Cyclists take note!
IF you are buying a bike for your
children / yourself or anyone else this Christmas, please remember to get
lights. It is illegal to cycle on a public road after dark without lights and
reflectors in the UK, yet sadly too many accidents happen due to riders not
having lights on bikes. You might think it is ok, but you not only put yourself
in danger but pedestrians and other road users too. But it is also worth noting
that when you have seriously reduced visibility, after rain or in fog, even in
summer, having lights on your bike will keep you more visible to predestines and
other road users.
Other complaints we have been getting are about the increasing numbers of
people, of all ages, riding on the pavements. This too is a prosecutable
offence, plus, should you have an accident that seriously hurts or kills
someone, you are looking at the prospect of facing a jail sentence, not just a
This Highway Code applies to England, Scotland and Wales. The Highway Code is
essential reading for everyone and not only keeps you safe, but also it keeps
The Code clearly says:- "At night your
cycle MUST have white front and red rear lights lit. It MUST also be fitted with
a red rear reflector (and amber pedal reflectors, if manufactured after
1/10/85). White front reflectors and spoke reflectors will also help you to be
seen. Flashing lights are permitted but it is recommended that cyclists who are
riding in areas without street lighting use a steady front lamp. Law RVLR regs
13, 18 & 24."
It also clearly says:- "You MUST NOT cycle on a pavement. Laws HA 1835
sect 72 & R(S)A 1984, sect 129."
How many times do you see cyclists, or in some cases don't see cyclists, at
night or in low light and /or in poor weather conditions, dressed in dark
clothing? Oddly unlike other vehicles, pedal cycles are not legally required to
light up when conditions of seriously reduced visibility occur in daytime,
within the UK… But, the Highway Code does recommend you should wear fluorescent
clothing which helps other road users to see you in dimmed daylight plus light
reflective clothing and/or accessories (belt, arm or ankle bands) in the dark.
It goes on to add that you should wear a cycle helmet, which conforms to current
regulations, that it is the correct size and wear securely fastened appropriate
clothes for cycling. It also suggests you should avoid clothes which may get
tangled in the chain, or in a wheel or may obscure your lights and reflectors.
If you do not know the UK's Highway Code
HighwayCodeUK.Co.UK. If you disobey these rules you are
committing a criminal offence!
Other things readers have contacted us about over 2017 has been the rise of
people of all ages riding dangerous, careless or inconsiderate manner… So it's
worth noting that the code clearly says:- "You MUST NOT carry a passenger
unless your cycle has been built or adapted to carry one, hold onto a moving
vehicle or trailer, ride in a dangerous, careless or inconsiderate manner, ride
when under the influence of drink or drugs, including medicine. Law RTA 1988
sects 24, 26, 28, 29 & 30 as amended by RTA 1991 69."
Plus the report about cyclists riding through red lights, again it is clearly
stated:- "You MUST obey all traffic signs and traffic light signals". Laws
RTA 1988 sect 36 & TSRGD reg 10(1)." But some Toucan Crossings allow
cyclists and pedestrians to share crossing space and cross at the same time. In
those case cyclists are permitted to ride across.
Your front light, must be a white light,
emitting at least 4 candelas, positioned centrally or offside (the right hand
side of the bike), up to 1500mm from the ground, aligned towards and visible
from the front. If capable of emitting a steady light, it must be marked as
conforming to BS6102/3 or an equivalent EC standard. It might be a fashion for
helmet lights to be used, but it doesn't conform and is therefore not legal. It
is also worth noting that 1 candela is approximate to 12 lumens. It is also
worth noting that in 2005 for the Regulations to be amended to allow the use of
flashing bicycle lights, as long as it flashes between 60 and 240 times per
minute (1Hz to 4Hz). It must also be positioned centrally.
Your back light must be a red light, or sited centrally offside (the right hand
side of the bike), between 350mm and 1500mm from the ground, at or near the
rear, aligned towards and visible from behind. This light must conform to
BS3648, or BS6102/3, or an equivalent EC standard.
Your bike must have 1 rear reflector, coloured red, marked BS6102/2 (or
equivalent), positioned centrally or offside (on the right hand side of the
bike), between 250mm and 900mm, from the ground, at or near the rear, aligned
towards and visible from behind.
If you're going to ride your bicycle in the dark, you should also have 4 pedal
reflectors; coloured amber, marked BS6102/2 (or equivalent), and positioned so
that 1 is plainly visible to the front and another to the rear of each of your
pedals. Reflective ankle bands etc which are not fixed to the bike, and the
like, are not seen as replacements.
Oddly, pedal reflectors are not required if you have a pre-1985 steel framed
bike as the law is not retroactive, so you can ride it in the dark without fear
of prosecution; only fear a very nasty accident.
If you are 1 of the growing numbers of cyclists using Cycle Trailers, you must
also have a rear lamp and a triangular rear reflector with an ECE mark III or
Please do share this information on your Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Merseyside Police have informed us that they are making notes of riders who they
spot breaking the law and will soon be taking action very soon. So this
Christmas, please stay safe. Just because you are not in a car, does not make
you exempt from the UK's Highway Code.
So cyclists, if you are not yet properly equipped, please ask Santa for lights