Road Safety News

Road safety award in ‘REALsafe’ hands

Wednesday 17th December 2014

REALsafe® Technologies won the coveted Motorcycle Award, sponsored by The Motorcycle Industry Association, at the 2014 Prince Michael International Road Safety Awards ceremony in London last week.

HRH Prince Michael presented the award to REALsafe® co-founders Zoe Farrington and Andrew Richardson for their work in developing the industry-first crash detection app REALRIDER®.

REALRIDER® is the brainchild of Durham-based REALsafe® Technologies’ managing director Zoe Farrington and business development director Andrew Richardson.

This safety app for motorcyclists detects if a rider has crashed and sends location and medical information directly to the NHS ambulance control room.

The app has been piloted as a UK-wide initiative in partnership with the North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust,

John Rowland, the Trust’s control room systems and resilience specialist, said: “REALRIDER® is a game-changing application – the first of its kind in the UK.

“Its technology allows us to locate patients in potentially life-threatening situations with speed and accuracy, which is vitally important in saving lives.”

Andrew Richardson said: “We are a little overwhelmed and extremely grateful to have been acknowledged at such an illustrious ceremony.

“Having been recognised earlier this year for the success of REALsafe® Technologies as a business, this extremely important award underpins the very reason we took REALRIDER® to market – to save lives.”


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No doubt the 50% of East Germans who spied on the other 50% for the Stassi also thought they were behaving ethically, Rod! I see it more as yet another move towards that sort of society.

Beware that most of the increasingly popular in-car videos complete with GPS do record speeds and do so for many hours. Anyone involved in a crash or other contact with the authorities, even if not at fault in any way, could see their device seized and many hours of their driving speed checked. How to lose your license in an afternoon. And such is the law on the right to silence since the Guinness Affair, hitting the "delete" button would be a criminal offence of destroying evidence even though no one could prove there ever was incriminating evidence on it!
Idris Francis Fight Back With Facts Petersfield

Agree (2) | Disagree (5)

Hi Andrew

That sounds sensible. I was more thinking along the lines of just recording a rolling 30 seconds worth of speed rather than displaying it. That way bikers could use the results sent by the app as evidence of them driving within the stated limit. Surely a benefit for responsible bikers!
Rod King, 20's Plenty for Us

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Rod, thanks for the comment.

We're all about responsible riding which is why we've just launched the E-Learning Centre. Packed with all the rider improvement videos we've ever made, users are encouraged to answer Q's about the content in the hope that further training is sought. We'll soon be promoting the IAM's Skills for Life Program in support of further training. In terms of 'ethics' this was referring to our stance on not promoting or encouraging riding behaviour that puts users at risk. By including a 'record speed' option, it would leave the system open to abuse where riders potential set the quickest times for routes or show how fast they can go along a certain stretch of road - not something we want to encourage at all. Rider safety is of paramount priority and this was the reason for developing REALsafe®.
Andrew Durham

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This raises some interesting ethic/responsibility questions.

Exactly how is it "against ethics" to record the speed of the motorcycle?

This seems to be useful data for any emergency services. And surely any motorcyclists would welcome any proof that they had been travelling within the legal limit?

One could wonder whether tracking the speed could mean that some potential users would refrain from using the software! If this were the case then is the software in its current state more attractive to those who may be travelling above the legal limit? Is such bias towards such lawbreakers a positive measure?
Rod King, 20's Plenty for Us

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The App has been engineered in a way that it cannot record speed. Following the crash process, the data sent to the NHS enables them to determine medical, detailed location & the rider's contact info. There are other Apps on the market that can & do record speed. We have no desire to ever enable this facility as it would go against our ethics as a responsible company.
Andrew Durham

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In response to your question Ken, the app has been designed not to store speed (see: Details sent directly to the NHS (not stored on our servers - the information is sent transiently as detailed with the ICO as part of the Data Protection Act) do include direction of travel. So in the instance that an incident has happened on a dual carriageway, the Ambulance Service will know which direction the motorcyclist was travelling to prevent two ambulances from having to be dispatched. Hope this helps.
Zoe, Durham

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Does the app store speed or any other travel details should there be an incident?

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In response to David's comment below, I can assure you (as MD of the company) that we have nothing to do with an ambulance chasing culture. I believe that what you are referring to is an 'opt-in' service that we run in partnership with a company called Plantec Holdings. This service allows customers to choose if they would like to be contacted in the event of a crash to arrange for collection of the bike (and other associated services). Market research suggested that riders would be receptive to this if they were able to decide for themselves if this was something that would be of interest. We certainly are not in the habit of providing data to 3rd parties where our users have not opted-in to share with an associated partner. This service is clearly documented in our Terms of Use, in the 'Help' section on the website (, on the FAQ section of the homepage ( and detailed within the app itself. We very much pride ourselves on the fact that we are an independent body and in our unique connection with the NHS which prevents us having to run our service through a claims management company. We will be reviewing the After Accident Care uptake early in the New Year to decide whether this is a service our users deem valuable for the future. Thank you for the comment and enabling us to address the point.
Zoe, Durham

Agree (13) | Disagree (5)

I have been told that there is small print in the agreement when one signs up for this: apparently one consents to a particular legal firm acting on one's behalf as part of the agreement. This could well be a very positive move in road safety, but in my opinion it is tarnished slightly by the ambulance-chasing connection (if it is true).
David, Suffolk

Agree (9) | Disagree (2)

This looks a great deal like having e-call by personal choice. Maybe it would have been a better idea to see what sort of take-up this product has and how well it works before deciding to impose it?
Duncan MacKillop, Startford on Avon

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