Police will be handing out bike lights to cyclists in Edinburgh tomorrow as part of a national road safety campaign. The lights have been donated by Cycle Law Scotland, who say they “want all road users, especially the most vulnerable, to be as visible as possible.”
The #LightUp campaign seeks to educate all road users of the legal requirements and their respective responsibilities when travelling during the hours of darkness.
In the case of cyclists, Rule 60 of the Highway Code states:
“At night your cycle MUST have white front and red rear lights lit. It MUST also be fitted with a red rear reflector (and amber pedal reflectors, if manufactured after 1/10/85). White front reflectors and spoke reflectors will also help you to be seen. Flashing lights are permitted but it is recommended that cyclists who are riding in areas without street lighting use a steady front lamp.”
Failure to comply with these regulations can result in a Fixed Penalty Notice for £50.
The Edinburgh News reports that the campaign will also encourage motorists to #LightUp so their vehicles are clearly visible to other road users.
Sergeant Dominic Doyle, from Police Scotland’s Road Policing Division said: “This campaign provides us with a good opportunity to speak to members of the public who use the road network and to highlight our respective responsibilities.
“Being easily visible to others, and being alert to other road users, whether you are a cyclist, pedestrian or driver, goes a long way to improving road safety.
“The majority of us will use several different modes of transport and so it is important to break down the ‘them and us’ mentality’ and instead, all work together to promote road safety.”
Jodi Gordon, Partner at Cycle Law Scotland said: “We are delighted to be part of this important road safety campaign because on a daily basis we see the consequences of road traffic collisions between vulnerable road users and vehicles.
“Anything we can do to help educate road users and promote the legal requirement to #LightUp in order to see and be seen has got to be a good thing.”
The event at which free bike lights will be distributed will take place in the pedestrianised area of Castle Street between 4pm and 6pm.
It will be attended by Lothian Buses, Police Scotland Road Policing Unit, an HGV cab from Pollocks Transport and Cycle Law Scotland.
Edinburgh police received criticism in October for a similar exercise at which they said they would be handing out 'high viz goodies' to cyclists.
Cyclists are not required to wear hi-vis at any time.
Green councillor Claire Miller commented: “I’m glad that there is an opportunity for people with bikes to prepare for the winter weather and darker days.
“However, we should be putting the onus for safety of vulnerable road users on drivers – they must take responsibility for ensuring the safety of pedestrians and cyclists.
“It is perfectly reasonable for cyclists to be wearing normal workday clothes and still expect to be safe on the roads.”