|Luigi Straccia (Police, Communications Officer, Thames Valley Police)|
As the nights draw in and the clocks go back on Sunday (30/10), Thames Valley Police would like to remind cyclists to ensure they have a working set of lights displayed on their bicycles.
It is a legal requirement, during the hours of darkness, to display a white light to the front and a red light to the rear, and it is advisable to wear some light-coloured clothing and a cycle helmet.
Cyclists are one of the most vulnerable groups of road users, being particularly vulnerable when riding during hours of darkness if lights are not displayed.
PC Mark Pilling, Oxfordshire Road Safety Enforcement Officer, said: “Cyclists may think that they can see well enough when cycling around town with street lights but cycle lights are also there to ensure other road users can see them.
“A cyclist without lights can easily be missed in the glare of headlights from other vehicles. Displaying lights will increase the likelihood of a cyclist being seen and, as a result, will reduce the chances of them being involved an injury collision.”
Thames Valley Police officers will be stopping cyclists who do not display lights after dark and issuing them with an on-the-spot fixed penalty notice of £50. If the offender pleads not guilty or fails to comply with the conditions of the notice, or is reported to court by the officer rather than being given a ticket, then the court can fine the offender up to a maximum of £1,000 per offence.
What the Highway Code 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.
Clothing. You should wear:
- A cycle helmet which conforms to current regulations, is the correct size and is securely fastened.
- Appropriate clothes for cycling. Avoid clothes which may get tangled in the chain, or in a wheel or may obscure your lights.
- Light-coloured or fluorescent clothing which helps other road users to see you in daylight and poor light.
- Reflective clothing and/or accessories (belt, arm or ankle bands) in the dark.
For further information please call Thames Valley Police on the non-emergency number 101.
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