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216 Movit Yellow Flag (automatic track safety system)
  1. Martijn Spliethof
  1. General Manager Movit BV, The Netherlands

Abstract

Background For the safety of riders at motorsport accommodations ‘yellow flag marshals’ are present at various locations on the track. The job of these people is to warn the riders in case of a dangerous situation. In most cases a dangerous situation means that a colleague competitor has crashed within the next section of the track. Riders must anticipate by slowing down and avoid jumping. Especially the landing area behind a jump is extremely dangerous, because a rider cannot adjust the bike’s route until the moment of the landing. What’s the problem? In recent years a number of serious accidents happened on various tracks. These accidents could in most cases probably have been avoided with the use of flag marshals. Organisers experience more and more difficulties finding a sufficient number of good people for this important job. At international and national races they still succeed most of the time, although it may cost a lot of effort and money. At free practices and small club events there are no people available or the price is too high for the track owner. As a result there are free practices and club events without (a sufficient number of good) flag marshals. This means a high risk for competitors. In various countries, legislation is being prepared to make flag marshals mandatory during free practices.

Methods Movit Yellow Flag is an automatic system that replaces (or is additional to) the ‘yellow flag marshals’ at motorsport accommodations. The system provides one or more warning light signals for the competitors at a practice or race in case of a dangerous situation on the track. This works completely automatically and without human interaction. The Movit Yellow Flag system is based upon a small sending device on each motorcycle, with sensors that detect gravity and acceleration. In case a competitor crashes one or more light signals get automatically activated, so oncoming riders know that a vehicle of their colleague competitor is on the track within the next section. Riders can anticipate by slowing down and avoid jumping. At the moment the vehicle starts moving again the light signals are switched off automatically.

Results A working demo version has been developed already in 2014–2015, the production version will be available at the start of the 2016 Motocross season.

  • mx safety
  • off road safety
  • fatal accidents

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