84 cyclists fined for not having lights in Oxford

Police spot checks carried out as clocks go back

by Kevin Emery   October 29, 2009  

Bicycle outside Oriel College, Oxford.jpg

Eighty-four cyclists in Oxford were handed £30 penalty fines by police for not having bike lights – the equivalent of one every two minutes. Police carried out an operation in High Street in the city centre between 6.30-9pm on Tuesday evening, reported the Oxford Mail.

The crackdown was timed to coincide with the clocks going back one hour last weekend, which marked the start of British winter time. Having gone back on Sunday te nights will be longer and darker and cyclists are encouraged to be safe and easy to see this winter.

And police are warning cyclists they will continue to carry out random checks across the city throughout November. Pc Mark Pilling said in the Oxford Mail: “Clearly, a large number of cyclists in Oxford are not using lights.

“This campaign is aimed at educating cyclists about how important it is that they are fully visible to all other road users. Just because a cyclist can see where they are going on a well-lit street, does not necessarily mean that they are fully visible to motorists approaching with their headlights on.”

“Cyclists should have a light on both the front and back of their bike and they should wear either some fluorescent or high visibility clothing. They should remove the lights when they lock up their bikes to prevent them from being stolen.”

Police have said that all fines will be scrubbed if a valid receipt for new bike lights is shown at St Aldate’s or Cowley police stations within seven days.

This is not the first time police in the city have carried out the spot checks at this time of year. They stopped 83 cyclists without bike lights on the first day of last year’s campaign and 55 the year before.

Last week Cycle Exeter launched Bright Up Week to target cyclists who ride without lights, and the scheme included on bike lights and free cycle confidence training.

And children in Lancashire are being urged to ‘Be Bright, Be Seen' this winter in a THINK! road safety campaign.

Road Safety Minister, Paul Clark said: "Britain's roads are among the safest in the world and we have reduced the number of children killed while walking or cycling by 54% since the mid-1990s. However, 48 child pedestrians or cyclists were killed or seriously injured on roads in Lancashire last year and we are determined to do more to keep children as safe as possible."

The Department for Transport's THINK! road safety campaign will be re-running TV ads reminding children that they should wear reflective clothing if they are going out after dark.

It is the law to have clean and working lights on your bike - red at the back and white at the front - you must also fit your bike with red rear reflectors. Fitting spoke reflectors will also help you to be seen in the dark.
 

11 user comments

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Is it LAW to have reflectors front and rear because bikeability training says it isnt. This is what is being taught to kids....

not all carbon is the same.

Jon Burrage's picture

posted by Jon Burrage [1080 posts]
29th October 2009 - 10:47

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highway code only states red rear and pedal reflectors. I had to ride behind two young kids to get them home on my commute last night as they had no lights, apparently their mum wouldn't buy them any lights as they weren't allowed out after dark!! Confused

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stuke's picture

posted by stuke [302 posts]
29th October 2009 - 12:05

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Yup, you gotta have a red rear reflector. technically, riding a bike without pedal reflectors is illegal too. it's all in the RVLR.

I'm feeling it hard to feel sorry for any of these cyclists. They've been caught without lights, handed a fine and told they won't have to pay it if they buy some lights. So, go buy some lights and stop being an idiot. All those people writing into the Daily Mail to compain about crap cycling? that's you, that is. But I get tarred with the same brush. So wise up, fools.

the Police are also telling them they should wear some nice bright clothing? well, technically that's their choice, but it's hardly bad advice, is it?

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posted by Barry Fry-up [187 posts]
29th October 2009 - 12:05

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I agree, I have lights and wouldnt go out without them in the dark, itd be stupid to (especially riding through bristol!)

Interesting about the reflectors, I know about the pedal ones...I ride look keo's so thats tricky to fix but I was under the impression that reflectors werent law, thanks for the update.

not all carbon is the same.

Jon Burrage's picture

posted by Jon Burrage [1080 posts]
29th October 2009 - 12:09

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Reflective bands round the ankles, or a strip on the heels of shoes might get round that for those riding clipless - though I suspect a particularly jobsworth copper could still do you on a technicality...

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posted by Simon_MacMichael [7933 posts]
29th October 2009 - 13:19

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@jon - I know what you mean about Bristol after dark !!

bother about the reflector though - wonder where I can
bodge one on ?????

still on the 3rd switch-back of Bwlch !

posted by therevokid [681 posts]
29th October 2009 - 13:27

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Is there some confusion between what we're supposed to ride with and what is supposed to be on a new bike when sold? I was sure reflectors (front, rear and pedal) were essential at night but largely ignored by police.

Like many people, I'm clipless so no go there (reflective tabs on two out of three pairs of shoes), and even using cages and straps I take the reflectors off as they interfere with the tabs to flip them up.

Ah, as if it matters - I've got bloody good lights!

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posted by G-bitch [302 posts]
29th October 2009 - 14:19

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Quote:
Is there some confusion between what we're supposed to ride with and what is supposed to be on a new bike when sold? I was sure reflectors (front, rear and pedal) were essential at night but largely ignored by police

the lack of reflectors on your bike may be ignored by the police but that doesn't make it legal to ride without them, they're stated as a necessity in the Road Vehicle Lighting Regulations (RVLR).

The police ignore a lot of illegal activity - driving at 80mph on a motorway isn't going to get you arrested either, but it is against the law. I guess the crux of the matter is whether you could be found contributorily negligent in an accident for lack of them. My guess is that yes, you could.

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7258 posts]
29th October 2009 - 18:21

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Do the reflectors on the back of your shoes count?

Only asking as I have SPDs but a reflective strip on the back of each shoe.

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posted by jobysp [145 posts]
30th October 2009 - 14:05

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Quote:
Pedal Reflectors: Four are required, coloured amber and marked BS6102/2 (or equivalent), positioned so that one is plainly visible to the front and another to the rear of each pedal

so no, i don't think so

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posted by cactuscat [301 posts]
30th October 2009 - 16:45

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Simon_MacMichael wrote:
Reflective bands round the ankles, or a strip on the heels of shoes might get round that for those riding clipless - though I suspect a particularly jobsworth copper could still do you on a technicality...

Pedal reflectors don't work on a recumbent, or rather, the pedal is essentially vertical. So the reflectors can't work as they might on a Diamond-Frame / safety bicycle.

And clipless pedals are widely recommended to avoid 'leg suck', which I believe is unpleasant.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recumbent_bicycle#Disadvantages

posted by Recumbenteer [142 posts]
11th February 2010 - 10:46

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