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Law on lighting

Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics and Repairs' started by Graham1, 18 Jun 2008.

  1. Can anybody tell me what the law is on flashing rear lights?
     
  2. Yorkshireman

    Yorkshireman New Member

    Info here
    http://www.ctc.org.uk/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabID=4071
    I think that as long as they're red no one will bother much;).
     
  3. Mister Paul

    Mister Paul Honky

    Location:
    North Somerset
    The law doesn't match reality.

    The reality is that as long as you have some kind of decent red light(s) on the back of your bike, you'll get seen and the police will be happy.

    There's the oft-quoted claim that if you aren't using approved lights then you'll get problems if insurance companies get involved re claims, but I've never heard of an example of this occuring.
     
  4. 4F

    4F Active member of Helmets Are Sh*t Lobby

    Location:
    Suffolk.

    Now this is why I like my old 1970's dawes road bike :biggrin:

    Pedal Reflectors

    Four are required, coloured amber and marked BS6102/2 (or equivalent), positioned so that one is plainly visible to the front and another to the rear of each pedal.
    Exceptions and explanations

    Age brings privileges. To name but two: cycles manufactured before October 1990 can have any kind of white front lamp that is visible from a reasonable distance, and pre-October 1985 cycles don’t need pedal reflectors. :biggrin::biggrin::biggrin::biggrin:
     
  5. Yorkshireman

    Yorkshireman New Member

    :biggrin:

    (Sorry for messing your quote FFFF;)).
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Graham1

    Graham1 Active Member

    I have Shimano 520 pedals how do I fit reflectors to them and if so where can they be purchased?
     
  7. marinyork

    marinyork Resting in suspended Animation

    Location:
    Logopolis
    I have the same problem graham. Tbh I wouldn't bother getting any unless someone can come up with a very cheap link. I've done various field tests at night in a pitch black park and basically amber reflectives are so bad they are even worse than the freebie white spoke reflectors which you can just dimly see. If you compare the retroreflectives of size such as a sam brown belt or even full jacket or even the ankle retros they all stand out like a lit up christmas tree in comparison (still not brill in pitch black but you can see). I'd spend the money on some retro reflectives or a beefier back light/second back light.

    edit: that post sounded somewhat like I'm recommending just wearing bright or retros and no lights like some people do, I'm certainly not advocating that.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Graham1

    Graham1 Active Member

    I am a lorry driver so no shortage of high vis vests for nought, haven't ridden a bike for years and just checking to make sure I get it right as I see no end of cyclists with very poor lighting and no high vis and then they wonder why a lot of drivers don't see them until the last minute.
     
  9. marinyork

    marinyork Resting in suspended Animation

    Location:
    Logopolis
    Well fair enough. From a non-legal perspective I think the ambers are a waste of time, most of this is due to their size :biggrin:. In pitch black they're less usefull than anything else deployed and in non-clean light conditions they become invisible.

    Also legally, on your body - rucksack, belt, neck you can attach whatever flashing, reflective or whatever items to you. Personally I think the 2nd light approach positioned to get vertical/horizontal coverage like is mimicked on many modern vehicles is the way to go.
     
  10. numbnuts

    numbnuts Guru

    Location:
    North Baddesley
    I have a blue flashing rear light I kid you not they were sold in Argos as "rear bicycle light" up to now I’ve never been stopped, but it scares the shoot out of motorists :biggrin:
     
  11. Cycling Naturalist

    Cycling Naturalist Legendary Member

    Location:
    Llangollen
    It's the sort of point that an insurance company might raise, but as long as the lighting was better than the approved one, it would get very short shrift from a judge. You don't have to be a judge for very long to become very cynical about the, "He couldn't have been there because I didn't see him" argument.
     
  12. Mister Paul

    Mister Paul Honky

    Location:
    North Somerset
    I disagree. I don't think that they are ineffective because they are small, I think that they are effective because they are constantly moving.

    They're not as reflective as the back of my shoes, but I think that they can be seen.
     
  13. marinyork

    marinyork Resting in suspended Animation

    Location:
    Logopolis
    If you get something light based like a headlight connecting with them in clean light conditions then they show up certainly (as long as you keep them clean) but my question on this aspect is how useful are they? I live in an urban environment where there's a lot of light pollution and sodium light bouncing off things all over the place and under such conditions I've seen them many times on other peoples bikes, they're virtually invisible. In clean light with the contrast they are visible but at what sort of distance are we talking about, 30 yards, 50 yards, 100 yards? In such conditions with a straightish road with someone hurtling along at 60mph I believe you could probably see someone from about half a mile away+ with elaborate set ups. With the amber pedals it might reinforce a weak spotting of a cyclist. I can see where the theory of the amber moving pedals being good comes in, just doesn't seem to work out that well in practice and much better set ups have taken over some of their function. Now low level single LED in a pedal right next to the amber...

    Like I said much to my surprise when fooling around in a park at night some years ago I discovered the cheapy spoke ones were more visible in pure conditions (they all failed miserably without a light source as you'd expect). I wouldn't argue against red rear reflectors though as they are often positioned near the lights and reinforce things.

    P.S. If anyone can suggest a link for the attachable pedal ambers I would consider buying them dependent on price, just I have most of the other kit I deem necessary for country lanes so it's not a high priority.
     
  14. ASC1951

    ASC1951 Guru

    Location:
    Yorkshire
    IME, once you have the big red flashing LED strip, the second most visible item is a clean reflective band on each ankle. The apparent up and down movement makes them stand out far better.
     
  15. Mister Paul

    Mister Paul Honky

    Location:
    North Somerset
    I drove through Reading last night at around 11.15. Came up behind a bloke on an MTB, dressed in black, with no lights. All you could see was his pedal reflectors, flashing away nicely with each rotation.