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Hi all, just after some information if any has it!

My friend was knocked off his bike tonight by a silly women pulling out of her drive way! The question I have and that i concerned about it that he had on only a very bright helmet light. Does a helmet light abide to the letter of the law of might this be his down fall if it went legal?? I saw him when he left work and he was lit up like a Christmas tree with two rear lights flashing and an Exposure Diablo helmet light.

Any advice/help on this matter would be much appreciated, i cant seem to find anything on the tinternet!

Thanks

9 comments

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37monkey [138 posts] 4 years ago
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Don't know if I'm helping, but would an unlit pedestrian been knocked over in the same situation?

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SideBurn [890 posts] 4 years ago
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The law states that lights should be attached to the bike. There are various rules of 'statutory interpretation' (you can Google this phrase) that would not neccessarily mean that the fact that the lights are not attached to the bike would be an end to any case. No doubt the other party could make a lot of this 'failure' but the Exposure Diablo is an expensive state of the art bright light and your friend would need to emphasise that this is the case. Anyone who fails to see someone with one of these lights is in my opinion not taking proper care. Also reversing out as opposed to into a drive is also something that will not help the other sides case. Get in touch with a specialist Solicitor; and let us know how you get on because I also ride with an Exposure headtorch!

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barogerl [25 posts] 4 years ago
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Some years ago there was a casse involving a cyclist who had a rear light attached to his bonk bag. This was at a time when there was a very ready supply of "surplus" sailorslifejacket lights, these comprised a battery container, attached by a wire to a large clip which held a small red light. This waslegal inits own right - no laid downstandards at that time,however the law stated then and as far as I know now that the light has to be fixed to the bike, attaching it to a saddlebag, bonk bag or teh back of ones clothing DID NOT COMPLY WITH THE LAW. Not sure if teh same applies to afrontlamp, which is not required inlaw to light your way forward,mereley to indicate to other road users that you are approaching. I reckon a clever lawyer would argue a lamp attached to ones helmet,be it front or back does not comply with the law and is merely an auxily lamp
which shoudlbe in addition to one properly afixed to the bike frame.
Sián Charlton

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dave atkinson [6201 posts] 4 years ago
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Letter of the law is thus:

Quote:

Front Lamp
One is required, showing a white light, positioned centrally or offside, up to 1500mm from the ground, aligned towards and visible from the front. If capable of emitting a steady light it must be marked as conforming to BS6102/3 or an equivalent EC standard. If capable of emitting only a flashing light, it must emit at least 4 candela.

Rear Lamp
One is required, to show a red light, positioned centrally or offside, between 350mm and 1500mm from the ground, at or near the rear, aligned towards and visible from behind. If capable of emitting a steady light it must be marked as conforming to BS3648, or BS6102/3, or an equivalent EC standard. If capable of emitting only a flashing light, it must emit at least 4 candela.

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SideBurn [890 posts] 4 years ago
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The law is stated in the Road Vehicle Lighting Regulations 1989 (RVLR 1989) Shedule 2 Part 1. It does refer to 'the vehicle'. This is interpreted in the Highway Code as meaning the lights should be on the vehicle (Rules for Cyclists 60). I would argue that the purpose of the law is that the cyclist should see and be seen and therefore whether the lights are on the bike or the cyclist is irrelevent. It is the quality of the lights that is relevent and the fact the rider in this instance was 'lit like a christmas tree' Do not underestimate the effect that these factors have in a legal arguement!

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abudhabiChris [692 posts] 4 years ago
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Taking a step back here... it isn't all that often these things come to an actual legal consideration.

A claim would go to her vehicle insurance company who will decide whether they can be bothered to defend it, or how seriously it will be pursued.

The rights and wrongs are not inconsequential but they aren't the only aspect. This, incidentally, is why a presumption of fault for drivers is beneficial - not because it personally blames them but because it socialises the cost through insurance premiums.

Anyway, back to the OP, you haven't said what your friend expects to happen - is he claiming compensation for damage or hoping to get the police involved ?

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londonplayer [620 posts] 4 years ago
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I'm not a lawyer but the way I understand it is this. Although it may be considered a minor criminal offence to cycle without lights, that has no bearing on a civil case. Your friend is still entitled to compensation. A judge may reduce the compensation if he thinks that having no lights was an aggravating factor. Your friend should be cautious about disclosing too much information about whether he had correct lights. The woman may have hit him in any case. A judge may agree.

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swiftsquirrell [19 posts] 4 years ago
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Hi all, just wanted to say thanks for all the responses, its very helpful and much appreciated! Mat is ok, road rash, broken toe and a nice gash to his knee opening it all up but nothing broken!! I think he is just more worried about getting his bike fixed to be honest as this lady has just written his lovely Enigma off. However i will update as and when anything happens, it may well help someone in the future. Thanks all again.

Stu

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cat1commuter [1420 posts] 4 years ago
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Riding with a front light only on the helmet does worry me. What if you're looking over your shoulder? If I did, I'd have a blinky light on the bike too.