Bike lights when on the pavement.

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
User avatar
Mick F
Spambuster
Posts: 43592
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Tamar Valley, Cornwall

Bike lights when on the pavement.

Postby Mick F » 6 Nov 2018, 4:05pm

I know we've had loads of discussion regarding the legality or otherwise of riding a bike on the pavement.

Saw a chap recently riding along in the dark on the pavement with no lights.
Not talking about shared use here, just a pedestrian pavement/footway alongside a normal road.

What's the legality of this?
Riding on the road between sunset and sunrise requires lights front and rear and also pedal reflectors by law.
What about on the pavement ................. notwithstanding the legality of being there in the first place?
Mick F. Cornwall

Bez
Posts: 1116
Joined: 10 Feb 2015, 10:41am
Contact:

Re: Bike lights when on the pavement.

Postby Bez » 6 Nov 2018, 4:07pm

AFAIK: Rules apply to the highway, which includes the pavement, so they’re required.

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 11483
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: Bike lights when on the pavement.

Postby mjr » 6 Nov 2018, 4:18pm

Bez wrote:AFAIK: Rules apply to the highway, which includes the pavement, so they’re required.

That's correct. Here's a fuller answer which I posted elsewhere in reply to a similar question:

In short, the law says one should have legal front and rear position lights of 4 candela (about 50 lumens) flashing or BS or K-marked or equivalent, even on "a segregated cycle path", even on a restricted byway or bridleway. In practice, if you have any non-dazzling lights, I think you'll almost certainly not get stopped and fined even in a police crackdown - it probably wouldn't be in the public interest to treat slightly-insufficient-under-law lights the same as no lights, else people would decide they might as well save the money and not buy the widespread-but-insufficient lights in the shops.

The most relevant law is the Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989 but it's been amended lots, as listed on the recently-updated http://www.cyclinguk.org/cyclists-libra ... egulations

It's applied by s81 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 to "the use on roads of cycles" and "road" is defined in s192 as "any highway and any other road to which the public has access, and includes bridges over which a road passes," which includes all sorts of highways, carriageways, cycleways, footways and so on. When a Road Traffic Act provision doesn't apply to bridleways and footpaths, it says so specifically, such as s22A - and some other parts of that Act cover only cycle tracks, so I'm pretty sure the law includes them as roads.

http://highwaycode.info/rule/60 might not give specific instructions for it, but it also doesn't give specific instructions for any other sort of road, so it applies to all of them!
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

User avatar
Mick F
Spambuster
Posts: 43592
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Tamar Valley, Cornwall

Re: Bike lights when on the pavement.

Postby Mick F » 6 Nov 2018, 4:35pm

Thanks for the replies.
Good info there!

I wonder though, if you are a cyclist riding your "carriage" on the footway, you are already riding in an incorrect place.
Does it matter that you have no lights? Pedestrians pushing a pram wouldn't have lights.
Mick F. Cornwall

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 11483
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: Bike lights when on the pavement.

Postby mjr » 6 Nov 2018, 5:33pm

Mick F wrote:I wonder though, if you are a cyclist riding your "carriage" on the footway, you are already riding in an incorrect place.
Does it matter that you have no lights? Pedestrians pushing a pram wouldn't have lights.

It depends: would you rather one fine (cycling on the footway) or two (also incorrect lighting)?

I think pedestrians pushing a pram aren't driving a carriage (despite some places calling them "baby carriages") and I think pedestrians driving animals or pushing a bike aren't required to have lights, but I could be wrong because I've not gone looking it up.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

Bez
Posts: 1116
Joined: 10 Feb 2015, 10:41am
Contact:

Re: Bike lights when on the pavement.

Postby Bez » 6 Nov 2018, 5:51pm

It matters that you have no lights. Partly in the pragmatic sense that people on foot are less able to see you approaching, but also (as above) because they’re separate offences. If you’re driving on a public highway without a licence, does it also matter if you have four bald tyres, you’re drunk and you’re exceeding the speed limit? Clearly, yes. And there is no legislation prohibiting the use of an unlit pram.

jgurney
Posts: 491
Joined: 10 May 2009, 8:34am

Re: Bike lights when on the pavement.

Postby jgurney » 6 Nov 2018, 5:54pm

mjr wrote:
Mick F wrote:Pedestrians pushing a pram wouldn't have lights.


I think pedestrians pushing a pram aren't driving a carriage.. and I think pedestrians driving animals or pushing a bike aren't required to have lights.


Yes, a pram is an accompaniment of a pedestrian, not a carriage, so needs no lights. Neither does a bike being pushed by a pedestrian, or a dog accompanying a pedestrian. However IIRC herders are supposed to carry lamps at night, one in front of the herd and one behind.

I can speak from experience re the difficulty of seeing black cattle in a dark lane. The ones I met had escaped and so were unlit. I managed to avoid colliding with them, but my rear wheel slipped in some of their exhaust and I fell into some more.

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 11483
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: Bike lights when on the pavement.

Postby mjr » 6 Nov 2018, 6:09pm

jgurney wrote:I managed to avoid colliding with them, but my rear wheel slipped in some of their exhaust and I fell into some more.

Oh no! That's [inappropriate word removed] for you!
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 11483
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: Bike lights when on the pavement.

Postby mjr » 6 Nov 2018, 6:11pm

jgurney wrote:
mjr wrote:.. and I think pedestrians driving animals or pushing a bike aren't required to have lights.
However IIRC herders are supposed to carry lamps at night, one in front of the herd and one behind.

More seriously, it's in http://highwaycode.info/rule/58 but it's not a "MUST" so I suspect it's not a legal requirement and therefore we're both correct ;-)
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

rmurphy195
Posts: 1233
Joined: 20 May 2011, 11:23am
Location: South Birmingham

Re: Bike lights when on the pavement.

Postby rmurphy195 » 6 Nov 2018, 10:01pm

Mick F wrote:Thanks for the replies.
Good info there!

I wonder though, if you are a cyclist riding your "carriage" on the footway, you are already riding in an incorrect place.
Does it matter that you have no lights? Pedestrians pushing a pram wouldn't have lights.


Pedestrians using a pram are likley to be going more slowly than a bike, with better stopping (i.e. stop walking, thats it!).

Quite important when vehicles are reversing out of driveways, for example- I do so veeery slowly, looking both ways, stopping frequently. Next door's hedge blocks my view in one direction so part of the vehicle is across the footway before I can even see who or what is coming. Someone belting down there (I'm on a hill) at the best of times can be tricky, at night with no lights, and/or when I'm just glancing in the opposite direction - well ...
Scott Purgatory MTB, Brompton, Condor Heritage, creaky joints and grey hair
""You know you're getting old when it's easier to ride a bike than to get on and off it" - quote from observant jogger !

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 11483
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: Bike lights when on the pavement.

Postby mjr » 6 Nov 2018, 10:25pm

rmurphy195 wrote:Quite important when vehicles are reversing out of driveways, for example- I do so veeery slowly, looking both ways, stopping frequently. Next door's hedge blocks my view in one direction so part of the vehicle is across the footway before I can even see who or what is coming. Someone belting down there (I'm on a hill) at the best of times can be tricky, at night with no lights, and/or when I'm just glancing in the opposite direction - well ...

One should reverse into driveways and exit in forwards gear. http://highwaycode.info/rule/201
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

User avatar
bovlomov
Posts: 3326
Joined: 5 Apr 2007, 7:45am
Contact:

Re: Bike lights when on the pavement.

Postby bovlomov » 6 Nov 2018, 11:11pm

On the rare occasions I ride on the pavement after dark, I have wondered whether it's best to keep to the left pavement, as a front light on the wrong side of the road might confuse oncoming drivers, and potentially cause an accident.

User avatar
[XAP]Bob
Posts: 16697
Joined: 26 Sep 2008, 4:12pm

Re: Bike lights when on the pavement.

Postby [XAP]Bob » 7 Nov 2018, 7:43am

mjr wrote:
rmurphy195 wrote:Quite important when vehicles are reversing out of driveways, for example- I do so veeery slowly, looking both ways, stopping frequently. Next door's hedge blocks my view in one direction so part of the vehicle is across the footway before I can even see who or what is coming. Someone belting down there (I'm on a hill) at the best of times can be tricky, at night with no lights, and/or when I'm just glancing in the opposite direction - well ...

One should reverse into driveways and exit in forwards gear. http://highwaycode.info/rule/201


Aluough if there is a hedge to one side it likely makes no difference - and sometimes there are good reasons to go in forwards... (we’ve been through this before elsewhere)
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

User avatar
Mick F
Spambuster
Posts: 43592
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Tamar Valley, Cornwall

Re: Bike lights when on the pavement.

Postby Mick F » 7 Nov 2018, 9:00am

bovlomov wrote:On the rare occasions I ride on the pavement after dark, I have wondered whether it's best to keep to the left pavement, as a front light on the wrong side of the road might confuse oncoming drivers, and potentially cause an accident.
This is my main complaint about bike lanes on the "wrong" side of the road.

Don't get me onto the subject of cars parking the wrong way round at night either!
Mick F. Cornwall

Bez
Posts: 1116
Joined: 10 Feb 2015, 10:41am
Contact:

Re: Bike lights when on the pavement.

Postby Bez » 7 Nov 2018, 1:40pm

What baffles me is that round my way there seem to be quite a few people who know they’re supposed to use parking lights on unlit roads, but they *all* seem to think they’re supposed to illuminate the side nearest the verge.