The mother of a teenage cyclist who lost his life when he was hit by a van near Leeds last year has launched a petition calling on the government to make it compulsory for all bikes to be sold with lights.
The Yorkshire Post reports that at about 7.10pm on October 22, 2018, 14-year-old Charlie Fox was riding his bike with two 15-year-olds boys in Bullerthorpe Lane.
The driver of a Mercedes Sprinter van heading in the opposite direction attempted to overtake a white Volkswagen Polo on a blind bend and hit them.
A 28-year-old man from Castleford was arrested on suspicion by causing death by dangerous driving and released under investigation.
In her petition, Fox’s mum Rebecca Roe writes: “It needs to be made a requirement by law that bicycles be sold with lights.
“Cycling is encouraged by the Government, with more people using bicycles as their main transport. There are many cycle lanes on roads across the country but still legal to buy bikes without lights, despite it being the law to use them between sunrise and sunset.
“All vehicles sold must have working lights. The law needs to move with the times to keep cyclists safe whilst on our roads.”
The petition has so far attracted over 4,000 signatures.
Roe explained: "I don't want to change the current law of bicycles needing lights between sunset and sunrise, I just want bicycles to be sold with them so people and children can abide with the law a lot easier. At the minute, I believe people’s knowledge of the law is very little.
"I know some people consider this common sense but when children have been riding their bikes since the age of four, and you buy with reflectors, I think we are led to believe they are good enough for night – certainly dusk when this happened to Charlie.
"There are no signs up in shops when buying a bike to tell you the law, we are not told the law upon purchasing a bike and bike lights are not discussed at all.”
Among those linking to the petition has been the Labour MP for Kensington, Emma Dent Coad.
Please sign and RT this petition to keep young cyclists safe on the road. https://t.co/gkpltL9qM7
— Emma Dent Coad (@emmadentcoad) August 6, 2019
The tweet was criticised by a number of users who pointed out that Dent Coad recently opposed a proposed segregated cycle route through Holland Park.
“I've been campaigning on road safety for 25 years or so,” said Dent Coad in reply to one. “This was not a good scheme and wd destroy 27 trees.”
I cycle through your constituency lit up like a Christmas tree, and still I face two or three dangerous incidents every week
— Jeremy Vine (@theJeremyVine) August 6, 2019
We’ve previously reported that Dent Coad left a public meeting about the Holland Park cycle route with a woman who had falsely claimed to be the aunt of a cyclist killed in Notting Hill.