bicycle safety warning sign he has produced, and hopes to soon see around Cootamundra Shire. Picture: Harrison Vesey

ROD Holder is breaking new ground in cyclist safety with what may be a world-first innovation.

The keen cyclist has been working for 12 months on his idea for a user-activated warning sign.

“The main complaint motorists have is when they’re coming over a hill or around a corner and a cyclist is right there, it shocks them,” Rod said.

The solar-powered warning signs are similar to those in place around school zones. Rather than running during set hours though, they are activated by a cyclist who hits the trigger as they ride past.

The warning lights can be set to flash for a set amount of time, depending on how long it takes the average cyclist to navigate that section.

Rod’s dream is for the signs to be placed in hazardous sections of road around the shire.

“Cootamundra is a cyclist-friendly town, I want to see what we can do to make it even more friendly and safe.”

Whilst he is hesitant to call it a world first, Rod has not come across any similar designs in his research or in conversations with other cyclists around the country.

The first signs have been set up on either end of Berthong Rd for a six-month trial period, thanks to the support of Cootamundra Shire Council (CSC).

CSC Engineering Services director Gary Arthur said the council was happy to support the local initiative.

“It sounds like a good idea. It may not be used everywhere, but it could be a good thing for hill areas and dangerous corners,” he said.

The council is now monitoring the signs to “see what happens” and decide whether the design has a place.

Cootamundra Cycle Club president Mark Loiterton agrees it is a “brilliant” proposal.

“I’m fully in agreement with the whole thing, it’s got to be a great idea from a safety perspective,” he said.

Berthong Rd was selected for the trial due to its popularity with local cyclists. The road is also heavily used by trucks during harvest.

The signs light up for 25 minutes after being turned on, and the timer resets if another cyclist hits the trigger.

Rod is now urging all local cyclists to use the signs so he can keep track of their usage and report back to council.

Rod estimates ten signs would be enough for shire roads.

He is currently in talks with Roads and Maritime Sevices regarding the possibility of signs on Gundagai Rd.

For any feedback, positive or negative, is welcome at rod.holder@agland.com.au.