Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Light-Up Lollipop Inventor Will See Product on Roads; Invention

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Light-Up Lollipop Inventor Will See Product on Roads; Invention

Article excerpt

Byline: COREENA FORD coreena.ford@ncjmedia.co.uk

ACOUNTY Durham inventor is set to light up the school crossing patrol sector for the first time in five decades with a creation he believes could save lives.

Andrew Turner, who has a base at the North East Technology Park (NETPark) in Sedgefield, is poised to meet with distributors about his illuminated lollipop design, having won the backing of a road safety charity.

His prototype uses edge-lit plastic and has an eight-hour battery life, which has been produced thanks to support from Spennymoor-based Thorn Lighting.

Together with business partner Matthew Thoburn, Mr Turner invented the new-look lollipop stick after witnessing a near accident in Darlington one winter morning. After developing the prototype a survey was carried out by Durham County Council which showed that drivers were braking up to 40% faster when they saw the illuminated stick, compared to a normal stick, and further trials are now planned.

He said: "It made me think that the modern driver needs something more visible to stand out because of the number of distractions such as the abundance of brake lights and modern technology on the roads.

"The only thing which has changed over the decades is the school crossing patrol person's uniform - they've become more highly visible but the stick hasn't.

"I really do believe it has the potential to save lives in the future.

"We've already hit our target in terms of performance, battery life and weight. Our next step is to be innovative in the manufacturing process to keep the costs down."

Gavin Brydon, vice president operations at Thorn Lighting, in Spennymoor, said the prototype had been created using one of their industrial laser etching machines.

"I believe this design will save lives. It's at a very early stage but we're very hopeful for Andrew's success and we're here to help him," he said.

"We're very happy to support local inventors and develop a research and development network. …

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