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Safety Bike

Safety Bike

About this initiative

Our helmet is no longer the only item that keeps you safe on a bike. This campaign by isobar Brazil launched the “Safety Bike Radio” that produces a radio signal that interferes with the reception of radios in moving vehicles.  This helps make drivers aware of cyclists passing in the vicinity.

In 2013, about 1.25 million people died from road traffic injuries, the leading cause of death among males between 15 and 29 years of age. Road traffic deaths have increased by about 13 per cent globally since 2000 the United Nations report in its Sustainable Development Goals 3 Good health and well-being section. That’s why it has become a key goal target for the United Nations to tackle before as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: to halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents by 2020.


For 98FM radio in Brazil, isobar developed the “Safety Bike Radio”, a portable radio transmitter that interferes with the reception of radio stations in moving vehicles (maximum interference distance: 30 meters), sending alert messages to drivers that bicyclists are nearby. The technology works with an app that bikers must download and synchronize with a portable radio transmitter that is attached to water bottles that are attached to the bike or the rider. The messages are pre-recorded, but cyclists are also able to record their own customized messages as well as communicate in real time with users responding to traffic situations with live transmissions through the app.

In Brazil, as in many countries, including the US, interfering with radio frequencies is generally illegal. But in Brazil exceptions can be made with the approval of stations, which was granted and why the program was allowed to move forward. 98FM invited all radio stations to participate in the “Safety Bike Radio” project. The blueprints of the technology have been shared under Common Creative licence for others to use.

The project first launched in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais before expanding to other parts of the country. Awareness spread quickly after the project got picked up by the media, spreading the word through both general and specialized publications. The programme has had “great support” from radio station owners in the country “who want to get on board and help to save lives."