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Cycle without lights? - Beware

wac100wac100 Posts: 20
edited March 2012 in Commuting general
Hi all, for those of you daft enough to do so, it was announced today by the South Yorkshire Police on the local radio station Hallam FM, that you pose a nuisance to other road users and may soon feel the long arm of the law upon you. They are going to be stepping up patrols in the Doncaster and Barnsley areas and if caught you will be issued with a fixed penalty notice.
Personally I don't cycle without lights and can't understand those that do, just too risky.
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  • ChrisszChrissz Posts: 727
    They also gonna be nicking all the drivers with headlights out or just cyclists? :)
  • thistle_thistle_ Posts: 6,180
    "A nuisance to other road users" not heard that one before :mrgreen:
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,756
    Will they be stopping motorists with fog lights one when the visibility isn't restricted as well?

    Simon
  • shouldbeinbedshouldbeinbed Posts: 2,660
    edited February 2012
    wac100 wrote:
    Hi all, for those of you daft enough to do so, it was announced today by the South Yorkshire Police on the local radio station Hallam FM, that you pose a nuisance to other road users and may soon feel the long arm of the law upon you. They are going to be stepping up patrols in the Doncaster and Barnsley areas and if caught you will be issued with a fixed penalty notice.
    Personally I don't cycle without lights and can't understand those that do, just too risky.

    good point and totally agree but you are singing to the choir here. the sort of wannabe organ donor that cycles without the basics isn't the sort to be looking on here.


    as to the digs at cars, again agree but we should get our own house in order regardless of the sins of others

    (edit typo)
  • chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
    I'm currently running two sets of front lights!

    one less powerful for about town where there are street lights and one more powerful for those dark country roads! so think i've got myself covered :)
    www.conjunctivitis.com - a site for sore eyes
  • I've gotten Night Eyz by Cat Eye, these are little lights you wedge into your spokes, I got the orange-coloured kinds, I also taped a back light on because so often clipons pop off, I'll bet most cyclists have experienced having a light pop off. I'm riding rather cautiously now. Those spoke lights really get noticed by people. I don't think a lot of people have seen them.
  • dav1dav1 Posts: 1,298
    Good, Hopefully they will do this in other areas snd sort oput the RLJers whilst they are at it.

    I (propably like everyone else) am sick of being labled an invisible, RLJing menace by those who have never seen me ride. Hopefully a crackdown will improve things.
    Giant TCR advanced 2 (Summer/race)
    Merlin single malt fixie (Commuter/winter/training)
    Trek superfly 7 (Summer XC)
    Giant Yukon singlespeed conversion (winter MTB/Ice/snow)

    Carrera virtuoso - RIP
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 12,998
    Will they be stopping motorists with fog lights one when the visibility isn't restricted as well?

    Simon
    :lol: Yeah right!

    I was the first to stop at a red light the other night when a car pulled up in the lane next to me with it's fog lights on. The driver was a 'respectable' looking middle aged bloke so I leant down, signalled towards the front of his car, he wound the window down and I told him his fog lights were on. (It was dark, but crystal clear).

    He said "Yes, I know", gave me a funny look and wound his window back up.

    As for the people driving round with no lights on at all..... :roll: I see more of them every time I ride in the dark than I do unlit cyclists, and a large minority of drivers onyl use their sidelights when it's dark, or have faulty head/tail/brake/indicator lights.
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • I was once in a car on a low lit residential street at night, rider right in front of us and no lights, it was amazing to me how invisible he was, I felt like saying "you're really asking for it". I've also seen a bike with no lights on run right through an intersection and traffic light and the car coming up adjacently honked at him, I mean even I've had second thoughts from time to time the way a cyclist could be broadsided absolutely by a car riding like that. Kind of scary.
  • YacobyYacoby Posts: 211
    There is no way riding without lights is a sane idea and while I disagree with the wording of the announcement getting people to use lights when cycling is a good idea.

    (I also know someone who has been cautioned for using fog lights)
  • LowrideLowride Posts: 214
    Anybody without lights deserves to be knocked off. Every single morning when I'm on earlies I see at least five cyclists on the road with no lights. I have no idea what goes through their minds when they jump on that bike each morning. Probably nothing because they are so stupid
    ________________
    Specialized til I die
  • thistle_thistle_ Posts: 6,180
    Let's not forget those with really censored lights as well as no lights.

    I've often driven (and a couple of times have ridden) past cyclists on unlit roads with lights so poor that they can barely be seen.
    Luckily their bikes usually have reflectors on the pedals which are easier to spot than their lights.
  • denzzz28denzzz28 Posts: 315
    I have a commuter/tourer bike complete with 2 front lights, 2 rear lights and reflectors on my twin pannier bags. I also have lights on my helmets (rear and front). i use all this lights when im commuting to work normally very early in the morning and just after 6pm both of which is normally dark times.

    However, i have another bike which i use as my weekend warrior, training and sportive bike. A sort of bike which will look silly if you put lights on. can you imagine Mark Cavendish on his nice bike with lights on??? when i do my training i normally go very early in the morning (still dark) so ill be back at home by lunch time.

    my dilemma is what if i was out on my early sunday ride and the police decides to stop me because i dont have a light? would i get a fine every time i go for my weekend ride?
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 12,998
    Troll?

    Yes, it's dark, put lights on.
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • denzzz28 wrote:
    I have a commuter/tourer bike complete with 2 front lights, 2 rear lights and reflectors on my twin pannier bags. I also have lights on my helmets (rear and front). i use all this lights when im commuting to work normally very early in the morning and just after 6pm both of which is normally dark times.

    However, i have another bike which i use as my weekend warrior, training and sportive bike. A sort of bike which will look silly if you put lights on. can you imagine Mark Cavendish on his nice bike with lights on??? when i do my training i normally go very early in the morning (still dark) so ill be back at home by lunch time.

    my dilemma is what if i was out on my early sunday ride and the police decides to stop me because i dont have a light? would i get a fine every time i go for my weekend ride?


    a) you're not Mark Cavendish
    b) I bet he uses lights when he trains in the dark
    <a>road</a>
  • Daz555Daz555 Posts: 3,976
    I ride on a lot of cycle path on my commute so lights are not that important in terms of my own personal safety from traffuc. I still use them however.

    The biggest hazard I find on some sheltered cycle paths is pedestrians - they loom out of the dark like stealth ninjas.
    You only need two tools: WD40 and Duck Tape.
    If it doesn't move and should, use the WD40.
    If it shouldn't move and does, use the tape.
  • I know a guy who was fined for not having lights on whilst riding in the dark, daft thing is, he complained about it afterwards :x

    I know its off topic, but is having a bell on your bike a legal requirement?
  • denzzz28 wrote:
    However, i have another bike which i use as my weekend warrior, training and sportive bike. A sort of bike which will look silly if you put lights on. can you imagine Mark Cavendish on his nice bike with lights on??? when i do my training i normally go very early in the morning (still dark) so ill be back at home by lunch time.

    my dilemma is what if i was out on my early sunday ride and the police decides to stop me because i dont have a light? would i get a fine every time i go for my weekend ride?

    That's a bizarre outlook, man. You go out dressed like Dynamo in the movie The Running Man (featuring the butcher of bakersfield :) ) and yet you refuse to put lights on your other bike because it wouldn't be very cool?

    That's mad.
    Daz555 wrote:
    I ride on a lot of cycle path on my commute so lights are not that important in terms of my own personal safety from traffuc. I still use them however.

    The biggest hazard I find on some sheltered cycle paths is pedestrians - they loom out of the dark like stealth ninjas.

    I ride the cycle paths all winter in the pitch black and have never found a problem. But I've started commuting on them, and just as it' starting to get dark you see everyone walking their dogs, and even sometimes when it's kinda light still, it's hard to see them. And it makes you thin when that could be a cyclist approaching at speed. There's a fair possibility of not seeing them until it's too late. You generally only think about lights in relation to cars.

    I'm a good boy though and keep my lights on, so hopefully they'll see me first...
  • I know its off topic, but is having a bell on your bike a legal requirement?

    I think it's a legal requirement to sell a bike with a bell on.

    Not sure about riding it. I think that's up to your own discretion.
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 12,998
    I know its off topic, but is having a bell on your bike a legal requirement?

    I think it's a legal requirement to sell a bike with a bell on.

    Not sure about riding it. I think that's up to your own discretion.
    Yep. They have to sel complete bikes with bells, but you can take it off straight away. Halfords didn't even bother putting it on when I bought my CX, they just said "you're going to take it straight off aren't you" and gave it to me in the bag with the reciepts and manuals.

    I don't see the need for a bell, people in cars can't hear them in an 'emergency', and a polite "excuse me" or "morning" works when dealing with peds.
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • mrtukmrtuk Posts: 75
    bails87 wrote:
    I don't see the need for a bell, people in cars can't hear them in an 'emergency', and a polite "excuse me" or "morning" works when dealing with peds.

    In those circumstances I'd agree a bell's not that useful. Have seen cases though where cyclists are moving up the cycle lane inside of stationary traffic, and ringing bell in that circumstance is useful as it warns peds that even though the cars are stationary they need to look before crossing.
  • rickyriderrickyrider Posts: 294
    mrtuk wrote:
    bails87 wrote:
    I don't see the need for a bell, people in cars can't hear them in an 'emergency', and a polite "excuse me" or "morning" works when dealing with peds.

    In those circumstances I'd agree a bell's not that useful. Have seen cases though where cyclists are moving up the cycle lane inside of stationary traffic, and ringing bell in that circumstance is useful as it warns peds that even though the cars are stationary they need to look before crossing.

    I agree that often a bell isn't that necessary, but if you commute along an 8 mile stretch of the GU canal towpath as I do, I can assure you that a bell is a damn useful bit of kit. A quick 'ting' from 25 yards back does wonders in keeping the path clear ahead of you and is also v handy when passing other cyclists
  • I find a bell useful on railway paths in particular. Like you say, from 25 yards away it's a polite call to let people know you're coming. The other options are to shout (which is a bit aggressive for my liking), or scaring the life out of them as you whisper 'excuse me' right behind their ear. There's some middle ground obviously....but the humble bell's useful.
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 12,998
    Fair do's, I only ride my road/commute bike on the road, so almost all of my 'encounters' are with cars.
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • mouthmouth Posts: 1,195
    I make no secret of the fact that I'm a bus driver by trade and as a consequence I spend a lot of time on the road. It's incredible the amount of cyclists I see without lights. A lot of it is the expected kids on bmx's doing stupid stuff as per usual but the big surprise is the amount of mature/responsible looking cyclists who seem to not bother with the lights. If you've got £500 for a Spesh or a Trek, then you've got £30 for some basic lights. Riding without them is pure stupidity. When I cycle I sometimes use mine even in the daytime for hazard awareness.

    Credit where it's due though - I was at the top of a long hill on a bus the other day (circa 1 mile) and in the distance I could see a bike light flashing. Couldn't believe how far away it was. I was almost tempted to stop the guy and ask what light it was when we passed.
    The only disability in life is a poor attitude.
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 12,998
    I was very impressed when I was driving and saw a guy with a Smart R2 on the rear. I saw it reflecting off the road, underneath the car in front of me, before I could actually see the bike. If I didn't have my magicshine I'd be getting one of those.
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • corshamjimcorshamjim Posts: 234
    How about fitting some of these? :D

    http://www.revolights.com/
  • They took quite a serious stand on cycling without lights here. I was stopped during the day by a cop who asked why I didn't have any fitted and if I planned to ride later in the evening. I'd put them in my bag due to have my previous set stolen and told him I'd fit them when they were needed, which seemed to satisfy him as he soon sped off into the distance. There's no way I'd ride at night without any lights. You don't have to coat yourself in bright reflective jackets, armbands or sashes if you don't want to, but having lights is the bloomin' least you could do.
  • simon_esimon_e Posts: 1,697
    You don't have to coat yourself in bright reflective jackets, armbands or sashes if you don't want to, but having lights is the bloomin' least you could do.
    Reasonable lights* are much more effective than any of those things, especially when you're riding among other vehicles, the intensity of whose lights can mean those in side roads etc don't notice the tiny pimple of illumination on the front of your bike. I don't know if it's true but I feel that the brighter my lights the more other road users will take me seriously as a presence on the road.

    * I don't mean those useless £3 sets of blinkies some people have. They should be banned.
    Aspire not to have more, but to be more.
  • I know what you mean about those little flashy things. I had my lights stolen as I was in Tesco (Should have taken them off, I know) and they were pretty good. I went back into Tesco and bought a front and rear light set for £7 and they were awful. The front light was a lime green flashy number that could only have been visible from about 2ft away, while the rear light was almost pink. They conked out when I rode over cobbles and by the time I got home they were broken and wet inside. The next day I bought a proper set of lights ... and stopped by Tesco to get a refund :P
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