New app blocks cyclists using mobile phone on bike

Posted on: July 16th, 2017

KPN Safe Lock

(In holland, research has found that smartphones contribute to 20% of accidents involving young cyclists; one telecom company has developed an app to change this worrying statistic)


A DUTCH telecom company has developed an app which blocks cyclists using mobile phones while riding their bikes.

Spurred on by its own research and that of partner, the Dutch Traffic Safety Associations, KPN, has created a smartphone app which blocks mobile signal to your phone, once you unlock the bike.

So whenever a cyclist’s bike is unlocked, the mobile phone cannot connect to mobile or internet networks.

KPN’s main motivation was to stop teenagers from messaging while cycling, whether its using text messages or other apps like WhatsApp, Snapchat, and Instagram.


KPN Safe Lock
(KPN’s technology harnesses its own mobile network to promote safer cycling)


Their research found that 12 to 18-year-olds are the main age group who take this risk, with the Dutch Traffic Safety Associations figures citing smartphones as a key factor in one in five incidents involving young cyclists.

A frightening 12 teenagers were killed in the Netherlands in cycling accidents involving phones in 2015 alone, a further 441 recorded as injured.

This is despite the country’s unparalleled network of bicycles lanes and its children’s bicycle traffic safety tests, which some 200,000 children take each April to prepare for entrance to secondary school – most having ridden to primary school unaccompanied since they were eight.

KPN’s Safe Lock, developed in partnership with the DTSA, connects to the bike lock via bluetooth and unlocks and locks with a simple swipe.

It will be put through a closed pilot this summer and is expected to be available in shops at the end of 2017 at an estimated retail value of €100. The initial release will only be available on Android phone, with an iOS version to follow.

The video below shows the reasoning behind the KPN Safe Lock and how it works.


KPN’s Safe Lock explained