County news: Graduate's invention to light up New York

A University of Brighton graduate will see her trailblazing bike light rolled out on communal bikes in New York.

Emily Brooke with the Blaze bike (Photograph: Andrew Weekes) SUS-170113-143542001
Emily Brooke with the Blaze bike (Photograph: Andrew Weekes) SUS-170113-143542001

The light, designed by Emily Brooke, will be used on 250 bikes that are part of New York’s Citi Bike rental programme – the city’s answer to ‘Boris Bikes’ in London.

The device is designed to make riders more visible to drivers and pedestrians by projecting a bike symbol six metres in front of the cyclist. It has been hailed as a major breakthrough in safety and is now selling in dozens of countries round the world.

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Ms Brooke, a multi-award winner, graduated from the University of Brighton in 2011 in Product Design with Professional Experience and the Laserlight as her final year project.

Blaze in Brighton SUS-170113-143554001

The New York initiative also aims to grow cycling among women – studies have shown women are more likely to ride in safer traffic environments with features like protected bike lanes and one-way streets.

Jay Walder, president and CEO of Motivate, operators of the Citi Bike programme, said: “By incorporating Blaze’s lights into the bike we aim to keep New Yorkers on foot, behind the wheel and riding a Citi Bike safer and to improve the rider experience overall so that people of all backgrounds are inspired to try New York City’s popular bike share programme.

“Bike share is an extremely safe way to get around, and we are proud to work with Blaze to welcome every rider to Citi Bike while helping our city get ever closer to our Vision Zero goals.”