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CTC issues autumn plea to UK drivers

Wet weather and the clocks going back trigger safety appeal

With the clocks having gone back and the evening rush-hour commute now taking place in the dark, CTC, the national cycling charity, has appealed to drivers to be aware of cyclists.

Darker nights bring an obvious challenge at this time of year, but CTC points to fallen leaves and damp road conditions as being additional hazards for cyclists.

Cherry Allan, CTC’s Campaigns and Policy Information Co-ordinator, said:

“We would please ask that vehicle drivers are always aware of cyclists, but especially now that the evening commute for the vast majority of people is in darkness. Cycling is a wonderfully healthy pastime all year round and we want people to be able to cycle safely, easily and enjoyably, whatever the season.”

The organisation is also reminding cyclists that it is illegal to cycle on a public road between sunset and sunrise without lights and reflectors. Indeed a number of police forces take the week after the clocks have gone back as their cue to crack down on those cycling without lights. Already this week, Thames Valley Police has issued 167 fines in Oxford  – although in most cases the penalty can be avoided if the person purchases lights and then presents them at the police station.

Cyclists must have white front and red rear lights lit at night and flashing lights are now permitted. The law also states that a bike must be fitted with a red rear reflector and amber pedal reflectors if it was manufactured after October 1, 1985.

CTC is also taking the opportunity to point drivers towards AA advice about sharing the road with cyclists, emphasising that they have the same rights while being more vulnerable than car users.

In particular, the AA advises drivers to give cyclists extra room in wet weather when surfaces are wet and slippery. This video featuring Chris Boardman demonstrates how to safely overtake cyclists.

The AA also advises drivers to consider riding a bike for some of their own journeys to get a better understanding of the risks cyclists face.

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6 comments

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ironmancole | 8 years ago
3 likes

Applaudable but pointless. Might as well ask the local kiddy fiddler to stop going to the park as its Christmas soon.

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mrmo | 8 years ago
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just thought i would mention to highlight how stupid the regs are. 

you are allowed to cycle after sunset without lights, you only need lights during the hours of darkness. Which is 30mins after sunset until 30mins before sunrise. I assume local time applies??? 

For all the crap parliament dreams up, why can't they get the RVLR updated to reflect the here and now. 

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bikebot replied to mrmo | 8 years ago
1 like
mrmo wrote:

just thought i would mention to highlight how stupid the regs are. 

you are allowed to cycle after sunset without lights, you only need lights during the hours of darkness. Which is 30mins after sunset until 30mins before sunrise. I assume local time applies??? 

For all the crap parliament dreams up, why can't they get the RVLR updated to reflect the here and now. 

Actually, that's not true for bicycles.  The law requries us to have lights on between sunset and sunrise.  It's only motor vehicles that get the 30 minutes before and after.

See 'Lighting-up time' and the 'Hours of Darkness'

http://www.ctc.org.uk/cyclists-library/regulations/lighting-regulations

 

 

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tatsky | 8 years ago
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Question.  On my bike I have 3 rear lights, one on my helmet always on, and 2 on the bike, flashing.  On the front I have a flashing light on the fork, a fahsing light on the handlebars, and sometimes I have a high powered light on my head/helmet.  I also recently got some of those reflective arm bands with flashing LEDs on them.  But I don't have a rear reflector, and as I have clipless pedals, I have no pedal reflectors.  So, would I get hauled over the coals by the Police for this?  I am lit up like a christmas tree, but I don't have reflectors.

Thoughts?

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bikebot replied to tatsky | 8 years ago
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tatsky wrote:

Question.  On my bike I have 3 rear lights, one on my helmet always on, and 2 on the bike, flashing.  On the front I have a flashing light on the fork, a fahsing light on the handlebars, and sometimes I have a high powered light on my head/helmet.  I also recently got some of those reflective arm bands with flashing LEDs on them.  But I don't have a rear reflector, and as I have clipless pedals, I have no pedal reflectors.  So, would I get hauled over the coals by the Police for this?  I am lit up like a christmas tree, but I don't have reflectors.

Thoughts?

No.

Although some Daily Mail readers might have a little rant about the Police picking and choosing which laws they enforce, that's exactly what the Police do in combination with Government advice.  An enormous number of our laws are outdated and Government is slow at getting around to updating or revoking them.  Taxi drivers being required to keep a bale of hay in the boot is one of the most well known examples (not revoked until the 70's).

So if you have lights and are visible, the chances of you being nabbed for missing pedal reflectors is almost zero.  If you're a ninja cyclist, there's a chance it may be included in the charge.

However, in the event of an accident, there is also a small chance that someone may argue that the lack of reflectors was a factor.  However, they would have to demonstrate this, it isn't enough to say they're required by law.

 

 

 

 

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3mkru73 replied to tatsky | 8 years ago
1 like
tatsky wrote:

Question.  On my bike I have 3 rear lights, one on my helmet always on, and 2 on the bike, flashing.  On the front I have a flashing light on the fork, a fahsing light on the handlebars, and sometimes I have a high powered light on my head/helmet.  I also recently got some of those reflective arm bands with flashing LEDs on them.  But I don't have a rear reflector, and as I have clipless pedals, I have no pedal reflectors.  So, would I get hauled over the coals by the Police for this?  I am lit up like a christmas tree, but I don't have reflectors.

Thoughts?

You'll not get done, though a great tip is to put 3M reflective tape on either side of your cranks that face front and rear traffic. You can pick up a roll for about £3 on Amazon and I also put it over my handlebar tape ends, a strip down each of the seat stays and along the forks. 

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