Legality of flashing LEDs

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by abchandler, 14 Feb 2008.

  1. abchandler

    abchandler Senior Member

    Worcs, UK
    This letter has appeared in my local paper this week. I'm fairly certain they're talking b0||0cks, but are there any confirmed sources you know of to put them straight?

    "inadequate flashing LED' lights. These lights' that many people buy are not sufficient to do the job. Lights are meant to be permanently on, so these tiny flashing lights are very hard to see. The front white ones can often dazzle, whilst the tiny rear lights do not help the cyclists to be seen from behind."
  2. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    The author seems to be most concerned that cyclists are sufficiently lit up at night rather than making the point that flashing LEDs are illegal. A good point, some are rather pathetic, especially once the batteries start to go. In the car it is sometimes hard to see them until you are right up their arse.
  3. benjus

    benjus New Member

  4. magnatom

    magnatom Guest

    Unusually I agree with Dom here. ;) There are a lot of people that ride around with lights that are totally inadequate. I especially hate the trend in people having little yellowish flashers on the front of the bike. At night it is hard to distinguish these from reflections of off windows, cars etc. If anything I think they serve to camouflage the cyclist.

    If you can afford a bike, you can afford some decent lights!!
  5. I had a guy come around a corner (on a bike) with no lights, swear at me for my lights being to bright!!
  6. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    I have one steady (that smart falsh one) and one blinky (the ten led cateye one) on the back, theory is the blinky is eye catching and the steady allows judgement of distance

    the small blinky ones are not good enough imho

    and yes, of those that have lights, far too many have tiny and dim ones

    no excuse any more, good lights are so cheap and last so long on a set of batteries
  7. biking_fox

    biking_fox Veteran

    Front lights too bright?! Cagers worried about being dazzled. :biggrin: Pots and kettles.

    Yes many LEDs are not legal and or insiginfiicant. However it is perfectly possible to have legal flashing LEDs as stated above.

    There is no doubt in my anecdotal experiance that a bright flasher is better in getting you noticed than an equally bright static light. But Either have to be sufficiently bright.

    Don't stint the batteries. When they start dimming swop them out for fully charged ones. Re-use the partials in your radio, re-charge them whatever you like, but keep your bike lights bright! Is an extra couple of pence worth your life?
  8. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    too many cyclists have their front light badly aligned, they're not supposed to be pointed at drivers eyes, some of those really bright lights are dangerous if used like that

    they seem to think oncoming traffic flashing their lights is some sort of sign of success
  9. Jaded

    Jaded New Member

    "I am not anti-cyclist as I have cycled to work myself"

    Come on, stupid! Wobbling about on 'Cycle to Work Day' once in 10 years is not cycling to work! :biggrin::biggrin:
  10. swee'pea99

    swee'pea99 Legendary Member

    "Lights are meant to be permanently on" Um...sez who? Lights are meant either to let you see ahead or - as in the case of purely urban cyclists like me - to make sure you're seen. In my view - and experience - for being seen, a good flasher beats a good steady any day of the week. (And your batteries last ten times as long - which is one of the reasons Police cyclists almost always use 'em.)
  11. Kirst

    Kirst Well-Known Member

    Yes, it's all about motorists' guilt isn't it?
  12. As I understand it, prior to 2005 lights were required to be constant rather than flashing, but the law was changed.
  13. killiekosmos

    killiekosmos Über Member

    I go for belt and braces technique. I have a steady bright red light mounted on my rack bag, a flashing LED mounted below the rack (got it in Poundland - guess what it cost) on the rear wheel I'de got an Every Ready red light which clamps to the spokes (Poundland....) Up front a bright white lamp and a flashing yellow LED (Poundland), then I put on my high viz Yellow Jacket. Occasionaly low flying aircraft think I'm showing the approach to Prestwick Airport.
  14. frog

    frog Guest

    It's a rare night I don't get passed by at least three police cars on the way home. I've had flashing lights on the bike all that time and never been pulled once.

    The town on my route has an evening fair twice a year and I have to ask the police who man the road blocks at each end if I can pass through. The last twice I've been complimented on my lights - which are flashing away like mad.

    The past two years the Berks, Beds and Bucks police have had a blitz on unlit cyclists - I wasn't pulled.
  15. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    flashing lights are now legal, this has been done so many times

    some nonsense about them being capable of a steady light, lord knows why
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