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cycling without rear light

ram038ram038 Posts: 187
edited November 2009 in Commuting chat
Is it illegal. i forgot to put my rear light back on the commute bike this morning. i need to cycle to the station tonight worried that I could be stopped by the police.

Posts

  • il_principeil_principe Posts: 9,152
    ram038 wrote:
    Is it illegal. i forgot to put my rear light back on the commute bike this morning. i need to cycle to the station tonight worried that I could be stopped by the police.

    Unlikely.
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  • Wallace1492Wallace1492 Posts: 3,707
    I think you need a front and back light in the hours of darkness, and a rear reflector.
    Do you feel lucky? Well do ya punk?
    "Encyclopaedia is a fetish for very small bicycles"
  • OnanOnan Posts: 321
    It is illegal, but I doubt you'll get stopped.

    Not a good idea to cycle without a rear light though. Can't you borrow something, or pick something up to fill in? Even supermarkets sell bike lights nowadays.
    Drink poison. Wrestle snakes.
  • FeynmanCFeynmanC Posts: 649
    It's not the police i'd be worried about - it's the car ramming me up my unmentionables :shock:

    How well lit is the area you're riding in and how much reflective clothing do you have to mitigate the lack of light you're emitting?
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  • biondinobiondino Posts: 5,990
    Totally buy a £4 light from a supermarket, esp one that say clips to a bag or jeans or whatever so you don't need to waste time fitting a bracket.

    It's funny though, not once in my riding have I seen a tool riding without lights get ploughed into by a car. Maybe we're more visible than we think?
  • El CapitanoEl Capitano Posts: 6,401
    biondino wrote:
    Totally buy a £4 light from a supermarket, esp one that say clips to a bag or jeans or whatever so you don't need to waste time fitting a bracket.

    This.

    TBH, I'm far too cautious when riding at night or in the dark. I currently have 4 of those reflective straps with the leds inside strapped to my back-pack. 2 rear lights on the bike, one on my helmet.
  • Just use your mobile phone as you ride along- this will guarantee that the plod don't stop you. And don't indicate either.
  • biondino wrote:
    Totally buy a £4 light from a supermarket, esp one that say clips to a bag or jeans or whatever so you don't need to waste time fitting a bracket.

    It's funny though, not once in my riding have I seen a tool riding without lights get ploughed into by a car. Maybe we're more visible than we think?
    I read somewhere* that only 25% of collisions at night were from the rear. Apparently, rear reflectors work well because that's the one situation where a car's headlight beams are pointing at the reflectors as it closes on the bike - there is plenty of time for the driver to spot and track the bike's rear reflectors.

    Not surprisingly, the study strongly recommended the use of front lights on bikes - front and side reflectors are not as effective.

    * http://www.sheldonbrown.com/reflectors.html
  • biondino wrote:

    It's funny though, not once in my riding have I seen a tool riding without lights get ploughed into by a car. Maybe we're more visible than we think?

    I once got caught out later than intended and had to cycle without lights for about 3 miles on well lit streets knowing that I might be hard to see and rode accordingly (not that I make any excuses or recommendations). There was hardly any traffic about but the driver who was stopped before entering from the first turning off the roundabout at which I was turning right saw me with no bother, to judge by the light flashing etc which continued after he had passed me after we left the roundabout.

    Clearly I had been the sole focus of this guy's attention for 20 seconds or more (quite a long time in driving terms) and probably the subject of conversation in the car for longer still. I'm sure that if I had been carrying lights and his wife had asked on arrival at home how many cyclists he had passed I'm sure the answer would have been "I don't think I saw any".
  • sicknotesicknote Posts: 901
    When to look at a job tonight and was surprised to see a few people without any lights at all :shock: :shock:

    Its not as if they have to cost a lot.
  • 16641664 Posts: 25
    ram038 wrote:
    Is it illegal. i forgot to put my rear light back on the commute bike this morning. i need to cycle to the station tonight worried that I could be stopped by the police.

    just cycle on the pavement...you are unlikely to get mowed down by a passing pedestrian from behind
  • richkrichk Posts: 564
    I keep a spare back light (£3.30 Tesco) in my desk just in case the other three decide to die or the one that gets left on the bike (it's a pig to remove) gets nicked.

    I'm thinking I should also have a "spare" front (anything being better than nothing).
    There is no secret ingredient...
  • wgwarburtonwgwarburton Posts: 1,863
    biondino wrote:
    Totally buy a £4 light from a supermarket, esp one that say clips to a bag or jeans or whatever so you don't need to waste time fitting a bracket.
    +1
    It's funny though, not once in my riding have I seen a tool riding without lights get ploughed into by a car. Maybe we're more visible than we think?

    Remember... cycling isn't dangerous....

    It's not a good idea to ride without lights- you're hardly giving drivers a fair chance- but lots of people seem to do it and most of them don't seem to die.

    Cheers,
    W.
  • EC2boyEC2boy Posts: 37
    City Police just sent me a flyer saying they are going to be proactively going after anyone without properly functioning lights and planning evening swoops on junctions, the same way they do for red lights...
  • RichK wrote:
    I keep a spare back light (£3.30 Tesco) in my desk just in case the other three decide to die or the one that gets left on the bike (it's a pig to remove) gets nicked.

    I'm thinking I should also have a "spare" front (anything being better than nothing).
    Personally, if I had to choose, I would carry a spare front light. Rear reflectors work fairly well.
  • I have spares on the bike:

    - front and rear "wrap on" tiny LED lights from Tescos. No bracket required, and they work great as emergency lights
    - spare rear mounted on mudguard
    - LED on front
    - Cateye spare headunit on front

    This is in addition to the main front and rear lights.

    I am the human Christmas tree - and I still seem to get more than my fair share of near misses from numpty drivers who don't see me. And I'm not cycling like a d!ck either.
    Commute: Langster -Singlecross - Brompton S2-LX

    Road: 95 Trek 5500 -Look 695 Aerolight eTap - Boardman TTe eTap

    Offroad: Pace RC200 - Dawes Kickback 2 tandem - Tricross - Boardman CXR9.8 - Ridley x-fire
  • ram038ram038 Posts: 187
    i made it home last night without incident. The journey brought to my attention the number of cyclist who don't have any lights or paltry little ones that don't register and they wear dark clothes. Really can't understand why they take such a risk on the streets in Central London. I at leat was wearing a hiViz jacket, white helmat and reflective strips on my pannier. Still felt vunerable though..
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Should you really be allowed out on a bike if you have to ask about the legality of riding without a rear light after dark ??
  • vorsprungvorsprung Posts: 1,953
    cougie wrote:
    Should you really be allowed out on a bike if you have to ask about the legality of riding without a rear light after dark ??

    So many other people do it without any apparent problem that one might reasonably assume that it is allowed under law

    I would reject it as a reasonable course of action on safety grounds meself.
  • will3will3 Posts: 2,173
    cougie wrote:
    Should you really be allowed out on a bike if you have to ask about the legality of riding without a rear light after dark ??

    Seems you're allowed to drive a car without only a sketchy understanding of the highway code, so why not?
  • pintoopintoo Posts: 145
    I saw a cyclist get pulled by a cop on London Bridge for not having any working lights just yesterday.

    Chances of getting pulled are slim, but for safety's sake, a rear light is important at this time of year.

    You could get one these types of lights from your LBS: http://www.wiggle.co.uk/p/cycle/7/Catey ... 360009454/ to keep for emergencies. I keep one attached to my helmet.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Even if it WERE legal to have no lights - you'd be a loon to ride like that.

    I'm still stunned that an adult asks the question though.
  • downfaderdownfader Posts: 3,686
    My local sainsburys had rear lights for 99p the other week... :)
  • sicknotesicknote Posts: 901
    pintoo wrote:
    I saw a cyclist get pulled by a cop on London Bridge for not having any working lights just yesterday.

    Chances of getting pulled are slim, but for safety's sake, a rear light is important at this time of year.

    You could get one these types of lights from your LBS: http://www.wiggle.co.uk/p/cycle/7/Catey ... 360009454/ to keep for emergencies. I keep one attached to my helmet.

    You can get a red and white one of these from Tesco's for half the price :wink:

    I have the white one on my helmet and two rad ones on my backpack, on the zipps.
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