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Reflectors

sem69sem69 Posts: 106
edited September 2008 in Commuting chat
Do you have these on your bike? (Front, rear, spokes, and pedals)
My bike has none at all cos I have clipless pedals and it only came with a rear reflector which has since come off. I realise this is illegal which doesn't really bother me, but is it dangerous? I've got good front and rear lights. Should I bother fitting reflectors and if so which are more important? cheers
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  • Well if you lights are to fail on you I guess then yes. The more things that shine up in headlights to show your there the better I say!
  • I took both the front and rear reflectors off my bike as i have a cateye rear light with integral reflector anyway. I kept the wheel reflectors on though think they are probably the most effective of all.
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  • PhekdraPhekdra Posts: 137
    sem69 wrote:
    I've got good front and rear lights. Should I bother fitting reflectors and if so which are more important? cheers

    I was cycling to work in the pitch dark along a country lane a couple of days ago when I spotted a weakly flashing light a way up the road. Needless to say I gave chase :D and when I got nearer I could see that the cyclist was wearing one of those high-viz jackets with reflective patches. It was too dark to see the colour of the jacket but reflective bits were so blinding in my front light it was like following a ghost! Far more visible and effective than the rear light. I definitely wouldn't go out in the dark without my reflective rucksack cover and preferably some wrist straps too. In fact, practically all my cold weather clothes have some kind of reflective patches on them - hopefully with a similar effect to the disembodied jacket.

    Phekdra
  • I choose my overshoes on the basis of surface area of reflective.
  • Don't forget that if you remove reflectors (or never got them fitted in the first place) and go out in the evening or night with lights or jacket only, you are breaking the LAW.

    It doesn't matter how much more effective YOU think your gear is than reflectors, you may get stopped and fined regardless and in the event of an accident, the defence lawyer WILL use the fact your bike was not road legal and did not have BS-approved reflectors to slash or totally negate any pay-out you might have been due.
  • I forgot to mention - yes, there have been some great advances in reflective materials in recent years - it might be a good idea to write to your local Cycling Advocacy group or MP requesting a review of the Law concerning Bike Reflectors (especially those for pedals!) but in the mean time, do yourself a favour and slap on the six little pieces of plastic that the Law currently requires your bike to have in the hours of dusk-dawn.
  • dondaredondare Posts: 2,113
    sem69 wrote:
    Do you have these on your bike? (Front, rear, spokes, and pedals)
    My bike has none at all cos I have clipless pedals and it only came with a rear reflector which has since come off. I realise this is illegal which doesn't really bother me, but is it dangerous? I've got good front and rear lights. Should I bother fitting reflectors and if so which are more important? cheers

    Pedal reflectors are a legal requirement if the bike was made after 1985. A rear reflector is a legal requirement for any bike used at night.
    Reflectors cannot run out of battery power and are harder to steal from the bike or be forgotten than most lights, so it makes sense to have them.
    Pedal reflectors show up like nobodys buisiness in headlights and so are one of the best safety features you can have, but I'll be buggered if I can find a decent pair of clipless that can be used with them.
    This post contains traces of nuts.
  • I've asked the question before (and certain legal types who've been happy to point out the rudiments of the law nad thence gone extremely quiet because I presume it required some reasoning)

    So, if....

    ...my shoes have reflectors and my shoes are fixedly attached to the bicycle, why am I not in compliance with the law? Its the law actually able to make a distinction between a flat platform pedal with reflectors, a peadal with toe clips and reflectors, and a pedal with toe clips so highly adapted that you don't need to bother wearing anything but socks on your feet. You see, I don't think you legally need to have pedal reflectors when you are not riding the bike on the road. For convenience, my toe clips are detatchable. However, they aren't much good as shoes.

    the other point I am always curious about is - are there any known cases where this provision has actually been employed to avoid compensation. My admittedly rudimentary understanding of the position with respect to cars is that defects could be contributory factors but are not always. For example, if I drive with bald tyres and someone crashes into me running a red light, does that person get off because I had bald tyres? Well, if it was wet and I skidded because I had bald tyres, maybe. If it was dry, then more likely it would not be relevant. With cyclists, isn't the compensation based upon "did the motorist see the cyclist?", or "could the motorist reasonably have been expected to see the cyclist?" and not, "did the motorist observe that the cyclist had blinkies which did not complly with British standards and thereby become confused into believing that the cyclist was a hallucination?"
  • whyamiherewhyamihere Posts: 7,400
    dondare wrote:
    Pedal reflectors show up like nobodys buisiness in headlights and so are one of the best safety features you can have, but I'll be buggered if I can find a decent pair of clipless that can be used with them.
    Shimano SPD-SLs decent enough?
  • andy83andy83 Posts: 1,558
    this has got me thinking

    took my reflectors off apart from the pedals, but have a rear light on seat tube (can see it reflecting off my front mech so can check if its on easy) reflective strap around waist, one around bag with second light attached incase one fails, front light and clothes always have some form of reflective on, surely in an accident the point should be if i can be seen or not, not if i had reflectors.

    remember watching one of the traffic programs and bloke got hit by truck and all they looked into was if he could be seen and if his back light was working. cant see someone getting out of a claim cos i aint got reflectors
  • PhekdraPhekdra Posts: 137
    andy83 wrote:
    remember watching one of the traffic programs and bloke got hit by truck and all they looked into was if he could be seen and if his back light was working. cant see someone getting out of a claim cos i aint got reflectors

    I would certainly hope that you're right. The current law smacks of disinterest - yeah, reflectors all round, that's safe enough - and I'd like to think that if struck in the dark whilst lit up like a Christmas tree with lights and reflective clothing common sense would take over, and might even provide some momentum to produce a more reasonable law. Not that I'm volunteering to test that. :oops:

    Phekdra
  • dondaredondare Posts: 2,113
    I've asked the question before (and certain legal types who've been happy to point out the rudiments of the law nad thence gone extremely quiet because I presume it required some reasoning)

    So, if....

    ...my shoes have reflectors and my shoes are fixedly attached to the bicycle, why am I not in compliance with the law? Its the law actually able to make a distinction between a flat platform pedal with reflectors, a peadal with toe clips and reflectors, and a pedal with toe clips so highly adapted that you don't need to bother wearing anything but socks on your feet. You see, I don't think you legally need to have pedal reflectors when you are not riding the bike on the road. For convenience, my toe clips are detatchable. However, they aren't much good as shoes.

    the other point I am always curious about is - are there any known cases where this provision has actually been employed to avoid compensation. My admittedly rudimentary understanding of the position with respect to cars is that defects could be contributory factors but are not always. For example, if I drive with bald tyres and someone crashes into me running a red light, does that person get off because I had bald tyres? Well, if it was wet and I skidded because I had bald tyres, maybe. If it was dry, then more likely it would not be relevant. With cyclists, isn't the compensation based upon "did the motorist see the cyclist?", or "could the motorist reasonably have been expected to see the cyclist?" and not, "did the motorist observe that the cyclist had blinkies which did not complly with British standards and thereby become confused into believing that the cyclist was a hallucination?"

    "The pedal reflectors and rear reflector must conform to BS 6102-2.

    Lights and reflectors not conforming to the BS, but conforming to a corresponding standard of another EC country and marked accordingly, are considered to comply as long as that standard provides an equivalent level of safety. "

    Reflective bits on cycling shoes probably don't comply with the BS requirement.

    When that bloke ran into the girl and knocked her over, and she died from the head injuries caused by banging her head on the kerb, it was brought up in court that his very expensive, custom-made bike did not have pedal reflectors. Presumably this was done to emphasize what a reckless person he was, in that he had deliberately had an illegal bike built to his own specifications rather than to suggest that the girl would not have died if he'd had them.
    This post contains traces of nuts.
  • They could have brought up in court that they didn't speak to his mother politely. The press could have picked up on it. Not necessarily relevant to the final outcome. Besides, didn't it happen in daylight, or am I thinking of another incident?
  • cjwcjw Posts: 1,889
    Remember that by law cycling at night (or low visibility) you must have pedal reflectors, rear reflector, front light and rear light all conforming to appropriate standards. If you don't have these and are involved in an accident, you will most likely be in the wrong.
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  • cjw wrote:
    Remember that by law cycling at night (or low visibility) you must have pedal reflectors, rear reflector, front light and rear light all conforming to appropriate standards. If you don't have these and are involved in an accident, you will most likely be in the wrong.

    this thread is like snakes and ladders.
  • cjwcjw Posts: 1,889
    Oh yep... didn't read :oops:
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  • Go and stand in the corner. :lol:
  • nwallacenwallace Posts: 1,465
    this thread is like snakes and ladders.

    What hasn't been brought up though is that reflectors are part of road worthiness for all vehicles not just cycles.

    The only thing that can touch the roads without lighting and reflectors during the hours of darkenss is livestock.

    and even then the Highway codes recomends the front member of a group of livestock carry a white light and the rear member display a rear facing red light.

    Well humans are animals, so why not Livestock?
    Do Nellyphants count?

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  • The law is an censored . Which is also livestock.
  • nwallacenwallace Posts: 1,465
    Well finally found somewhere selling pedal reflectors

    http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/product-Thor ... R-4092.htm
    Do Nellyphants count?

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  • chuckcorkchuckcork Posts: 1,471
    FWIW I've just remounted my wheel reflectors and front and rear reflectors, set up my dynamo hub with a Schmidt E6 light and 2 battery LED tailghts, and for good measure added some 3 metres of Scotchbrite tape to my bike, including a few strips around the cranks to take the place of pedal reflectors.

    With my backpack and jacket having scotchlite strips also, and intending to add some to my helmet, if the buggers can't see me its because their blind or not looking (if there is any difference)
    'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that caught the cycling craze....
  • I didnt know it was illegal not to ride without reflectors, i have took mine off. I thought if you had lights it was fine, i have a friend who got pulled over by the police on his bike and they told him he had to get a rear light, he didnt have a reflector and they never said anything about it.

    So if i go out with reflective clothing and lights am i still breaking the law for not haveing a rear reflector?
  • Nick6891 wrote:
    So if i go out with reflective clothing and lights am i still breaking the law for not haveing a rear reflector?
    By the letter of the law yes. PC Smith may not be bothered (or knowledgeable enough) to pull you over for it, but a wily lawyer could raise the matter in court (if you're unfortunate to end up there).
  • jedsterjedster Posts: 2,004
    a lot of lights have built in reflectors which are BS compliant. So you don't NEED reflectors as well as those lights. That said, I agree with the other poster who said that he thought reflectors were a very effective safety feature and I don't think you can have too many.

    I have a pair of SPD pedals with a black resin cage around them which is designed to allow you to use them with normal shoes. It seems to me that shimano could have easily designed one with BS compliant reflectors - wish they had.

    I too would be very interested in any cases in which damages were reduced because a cyclist contributed by not having peda reflectors.

    J
  • cjwcjw Posts: 1,889
    jedster wrote:

    I too would be very interested in any cases in which damages were reduced because a cyclist contributed by not having peda reflectors.

    J

    Not quite what you were looking for, but you can see here the court did consider that the bike did not have the legal reflectors...
    The carbon fibre titanium bicycle was built to Howard's specifications.
    Despite its cost, the court heard it did not comply with the Highway Code because it had no reflectors on the pedals or on the back.
    Howard, who has a previous conviction and is well-known in his home town as a 'thrill-seeker', was also ordered to pay £750 in costs.

    From the case where the cyclist killed the young girl.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1032894/Parents-anguish-killer-cyclist-walks-away-just-fine.html
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  • cjw wrote:
    jedster wrote:

    I too would be very interested in any cases in which damages were reduced because a cyclist contributed by not having peda reflectors.

    J

    Not quite what you were looking for, but you can see here the court did consider that the bike did not have the legal reflectors...
    The carbon fibre titanium bicycle was built to Howard's specifications.
    Despite its cost, the court heard it did not comply with the Highway Code because it had no reflectors on the pedals or on the back.
    Howard, who has a previous conviction and is well-known in his home town as a 'thrill-seeker', was also ordered to pay £750 in costs.

    From the case where the cyclist killed the young girl.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1032894/Parents-anguish-killer-cyclist-walks-away-just-fine.html

    "the court heard" does not necessarily imply a connection with the subsequently awarded damages.

    As I said previously, the court may have heard that the guy spent £10k a year on teeth whitening, or that the guy once appeared on Top Gear. What i'm curious about is what the court acted on.
  • cjwcjw Posts: 1,889
    Agree, but the point is that the matter was raised - and in fact in that case is irrelevant as (I understand) the accident took place during daylight and so reflectors are not required.

    One can imagine however, that if a motorist knocks over a cyclist at night and subsequently found that the bike was not compliant with the law, he would argue that the cyclist was at fault. Would it work? Don't know, but you could make a pretty good case I reckon.

    PS... my bike has no rear reflector or pedal reflectors b(as it is SPD) :shock:
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  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    dondare wrote:

    When that bloke ran into the girl and knocked her over, and she died from the head injuries caused by banging her head on the kerb, it was brought up in court that his very expensive, custom-made bike did not have pedal reflectors. Presumably this was done to emphasize what a reckless person he was, in that he had deliberately had an illegal bike built to his own specifications rather than to suggest that the girl would not have died if he'd had them.

    Whats that got to do with the price of fish ? Reflectors are of no use unless there is a light source - did the girl have 100 watt eyes or something ?
  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    Nick6891 wrote:
    I didnt know it was illegal not to ride without reflectors, .....

    I don't think it is illegal not to ride, no matter whether you hve reflectors or not
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  • beverickbeverick Posts: 3,461
    cjw wrote:
    Remember that by law cycling at night (or low visibility) you must have pedal reflectors, rear reflector, front light and rear light all conforming to appropriate standards. If you don't have these and are involved in an accident, you will most likely be in the wrong.

    As far as I know, and quite bizarrely, there's no requirement for a cyclist to show lights in low visibility.

    You are well advised to do so though.

    Bob
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