22 Nov 2019
  • RSW19

Road Safety Week; Health-led Road Technology

On the Road Safety Week theme of design-led technology which can help to prevent road tragedies, we look in more detail at some of the amazing proven air pollution-reducing solutions that allow us all to get around the roads in a healthier way.

“Every 20 mins, someone is killed or seriously injured on a British road and each of these tragedies is preventable.”


Low emission zone signage

Air quality is quickly escalating as a political issue, so local authorities are more inclined to assist in discouraging harmful emissions in specific areas. One example is through identifying Low Emission Zones (LEZs) where vehicles more prone to emitting higher harmful emissions are discouraged from entering by being charged a higher entry amount than cleaner vehicles. This encourages drivers to use cleaner vehicles with the ultimate aim of improving air quality. The technology required to implement this involves, for example, number plate recognition and monitoring of the levels of roadside nitrogen oxide (NO2) which is linked to cancer and respiratory diseases.

Solar power

Solar roadways store and put to good use solar energy through the installation of solar panels on roadways. Suggestions include using these glass roads complete with LEDs and microprocessors. Not only is glass renewable, but it is environmentally friendly and it can be strengthened to be stronger than steel. As well as it being possible to engineer the surface to make it of practical use to drivers, these roads would even be able to melt snow during the winter making them safer to drive on.

In addition, the first solar-powered bus network consisting of 22 eco-friendly buses with solar panels on their rooves launched last year paving the way for other bus companies as well as fleets of other types of vehicle to do the same.

Wireless charging lanes for electric cars

Electric vehicle drivers can charge their vehicles on the go simply by driving in ‘Induction Priority Lanes’ which have embedded magnetic fields that charge the vehicle while it is moving. This will encourage people to use electric vehicles with the reduced need for searching for mid-journey charging points and allowing longer journeys. In addition, it would mean that the size of batteries needed for the vehicles could be reduced decreasing the size and weight of vehicles as well as the cost of production and price for the consumer.

Traffic lights

The introduction of traffic lights which inform drivers of how long they are likely to be stopped at traffic lights or automatically turn off their engines, assist in the reduction of idling engines causing air pollution. In addition, traffic lights powered by the kinetic energy of people walking on the streets could be used for powering everything on the streets in a more environmentally friendly way from traffic lights to LED street lamps, cameras, and other devices.

Interactive light

Motion sensor lights shine more brightly as cars approach and slowly dim after the car has passed which is ideal for less-used motorways or to reduce electricity use at night.

Wind-powered light

These lights harness wind drafts from passing cars and convert that energy into electricity to light up.


There are many new and exciting ideas being developed all the time and we look forward to introducing them to our streets in the near future to really make a difference to our roads and future health.

 For more on Winn Solicitors Road Safety Week activities, visit our Campaign page at: Road Safety Week 2019

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