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Police spot checks carried out as clocks go back

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.