Friends of traffic victim are looking for cyclists to test a blind spot alarm
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Friends of traffic victim are looking for cyclists to test a blind spot alarm

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Three school friends of Sofie De Ridder, a 12-year-old girl who was killed in an accident with a truck caused by a blind spot in 2016, have developed a new device called called SofAlert to prevent more of these accidents.

Kato, Eline and Jente came up with the device that warns both motorists and cyclists when they are in a dangerous position. Similar warning systems already existed for trucks, but not for cyclists.

The smart software in the device detects the running engine and whether the cyclist is less than a meter and a half from the vehicle. It emits a light and sound signal when the cyclist comes too close. “If only one child is saved by this system, so that families do not have to experience the same sadness we have felt, the project is a success,” said Sofie’s mother, Ann Segers, to Bruzz.

Kato’s parents developed the device further and founded the company Detectin Traffic, which now received 15,000 euros from the Brussels Region. With that money, the prototype will now be tested by around a hundred cyclists in the period from mid-May to mid-June.

“We greatly appreciate that the State Secretary believes in our project,” said Kato’s mother, Els Dauwe. “We hope that Flanders also jumps on the bandwagon.”

In time, the Region may make the device mandatory, said Bianca Debaets’ spokesperson (CD&V). “But we can only do that if it has proven to be effective.”

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

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