Canoe to promote safer cycling device Cycle Alert

The makers of safety devices for cyclists have called in PR support as London Mayor Boris Johnson threatens to remove HGVs without similar devices from the capital's streets.

Awareness: The Met Police's cycle training includes using HGVs
Awareness: The Met Police's cycle training includes using HGVs

Canoe PR will promote Cycle Alert, which is designed to ensure HGV drivers are aware of cyclists’ presence on the road. It has three parts: a sensor worn by cyclists, a sensor on HGVs and a cab-mounted alert device.

The Cycle Alert system encourages both HGV drivers and cyclists to work together to take responsibility for making the road a safer place.

The agency will begin generating publicity in the UK before the device is made available to the market towards the end of the summer.

Canoe will showcase the device to bicycle owners through events such as Ride London, as well as partnering with the Metropolitan Police at cycle awareness days. The agency will also aim to build relationships with national press and cycling magazines.

The haulage industry will be targeted at events such as the Commercial Vehicle Show in Birmingham on 9-11 April.

As the sensor will be available through the widely used Cycle to Work scheme, Canoe will engage with businesses, encouraging them to promote the device to employees using the scheme. The brief includes creative, advertising and media buying duties.

More than half of all cyclist deaths in London were caused by collisions with HGVs. In 2012, the number of cyclists killed on UK roads reached its highest for five years.

The case for making the devices compulsory for HGVs is being driven by the Mayor as part of his plan to make London more cycle-friendly. The plan includes investment for the investigation of collisions between cyclists and HGVs and building on Transport for London’s work with the haulage industry to reduce collisions.

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