On your bike - safely

Cycling on busy roads at night could become much safer thanks to a new "Firefly" bike light invented by UNSW design graduate James Morton.

Firefly safety light inside

Cycling on busy roads at night could become much safer thanks to a new "Firefly" bike light, which automatically illuminates a rider when traffic gets too close for comfort.

Invented by University of New South Wales design graduate James Morton, the Firefly has featured on ABC TV's The New Inventors and was shortlisted at this year's Australian Design Awards.

The Firefly detects approaching traffic via inbuilt infrared sensors to trigger light-emitting diodes (LED) to flash onto the back of a rider with varying intensity, depending on the proximity of traffic. The device also illuminates the ground beneath a rider, thereby giving motorists a greater ability to judge their proximity to a cyclist.

Mr Morton says he hopes his invention will eventually contribute to greater cycling safety. "Cycling is becoming increasingly popular in Australia but poor visibility and awareness means far too many cyclists are hit by motorists, resulting in serious injury or death," says Morton, a keen cyclist who has graduated from a Bachelor of Industrial Design (Hons) at UNSW.

Mr Morton hopes to bring Firefly to market with UNSW's commercialisation company, NewSouth Innovations, and believes it could eventually retail for $150. "Firefly is a unique and useful invention that could find a ready market - especially among cyclists who commute on busy roads at night," says Steve Brodie, a spokesperson for NewSouth Innovations.

Read the full story at the NSi website.

Media contact: Dan Gaffney, Public Relations Manager, NewSouth Innovations | 0411 156 015