Daytime lights on pedal cycles

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
thirdcrank
Posts: 28686
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Daytime lights on pedal cycles

Postby thirdcrank » 30 Dec 2010, 9:07am

irc

Sorry, I've probably assumed this is all clear to me when it isn't to others. I started this thread when I got the reply to the email you mention, including the new advice which dropped the bit about the legal requirement for daytime lights (which was actually the law as it applies to motor vehicles) and replaced it with the advice that bike lights in daytime poor vicibility were a good idea (my wording.)

I've revived the thread to add my belated reply.

Edited to add.

What they sent me was in the form of a pdf attachment. I've copied and pasted that below. The formatting has turned out better than I expected. I've underlined the bit about daytime lights, para 12.

----------------Information Sheet----------------
November 2010

Guidance on regulations about pedal bicycles lighting

1. The use of lighting and reflectors on pedal bicycles is regulated under the Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989, as amended. The most recent amendment affecting pedal cycles is Statutory Instrument SI 2005 No. 2559 which came into force on October 23rd 2005.

2. The main effect of this amendment was to permit flashing lights on pedal cycles. The flashing lights do however have to conform to certain requirements which are elaborated below.


Obligatory Lighting and Reflectors

3. Any cycle which is used between sunset and sunrise MUST be fitted with the following:

• white front light
• red rear light
• red rear reflector
• amber/yellow pedal reflectors – front and rear on each pedal.

4. The lamps may be steady or flashing, or a mixture - e.g. steady at the front and flashing at the rear. A steady light is recommended at the front when the cycle is used in areas without good street lighting.

5. If either of the lights is capable of emitting a steady light, then it must conform to BS 6102-3 and be marked accordingly, even if used in flashing mode.

6. Purely flashing lights are not required to conform to BS6102-3, but the flash rate must be between 60 and 240 equal flashes per minute (1-4 per second) and the luminous intensity must be at least 4 candela. (This should be advised by the manufacturer).

7. The pedal reflectors and rear reflector must conform to BS 6102-2.

8. Lights and reflectors not conforming to the BS, but conforming to a corresponding standard of another EC country and marked accordingly, are considered to comply as long as that standard provides an equivalent level of safety.

9. Lights are NOT required to be fitted on a bicycle at the point of sale - but IF they are fitted, then they must comply with these regulations.


Optional lamps and reflectors

10. Additional lighting to the above mentioned obligatory lights is permitted under certain conditions:
• It must not dazzle other road users
• It must be the correct colour (white to front, red to rear)
• If it flashes it must conform to the required flash rate (1-4 equal flashes per second)

11. Optional lights are not required to conform to BS 6102-3 and there is no minimum level of intensity. So for example, on the rear of the cycle a cyclist may wish to have both a steady red lamp which conforms to BS 6102-3 and an additional flashing lamp which is not meeting the minimum level of 4 candela.

Exemptions from the Regulations

12. The only case of exemption from regulations is for cycles when being used between sunrise and sunset, lights or reflectors are not required on cycles used at these times. However it is advisable to fit and use lights and refelctors if cycling in the daytime when visibility is poor, e.g. fog.
Application and enforcement of the Regulations

13. The Regulations concern the construction and use of bicycles. Bicycle and lamp manufacturers, importers, retailers and riders should all ensure that they are familiar with the law.

14. For non-lighting construction and use aspects of bicycle safety such as brakes, other regulations are in force - The Pedal Cycles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1983 (Statutory Instrument 1983 No. 1176).

15. In addition, at the point of first sale a new bicycle must comply with The Pedal Bicycles (Safety) Regulations 2010 (Statutory Instrument 2010 No.198).

16. The Regulations apply to mainland Great Britain but not Northern Ireland. They are made under powers provided by the Road Traffic Act 1988. Enforcement is a matter for the Police.


Further Information
17. Copies of Regulations are available from:

The Stationery Office
The Publications Centre
PO Box 276 Tel: 0870 600 5522
London Website: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/
SW8 5DT Virtual Bookstore: http://www.tso.co.uk

18. If you require any further information regarding the content of this information sheet, please contact the DfT at the address below:

Transport Technology and Standards
Department for Transport
Zone 2/05
Great Minster House
76 Marsham Street Telephone: 020 7944 2091
London Fax: 020 7944 2196
SW1P 4DR Email: TTS.enquiries@dft.gsi.gov.uk


NOTE: The information in this document is a summary of DfT’s understanding of what the law requires. However, ultimately the interpretation of the law is a matter for the courts based on individual facts of any particular case. You are therefore advised to consult the relevant
legislation and, if necessary, seek independent advice.


If you would like to purchase printed copies, Statutory Instruments are available to purchase from TSO:
The Stationery Office Tel: 0870 600 5522
TSO Orders/Post Cash Dept online ordering: http://www.tso.co.uk/bookshop
PO Box 29
Norwich
NR3 1GN

Alternatively you can consult consolidated versions such as “The Encyclopaedia of Road Traffic Law and Practice” published by Sweet and Maxwell. Such publications are continually updated and are available in most city reference libraries.

EU Directives can be found at:
http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/sectors/ ... dex_en.htm
(The above lists all Directives pertaining to road and agricultural vehicles)

UN-ECE Regulations can be found at: http://www.unece.org/trans/main/wp29/wp29regs.html

Paper copies of Directives can be ordered from TSO or from the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA): Tel: +44 (0)117 952 4178 / 4143 or email to: vista@vca.gov.uk

irc
Posts: 4649
Joined: 3 Dec 2008, 2:22pm
Location: glasgow

Re: Daytime lights on pedal cycles

Postby irc » 30 Dec 2010, 10:23am

Thanks for that. None of my bikes are legal at night then. :-(
No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?

User avatar
meic
Posts: 19355
Joined: 1 Feb 2007, 9:37pm
Location: Caerfyrddin (Carmarthen)

Re: Daytime lights on pedal cycles

Postby meic » 30 Dec 2010, 11:28am

According to that they have removed the pedal reflector exemption for pre 1985 bikes.
Yma o Hyd

thirdcrank
Posts: 28686
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Daytime lights on pedal cycles

Postby thirdcrank » 30 Dec 2010, 1:13pm

meic wrote:According to that they have removed the pedal reflector exemption for pre 1985 bikes.


Well spotted, meic. :D On the one hand, I'm very annoyed with myself for neither checking the entire document with the proverbial fine-tooth comb nor posting it before for a general review. :evil: OTOH, I'm pleased that my waffling rants about the importance of the details of the regs has kept others on the ball, and more so than I have been. This also reinforces what I've been saying about the regulations being too complicated.

Do you want to tell him, or shall I?

Patrick.Negus@dft.gsi.gov.uk

I suppose that being the 'lights-on-pedal-cycles' person is a poisoned-chalice, 'looks who's pulled the short straw' type of job, which will eventually be passed onto somebody else when the current holder goes on to more important things like the lights on motor cars. :roll:

User avatar
meic
Posts: 19355
Joined: 1 Feb 2007, 9:37pm
Location: Caerfyrddin (Carmarthen)

Re: Daytime lights on pedal cycles

Postby meic » 30 Dec 2010, 4:16pm

I have sent him an email saying that his requirement for pedal reflectors is not a true statement of the law. This should have him scratching his head as I didnt highlight the word ANY in "any cycle".

I expect an email soon* informing me that I am mistaken.

*well not before Jan 10th as that is when he is back at work (out of office reply)
Yma o Hyd

snibgo
Posts: 4604
Joined: 29 Jun 2010, 4:45am

Re: Daytime lights on pedal cycles

Postby snibgo » 30 Dec 2010, 9:37pm

IIRC there was also an exemption from British Standards for bikes built before 1990.

The DfT's "Guidance about lights on pedal bicycles" has now been archived, and is available at http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov. ... edalbi4556

It now carries the heading: "Content on this site is under review following the formation of a new government."

thirdcrank
Posts: 28686
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Daytime lights on pedal cycles

Postby thirdcrank » 30 Dec 2010, 9:46pm

Looking at this from the other way round, I tend to think that anybody regularly cycling on the road doing anything other than racing, would now be best served by some variation of the latest developments in hub dynamo lighting although the German regulations which effectively make this compulsory for all but racing bikes seem a bit prescriptive. Apart from anything else, in the present retail bike market in the UK, we could end up with bikes selling at under a hundred quid apart from the lights which would cost the same again or more.

User avatar
JonnyQ
Posts: 27
Joined: 30 Dec 2010, 10:16am
Location: Nr Bristol
Contact:

Re: Daytime lights on pedal cycles

Postby JonnyQ » 30 Dec 2010, 10:29pm

My bike is illegal at night then :oops:

Does anyone here regularly ride a 100% legal bike at night?
Jonny Q
The production of too many useful things results in too many useless people - Marx
My blog: Cycling and Stuff

gilesjuk
Posts: 3270
Joined: 17 Mar 2008, 10:10pm

Re: Daytime lights on pedal cycles

Postby gilesjuk » 30 Dec 2010, 10:38pm

So long as you are easily seen I don't see what the problem is?

I've seen plenty of really bad light cluster designs on cars. Saw a pretty awful one recently on a Renault Clio (fairly recent design). The front indicator lights are incredibly directional, you can only see them clearly when you are practically standing in front of the car. This was at night too, so no sunlight to detract.

If bikes have to follow these fairly arcaic rules then why are cars allowed to get away with such awful design choices (made in the name of aesthetics and styling).

User avatar
meic
Posts: 19355
Joined: 1 Feb 2007, 9:37pm
Location: Caerfyrddin (Carmarthen)

Re: Daytime lights on pedal cycles

Postby meic » 30 Dec 2010, 10:43pm

Yes, I ride two legal bikes regularly after dark.

Only because they are old enough to be exempt from some of the more tedious requirements, the same exemption that they are ignoring in their latest advice.

As others have pointed out almost ALL recumbents are illegal after dark.
Yma o Hyd

snibgo
Posts: 4604
Joined: 29 Jun 2010, 4:45am

Re: Daytime lights on pedal cycles

Postby snibgo » 31 Dec 2010, 12:42am

JonnyQ wrote:Does anyone here regularly ride a 100% legal bike at night?

I do, nearly. One of my front lights is stamped BS. I have a rear light & reflector stamped BS, but can't readily fit it while I still need to carry a crutch. (Yes, I have thought of fitting it to the crutch.)

meic wrote:As others have pointed out almost ALL recumbents are illegal after dark.

On the other hand, I seem to recall that 'bents are exempt from needing two brakes as the saddle is low enough that they are classified as children's bikes.

thirdcrank
Posts: 28686
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Daytime lights on pedal cycles

Postby thirdcrank » 31 Dec 2010, 9:19am

JonnyQ wrote:... Does anyone here regularly ride a 100% legal bike at night?


I have a bike which has a 1980 frame and the rest of the equipment is mainly from then (the saddle dates from 1964) No need for pedal reflectors, athough the Campag Record quills would take them, of course. BS reflector on the back of the mudguard and the front lamp needs only to be visible from a reasonable distance AFAIK. (A 6v 6amp Cateye Daylight is certainly visible from a reasonable distance.)

My point remains that the law is a mess.

Incidentally, I know that the DofT have convinced CJ that European lights are only acceptable if they equal or exceed BS (for anybody who knows what that is or what standard other lights meet) but they have not convinced me. I think it's just the normal common market anti-protectionism policy, whereby if something's OK in one EU country, it's OK in them all. Setting aside Germany (which seems to have the most technically superior lamps ) does anybody know what happens everywhere else? We don't seem to get importers marketing French bike lamps so what do they use in France? Or Italy? Or Portugal? They probably just get on with enjoying their cycling, unobstructed by their own ministry of transport.

User avatar
7_lives_left
Posts: 798
Joined: 9 May 2008, 8:29pm
Location: South Bucks

Re: Daytime lights on pedal cycles

Postby 7_lives_left » 31 Dec 2010, 12:32pm

JonnyQ wrote:Does anyone here regularly ride a 100% legal bike at night?

I believe my commuting bike, a Koga hybrid is legal in so far as it has BS equivalent German K marked dynamo lamps. It also came supplied with pedal reflectors. The pedals weren't the original ones supplied by the manufacturer because I asked the bike shop to change them to M324's, but shop transferred the reflectors from the original flat pedals to the replacements. The manual that came with the bike also said that Koga supply all their bikes like that. I believe this is not unusual for bike manufacturers on the continent.

I once went into a local bike shop, but not the one that I prefer, and asked if they stocked any LED dynamo lamps, just on the off chance and to save me a round trip of many mile to get to the one that I knew did stock them. The guy behind the counter then went about trying to convince me that all dynamo's were rubbish and that I was far better off buying a battery powered lamp. I might have believed him if I didn't already have 5+ year experience using a hub dynamo and a bike parked outside with one installed. Time to cycle to another shop.

I would suggest that just having the BSI adopt the German standard would be a good solution except that would leave many/all of the customers of my shop keeper above in the lurch, having to buy new equipment :roll: .

nez
Posts: 1745
Joined: 19 Jun 2008, 12:11am

Re: Daytime lights on pedal cycles

Postby nez » 31 Dec 2010, 5:10pm

God this thread makes me dizzy. Well done third crank for unpicking their mess, though how it will be resolved is anyone's guess. I love the Methuselah's Adze approach to 'when was the bike built?' That will cause some head scratching. Methuselah's adze = it's had ten new heads and fifty new handles, but it's still the same adze. On this basis we all need at least one pre-war nut or bolt on our bike. 'I built up the frame around it.' Meanwhile I haven't a clue whether my lights will comply or not. I'm just the dummy who went into the bike shop and gave them my money for lights.


thirdcrank wrote:
JonnyQ wrote:... Does anyone here regularly ride a 100% legal bike at night?


I have a bike which has a 1980 frame and the rest of the equipment is mainly from then (the saddle dates from 1964) No need for pedal reflectors, athough the Campag Record quills would take them, of course. BS reflector on the back of the mudguard and the front lamp needs only to be visible from a reasonable distance AFAIK. (A 6v 6amp Cateye Daylight is certainly visible from a reasonable distance.)

My point remains that the law is a mess.

Incidentally, I know that the DofT have convinced CJ that European lights are only acceptable if they equal or exceed BS (for anybody who knows what that is or what standard other lights meet) but they have not convinced me. I think it's just the normal common market anti-protectionism policy, whereby if something's OK in one EU country, it's OK in them all. Setting aside Germany (which seems to have the most technically superior lamps ) does anybody know what happens everywhere else? We don't seem to get importers marketing French bike lamps so what do they use in France? Or Italy? Or Portugal? They probably just get on with enjoying their cycling, unobstructed by their own ministry of transport.


ps you also asked <<does anybody know what happens everywhere else? We don't seem to get importers marketing French bike lamps so what do they use in France? Or Italy? Or Portugal? They probably just get on with enjoying their cycling, unobstructed by their own ministry of transport>>

From my experience of some years living in France, this is spot on. The French will sign up for any old EU rule on the basis which they enforce is their affair. There is no doubt some norm produced by the Service des Mines (really, it's their responsibility to test vehicles and make sure they comply), however which French law is enforced and when is a bit of a moveable feast. I wouldn't expect a BMW riding Gendarme to show any interest in it.

recumbentpanda
Posts: 231
Joined: 6 Apr 2009, 12:13pm

Re: Daytime lights on pedal cycles

Postby recumbentpanda » 31 Dec 2010, 5:22pm

meic wrote:As others have pointed out almost ALL recumbents are illegal after dark.


Why? Checking against the advice posted, my 'bent's lighting setup fulfills the legal requirements on every single count (even if the pedal reflectors are not actually much use!) Am I missing something here?