By: Cristina Domingues
11/04/2013 YNN on Time Warner Cable
In 2001, David Werner was in traffic, when he says he almost crashed into the back of the motorcyclist stopped in front of him.
"I couldn't see him and I couldn't see his taillight," said Werner.
That's when the idea for HelSTAR was born. Werner, an IT guy from Pittsford, teamed up with an engineer in Florida and spent a good part of the last decade creating its technology.
A rider attaches a transmitter to his or her motorcycle. A light is attached to the back of the helmet. Using a low-power radio frequency, the two wirelessly connect. There's no on-off switch.
The system will automatically turn on when riders get close to their bikes. The light on the back of the helmet then becomes an eye-level brake light, left and right turn signal and flasher. Each rider has his or her own wireless code so it does not interfere with other riders.
You can link the device to more than one helmet or more than one bike. The system costs $179.
The technology also exists to be built right into the helmet itself.
"The two most common products that are purchased are things that light up and things that are safety related, and we hit both of those. We know the market is right for it. Riders are demanding it."
Werner has spent almost a half million dollars getting this idea through the pilot program.
A motorcyclist himself, Werner has met with motorcycle groups, safety groups, transportation people, even law enforcement, and he said everyone seems to want this technology.
Werner hopes one day in the future the HelSTAR won't be so much cutting edge as it is the law.
"There are tremendous studies on the savings of lives and reduction of injury and accidents related to third brake lights in cars," said Werner. "We expect the same kinds of results with this on motorcycles."