Cyclists fined for no lights

flat tyre
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Cyclists fined for no lights

Postby flat tyre » 5 Nov 2010, 9:44pm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-berkshire-11694101
Marvellous... what about the cars that overtake me in the 30 or 20 mile speed limit, jump the red lights, tailgate etc on my 40 mile (car, sorry) commute to Reading? I suppose the cyclists are easy meat.

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piedwagtail91
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Re: Cyclists fined for no lights

Postby piedwagtail91 » 5 Nov 2010, 10:04pm

riding without lights is just about as stupid as it gets. three cyclists were in front of me last week on an unlit country road, it was impossible to see them.
the fine will be cancelled if they spend £5 on a cheap pair of lights that they should have anyway so they won't be out of pocket and if they are knocked off whilst using them then at least they stand a chance of compensation which i very much doubt they would have riding without them.

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Re: Cyclists fined for no lights

Postby Big T » 5 Nov 2010, 10:05pm

I don't see anything wrong with this. There really is no excuse nowadays for riding without lights. We all moan about"ninja" cyclists giving us a bad name. They even get the fine cancelled if they buy some lights.
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thirdcrank
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Re: Cyclists fined for no lights

Postby thirdcrank » 5 Nov 2010, 10:16pm

If Theresa manages to introduce elected police commissioners, anybody with a manifesto saying they will have a permanent clampdown on cyclists will get in on a huge majority, unless they are opposed by half a dozen more candidates with a similar platform. In the meantime, bags I foggy with this one (If I don't somebody else will.)

piedwagtail91 wrote:... three cyclists were in front of me last week on an unlit country road, it was impossible to see them.....

flat tyre
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Re: Cyclists fined for no lights

Postby flat tyre » 5 Nov 2010, 10:28pm

piedwagtail91 wrote:riding without lights is just about as stupid as it gets. three cyclists were in front of me last week on an unlit country road, it was impossible to see them.

And so, what happened? One assumes that you mowed them down.

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Re: Cyclists fined for no lights

Postby rower40 » 5 Nov 2010, 10:35pm

Once upon a time in Cambridge, the police had a crackdown on unlit bikes. They would confiscate the bike. But you'd get it back if you presented yourself to the police station, armed with nothing more than a pair of lights. They'd even help you fit them.

In terms of "Let the punishment fit the crime", I can't think of any better example.

Or was this just an Urban Myth?
"Little Green Men Are Everywhere... ...But Mostly On Traffic Lights."

kwackers
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Re: Cyclists fined for no lights

Postby kwackers » 6 Nov 2010, 12:28am

flat tyre wrote:
piedwagtail91 wrote:riding without lights is just about as stupid as it gets. three cyclists were in front of me last week on an unlit country road, it was impossible to see them.

And so, what happened? One assumes that you mowed them down.

He should have done. Then that'd be at least 3 this year, last year there was only one (although I think everyone in the country actually saw him and apparently nearly hit him too!)

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Re: Cyclists fined for no lights

Postby kwackers » 6 Nov 2010, 12:37am

flat tyre wrote:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-berkshire-11694101
Marvellous... what about the cars that overtake me in the 30 or 20 mile speed limit, jump the red lights, tailgate etc on my 40 mile (car, sorry) commute to Reading? I suppose the cyclists are easy meat.

We live in a democracy, it's got nothing to do with safety and everything to do with appeasing old fuddy duddys - the same old fuddy duddys that are outraged when pulled over for speeding / rlj'ing / illegal parking etc but think the worlds gone to hell in a handcart when they see a cyclist without a pair of glow worms attached.

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gentlegreen
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Re: Cyclists fined for no lights

Postby gentlegreen » 6 Nov 2010, 2:50am

I would also want the miscreants to be forced to take at least one cycling lesson focussing on the vulnerability of cyclists. Riding without lights is surely a reasonable indication of general cluelessness.

Every evening I cycle along the Bristol to Bath path towards town and 5 days after the clocks changed, it must still have been 40 percent "stealth" .. from the traffic volume I'm pretty sure half of them left their bikes at home on Monday ... in the main I hate more the ones who blind me with wrongly adjusted lamps, but I'm almost determined now to spend an hour cycling around the city end to witness how they all behave on the streets.

If the mood takes me, I shout "ninja" at the lamp-less... in-between flashing the "flashers" - who presumably are another type of idiot who ride with no awareness of others - overly reliant on their lights.

I have 33 years of experience on two wheels, and I have to say that on a daily basis I see car driving improving - or maybe it's the way I've learned to ride - while I am constantly deeply embarrassed by the antics of other cyclists. The car drivers have at least at some point in their lives been tested on basic roadcraft. In the main I find car drivers can be helped to take me seriously.

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Cunobelin
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Re: Cyclists fined for no lights

Postby Cunobelin » 6 Nov 2010, 8:37am

I don't have a problem with this at all, I simply wish they were more widespread.

In Fareham there is a regular Police checkpoint on a side road where they pull in vehicles regularly... they also bollock passing cyclists without lights.

To me this is a better way, treat us as road users and clamp down on all road users equally

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Re: Cyclists fined for no lights

Postby gbnz » 6 Nov 2010, 9:06am

Seem's to me, to be an excellant example of policing at it's best.

Cycling without lights, particularly in an urban situation, can impose a significant burden on society. Motorists carrying the misplaced guilt of having run a cyclist down, additional NHS costs to pick up the pieces, wasting police time. The legal requirements of cycling at night can be met by little or no expenditure and with some exceptions, is inexcuseable (I.e. My reflectors all came from fly tipped bikes and I had to cycle 30 miles without lights back in the spring, having been dumped by Arriva Cross Country Trains)

A police force enforcing the law and then showing discretion by allowing the guilty off FOC, subject to them demonstrating they're now complying with the law, is doing an excellant job

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Re: Cyclists fined for no lights

Postby AlanD » 6 Nov 2010, 9:44am

I also find this subject particulary embarrassing because we all get tarred by this broad brush. I do see riders of bikes without lights, black clothes and doing reckless things that give us all a bad name. Only yesterday as I drove my car in the dark and the rain, I spotted the movement of some 'youth' on one of these small wheeled trick bikes that really belongs on a halfpipe, or whatever you call it, shoot out from the kerb on my right, go about 50yds along the road and then jump the kerb and disappear. No lights, all in black. i don't think these youngsters realise that motorists need to see further ahead. If he had appeared under my nose and I had gone over him without the chance to avoid him...... well I wonder how I could sue him for the damage to my car.

kwackers
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Re: Cyclists fined for no lights

Postby kwackers » 6 Nov 2010, 10:03am

I love these sorts of discussions. The self righteous jump out preaching the code of idiots etc and yet where's their proof?

I'm frankly bored of reading how every cyclist on here has nearly hit a ninja whilst driving along and yet just one death last year seems to be linked to no lights.
How can that be true? The number of cyclists on here represent an insignificant proportion of motorists in the U.K and in theory are probably more likely to see a cyclist than your average "45 in a 30 - don't get in my way" motorist and yet by all accounts they're always nearly hitting them - but not quite...

In theory I can ride with legal lighting that are frankly no better than a pair of glow worms in a jar. With that level of lighting the average road user should be able to see me and avoid me without complaining that I should have been lit up ever more brightly/wearing hi-vis etc etc.
I have absolutely no problems spotting a dark robed cyclist with none/appalling lights several hundred yards away in an urban environment, I wonder if perhaps it's just me and the average myopically challenged driver simply shouldn't be allowed out past dusk.

If the police want to stop and fine cyclists for having no lights then that's fine, but please put the whole thing in perspective. Cyclists without lights just aren't the danger you think they are, people on here seem to be slowly working themselves into a tizzy over bigger and bigger weapon grade lighting systems, more and more lights and better and better hi-vis.
There's no evidence any of it works, if ninjas teach us anything it should be that.
Last edited by kwackers on 6 Nov 2010, 10:21am, edited 1 time in total.

Richard Mann
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Re: Cyclists fined for no lights

Postby Richard Mann » 6 Nov 2010, 10:08am

FPNs for no lights; let off if they buy new lights. We encourage the police to do this: much better than some of the other ideas that Steve Higa (the policeman concerned) comes up with. It's become a ritual (and in some ways part of normalising the mass use of bikes).

Richard (vice-chair Cyclox, the Oxford Cycle Campaign)

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Re: Cyclists fined for no lights

Postby snibgo » 6 Nov 2010, 11:02am

I'm not aware of any statistics on injuries caused by lack of cycle lights. But a third of traffic accidents have "failed to look properly" as a contributory factor, and a fifth have "failed to judge other person’s path/speed". Perhaps having lights, or looking like a Christmas tree, would influence these factors.

In well-lit dry urban environments, I'm not convinced that lights make either cyclists or motor vehicles more visible. But, while motorists expect anything on the roads to be lit, an unlit cyclist might be unnoticed, or noticed rather late, by a dozy motorist.

Rain makes a difference: a motorist's vision is disabled, and a cyclist end-on isn't highly identifiable, and lights do help to distinguish a cyclist from street furniture.

For unlit roads, lights make a big difference. Without lights, I'm only visible when I'm in reach of a car's headlights, which isn't very far.

Decades ago, cyclists campaigned against compulsory lights, arguing that drivers should be able to stop in the distance they know to be clear, even in darkness. There's a lot to be said for that argument, although we know that drivers don't drive like that.

I do think we should all obey the law, of course. If we can work out what it is.