Jump to content
Gordon

Bike lighting

Recommended Posts

I came across the quotation below in another thread and wondered why it could not be obligatory for all bikes to be sold light already fitted.

On 13/11/2019 at 18:42, 664DaveS said:

Having decent lights as standard and using them would be a good idea!

There is no legal requirement for lights on a bike during the daytime (except in poor weather conditions?) but given the increase in DRLs being seen on other vehicles, this has served to make cars without DRLs, and cyclists in particular who do not show lights, even more vulnerable than before.

I know that some cyclists now show lights at all times, and it certainly does make them more visible but there must be a cost owing to battery replacements. Some cycle lights can now be charged at home from a USB connection but again there is still a requirement to remember to do this. I have both battery and dynamo lighting on my bikes, consequently I am never without lighting should the batteries run flat.

Howerver I came across a system recently that uses a permanent magnet connected to the spokes that when passed close to a mounted lamp, induces a current that illuminates a LED. There is a capacitor that is charged at the same time that allows the lamp to remain illuminated until the next revolution of the wheel tops up the charge. It does extinguish quite quickly once stationary but the principle that the light is always on when riding the bike works well, and there appears to be less drag than is caused by the traditional dynamos driven from the tyre side wall (we hardly see hub dynamos these days).

The one disadvantage I can see is that the spoke mounted magnet can strike the chain of a derailleur system in low gear if mounted on the right of the rear wheel but it does provide free lighting that is clearly visible in daylight when mounted on the left of the wheel. Mounting on the left means they will not comply alone with the UK law, and so an additional light will be needed on the centre line or to the right of the wheel.

 image.png image.png

The legal bit:

Between sunset and sunrise bikes should show a white light to the front and a red one to the rear, both mounted on the centre line or to the right of the cycle, and these can be steady lights or if flashing should flash between one and four times a second. The bike must also show a red reflector to the rear and if manufactured after 1/10/85, amber reflectors front and rear of the pedals (a white reflector at the front is advisable but not compulsory). In the UK there is a fixed penalty of £50 for not complying with these regulations.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is surprising no regulations for manufacturers as vehicles can be required to use lights under certain conditions on a public highway  then bikes should be the same ?

 

Although the days of the pedal cycles as we know it is limited with battery development .

 

Dave

Edited by CommanderDave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We live on an 'A' road that carries a lot of cyclists travelling to and from work.

It amazes me that:-

1. The majority have no lights

2. The majority do not wear a helmet

3. The majority are in black/dark clothing and in dark and wet conditions are virtually invisible.

4. A lot are concentrating on their phone which is held in one hand and a fag in the other!   So don't say they cannot afford a set of lights.

5. A lot use the pavement and have no means of warning pedestrians of their approach.

 

As for the regulations concerning cycles, that is laughable, they might as well be scrapped unless the local PC (have not seen one out n' about for years) is willing to enforce it.

I bet a simple prosecution would result in hours of paper work and court appearance.

On the spot fine or confiscation of cycle would soon change things.

 

By the way, when I was at school, you were only allowed to cycle to school if you had passed the Cycling Proficiency Test - is that still the case?

Edited by The road toad
literal
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, The road toad said:

...

 

By the way, when I was at school, you were only allowed to cycle to school if you had passed the Cycling Proficiency Test - is that still the case?

 

'allowed' - allowed by whom?

 

Cycling proficiency was replaced by 'Bikeability' in 2007. Bikeability recognises 3 stages of rider; 1 - can ride e.g. in a school playground and start and stop without falling off, 2 - can ride a route on quiet roads including left and right turns and other manoeuvres and 3 - can ride assertively and safely in urban traffic and manage roundabouts. NB: this is not the complete syllabus!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Allowed/permitted by the school....

Was not aware of "Bikeability" - so do children have to pass this before being allowed to bring their bike onto school grounds.

I should hope that is the case.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, The road toad said:

We live on an 'A' road that carries a lot of cyclists travelling to and from work.

It amazes me that:-

1. The majority have no lights

2. The majority do not wear a helmet

3. The majority are in black/dark clothing and in dark and wet conditions are virtually invisible.

4. A lot are concentrating on their phone which is held in one hand and a fag in the other!   So don't say they cannot afford a set of lights.

5. A lot use the pavement and have no means of warning pedestrians of their approach.

 

As for the regulations concerning cycles, that is laughable, they might as well be scrapped unless the local PC (have not seen one out n' about for years) is willing to enforce it.

I bet a simple prosecution would result in hours of paper work and court appearance.

On the spot fine or confiscation of cycle would soon change things.

 

By the way, when I was at school, you were only allowed to cycle to school if you had passed the Cycling Proficiency Test - is that still the case?

That must be a UKism, I cycle to work as do many others. I/we have….........

 

 

Lights front and rear

Reflectors in the Wheels

Reflectors front and rear

Bright yellow reflexive jacket

Cycling helmet

A bell

Use cycling paths where provided otherwise the main road.

 

 

If the above aren’t the case in Britain then surely that needs addressing.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I live out in the fens but very near the A10 - it's as black as the ace of spades, very few streetlights but mostly none and still people cycle as RoadToad decscribes (however he did forget to mention headphones or earbuds so they cant hear what is going on either)

 

You can be driving along one of the lanes or even the A10 and all of a sudden a car coming towards you swerves violently into your path because he's just caught up with a ninja cyclist and had to swerve to avoid it- no lights, dark clothing and pot holed roads - it's a nightmare. We also get joggers, several of whom have managed to get wiped out because they are invisible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Borussia 1900 said:

I cycle to work as do many others. I/we have….........

Lights front and rear

Reflectors in the Wheels

Reflectors front and rear

Bright yellow reflexive jacket

Cycling helmet

A bell

Use cycling paths where provided otherwise the main road.

If the above aren’t the case in Britain then surely that needs addressing.

I also used to cycle to work (about 11 miles each way) until I retired. I am now able to cycle for pleasure, so if possible choose days when it is not raining!

I had everything you list above but as I said in the opening post, front reflectors and reflectors on the spokes are only advisory and the same applies to reflective clothing. The lights are obligatory between sunset and sunrise.

I'm not saying that this is ideal as all in your list I believe should be obligatory but that is what is required under UK law.

11 hours ago, The road toad said:

when I was at school, you were only allowed to cycle to school if you had passed the Cycling Proficiency Test 

It was the same at my two schools. Bikes could only be brought onto the school premises by children who had passed the proficiency test. I expect the "Bikeability" test is more encompassing now but we all had to learn and obey the rules of the road, and prove that we could retain full control of our bikes, particularly at slow speeds. There were also spot checks carried out periodically on our bikes at the school to ensure that brakes worked efficiently, and lights, bells etc., were all operational. The main thing that was different from today is that we didn't wear cycle helmets, or high-vis jackets, because to my knowledge, such things did not exist when I was a kid. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

AFIK there was no control over who brings bikes onto school premises in the areas where I worked.

 

I do like the idea of regular spot checks on bikes though; that would surely pick up bikes that lived outside or that were brought to school from a skip. Bikes in a poor state of repair (and their riders) were never allowed to take part in Bikebility instruction, much to the dismay of their teachers who seemed to look forward to handing over their classes to some luckless instructors. :rolleyes:

 

Edited by hawkaye

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Certainly a bell should be made compulsory as it is common to be walking along pavements and suddenly behind  you get a shout of "get out of the way " from behind as a cyclist of all ages come racing through and a look of you should not be walking along the pavement .

Edited by CommanderDave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, CommanderDave said:

Certainly a bell should be made compulsory....................

And who, pray, will check the working bells on the approx 20 million bikes in this country?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, WispMan said:

And who, pray, will check the working bells on the approx 20 million bikes in this country?

Same person who checks that the brakes function correctly and that the lights are legal!

  • Confused 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, CommanderDave said:

Certainly a bell should be made compulsory as it is common to be walking along pavements and suddenly behind  you get a shout of "get out of the way " from behind as a cyclist of all ages come racing through and a look of you should not be walking along the pavement .

 

They are!! And have been for many years. It’s just that there is no-one out there to enforce the law these days, far too busy dealing with wolf whistlers and other similar “hate” incidents

 

Andy

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Mr Plodd said:

 

They are!! And have been for many years. It’s just that there is no-one out there to enforce the law these days, far too busy dealing with wolf whistlers and other similar “hate” incidents

 

Andy

If you are referring to bike bells I believe that the legislation only mandates for a bell to fitted to a new bike before sale in the bike shop. Once the bike is taken from the shop the bike owner can remove the bell without penalty. The bike user can have a variety of audible warning of approach devices including a duck call, rattle, horn,  the human voice or even a bike bell.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In order to promote more cycling our local council has adopted a policy of allowing cyclists to use the pavements on busy main roads into town.

This is clearly much safer for cyclists but the poor pedestrians are put at great risk because the pavements are quite narrow,, and you can't hear cyclists approaching from behind due to the traffic noise but very few use any form of warning device. When the wife and I go out for a stroll we tend to walk side by side which increases the danger (and no, we ain't going to walk in single file).

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Mr Plodd said:

 

They are!! And have been for many years. It’s just that there is no-one out there to enforce the law these days, far too busy dealing with wolf whistlers and other similar “hate” incidents

 

Andy

Is that a dig at the new "Thought police"  LOL!  :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, onewheelonmywagon said:

In order to promote more cycling our local council has adopted a policy of allowing cyclists to use the pavements on busy main roads into town.

...

 

Completely contrary to the principles of Bikeability which used to be to encourage cyclists to integrate with traffic and actively discouraged young cyclists from using pavements. I have lost count of the number of times 'helpful' motorists have advised me of the location of the nearest cycle path. Rarely using appropriate language either. :angry::rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Durbanite said:

Is that a dig at the new "Thought police"  LOL!  :D

 

Proof that George Orwell wasn’t too far from the truth eh? If it wasn’t so worrying it would be farcical. I hope he wins his case because SOMEONE needs to stand up to these lunatics that are a long way down the road of taking over the asylum. 

 

I shall now await the thought police to come knock knock knocking on my door.

 

They won’t be invited in! ;)

 

Andy

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LOL!  :D 

 

 

Edited by Durbanite

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...