Cycle lights regulations in France, Belgium and Netherlands

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PAB855
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Cycle lights regulations in France, Belgium and Netherlands

Postby PAB855 » 9 May 2019, 7:47pm

I have read conflicting reports about the use of flashing lights on the continent.

Can anyone clarify what is allowed and what is not allowed in these three countries. The battery life of a rechargeable light can be so much more on flashing mode that it makes the choice of lights of a decent brightness in daylight much simpler and cheaper.

The need for lights in daylight is because they will be on a recumbent trike. See and be seen.

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doodah
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Re: Cycle lights regulations in France, Belgium and Netherlands

Postby doodah » 9 May 2019, 8:20pm

How about a penny farthing recumbent?
Certainly will see and definitely will be seen :)

Thehairs1970
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Re: Cycle lights regulations in France, Belgium and Netherlands

Postby Thehairs1970 » 9 May 2019, 9:08pm

Not had a problem in France or Netherlands. I don't think flashing lights are legal in the U.K. either but also don't think the police are likely to act.

AndyK
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Re: Cycle lights regulations in France, Belgium and Netherlands

Postby AndyK » 9 May 2019, 10:50pm

Thehairs1970 wrote:Not had a problem in France or Netherlands. I don't think flashing lights are legal in the U.K. either but also don't think the police are likely to act.

Flashing lights are legal in the UK and have been since 2005. Well, except that technically, none of the ones you can buy in the shops meet the requirements. To count as an "approved" legal light (i.e. an adequate light for legal purposes), a flashing light has to be physically incapable of being switched into steady beam mode. If it does have a "steady" mode, it must conform to the British Standard, and hardly any do now (possibly none). See https://www.cyclinguk.org/lighting-regulations for an explanation of the whole sorry mess.

Coming back to the OP, note the section headed "The EU-friendly clause" in that link above. If your lights meet UK regulations then they (arguably) count as legal in other EU countries too... for now, anyway.

Thehairs1970
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Re: Cycle lights regulations in France, Belgium and Netherlands

Postby Thehairs1970 » 9 May 2019, 10:59pm

Thanks Andy. I will flash with abandon. Fnaar.

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mjr
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Re: Cycle lights regulations in France, Belgium and Netherlands

Postby mjr » 9 May 2019, 11:29pm

PAB855 wrote:The need for lights in daylight is because they will be on a recumbent trike. See and be seen.

Lights in daylight seem like a waste of batteries. Isn't a flag better?
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Lance Dopestrong
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Re: Cycle lights regulations in France, Belgium and Netherlands

Postby Lance Dopestrong » 10 May 2019, 12:01am

Thehairs1970 wrote:I don't think flashing lights are legal in the U.K. either but also don't think the police are likely to act.

They became legal when the vehicle lighting regs were updated to incorporate LED lighting in (I think) 2006. Provided it meets the relevant British Standard it's legal to be flashing, either as your only light or as a supplementary one. Prior to them being legal the police tended to indeed not act, as they would far rather riders had them than none at all.
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m-gineering
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Re: Cycle lights regulations in France, Belgium and Netherlands

Postby m-gineering » 10 May 2019, 8:13am

AndyK wrote:Coming back to the OP, note the section headed "The EU-friendly clause" in that link above. If your lights meet UK regulations then they (arguably) count as legal in other EU countries too... for now, anyway.

Reading the law it looks to me that it's perfectly legal to bring your vehicle over, but you can't ride it at night unless your lights comply ie don't blink. Which is also probably a lot safer, but that's another discussion.
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Audax67
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Re: Cycle lights regulations in France, Belgium and Netherlands

Postby Audax67 » 10 May 2019, 9:53am

The latest change to the Code de la Route here says that bikes may have exactly one front and one rear light, and neither should flash. This seems to replace the old rule that you could have flashers as long as you also had fixed non-flashing head- & tail-lights.

To be honest, I don't think the gendarmerie will worry about it; they're more concerned with curbing the excesses of gilets jaunes these days. Of course, if you're riding in conditions that call for lights you'll be wearing one of those too... Best wear a helmet, those batons are hard and the arm of the law has large biceps. ;)
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PAB855
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Re: Cycle lights regulations in France, Belgium and Netherlands

Postby PAB855 » 10 May 2019, 10:18am

All good stuff. Many thanks

To mjr, a wee bit of information. The lights are for a different reason to the flag during day time .The lights can be seen from well over 500yards so that there is plenty of early warning to traffic from front or rear. The flag is invisible at that distance, although the recumbent and rider IS .The flag has its uses for making the recumbent 'visible' while passing close to traffic or even in a car park but usually where the lights would be too low down or obscured and at a closer position.

Basically, the equipment currently in use will be absolutely fine .

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Re: Cycle lights regulations in France, Belgium and Netherlands

Postby Jurjan » 10 May 2019, 10:37am

In the Netherlands flashing lights are officially prohibited.

(Apart from being annoying as hell).

However, I have never seen anyone get a ticket for this.
Mostly the police is just happy that people use any light (flashing, blinding or otherwise)

Ivor Tingting
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Re: Cycle lights regulations in France, Belgium and Netherlands

Postby Ivor Tingting » 14 May 2019, 2:00am

Flashing lights are a frikin' menace and should be banned in all countries and it should be illegal to make a bicycle light with a flashing mode. By all means have a light but have it on constant.
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Thehairs1970
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Re: Cycle lights regulations in France, Belgium and Netherlands

Postby Thehairs1970 » 14 May 2019, 6:47am

If you are noticing the annoying flashing lights they are doing their job. I'd rather annoy you and not be hit. The alternative is blending into the crowd and being knocked off.

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mjr
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Re: Cycle lights regulations in France, Belgium and Netherlands

Postby mjr » 14 May 2019, 7:43am

Thehairs1970 wrote:If you are noticing the annoying flashing lights they are doing their job. I'd rather annoy you and not be hit. The alternative is blending into the crowd and being knocked off.

That's not the alternative because people without lights are not significantly more or less likely to be "knocked off" as far as anyone can tell. This may be because of target fixation or simply thath those motorists who hit cyclists aren't looking properly enough to see even annoying lights.

The main things daytime lights achieve are some energy waste and harming all other cyclists by creating an expectation that they'll be lit. Doubly anti social.
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Thehairs1970
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Re: Cycle lights regulations in France, Belgium and Netherlands

Postby Thehairs1970 » 14 May 2019, 7:35pm

So by this logic, Volvo drivers are increasing the likelihood of others cars getting hit because they have day time running lights.

Daytime lights, flashy lights, clothing that makes you visible are a perfectly sensible choice. Also you asked the OP whether a flag may be a better choice. Isn't that increasing his visibility and therefore creating an expectation?

I just don't get your logic.