• This topic has 111 replies, 68 voices, and was last updated 2 years ago by fossy.
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  • Your braking the law mate! Them flashing lights are illegal!
  • Premier Icon doris5000
    Free Member

    Just had the first of this winter’s shouters, helpfully bellowing his opinion as to the legality of flashing cycle lights vis-a-vis the 2005 amendment to the Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989 and of course rule 60 of the Highway Code.

    His considered opinion was that contrary to many interpretations of said rules they are not, in fact, legal.

    Last year I even had one woman try and explain that they were illegal because the flashing causes epileptics to crash. What she makes of police cars and ambulances I have no idea.

    Premier Icon CaptainFlashheart
    Free Member

    Break lights?

    😉

    Premier Icon nickjb
    Free Member

    There’s plenty of cyclists out there with annoying flashing lights. I can sort of understand out in the sticks. You want to be seen. Around town it’s pretty unhelpful. On the cycle path, seriously wtf. Some bike lights are very bright now so should be treated like the main beam and dipped headlights in a car. Absolutely no need for strobe lights.

    Premier Icon Trimix
    Free Member

    Given how much traffic seems to try to kill, me I’m quite happy to annoy the hell out of them with my flashing lights so they actually see me. I dont care about the legality, I care about ensuring they see me.

    Premier Icon fossy
    Full Member

    How bright ? – Unless it’s a blinkey, the high powered strobe effect is impossible to see past. If you were coming the other way, on a shared cycle path, you’d be getting full beam on my off road lights in your face.

    Flashing powerful front lights are bloody dangerous. Blinkeys, fine, 1000 lumens, no.

    Premier Icon Mister-P
    Free Member

    *shakes head*

    You’re breaking the law.

    Premier Icon YoKaiser
    Full Member

    I care about ensuring they see me.

    But what if your lights are so bright and/or annoying that they aren’t actually looking at you? The natural tendency is took look away when you are dazzled.

    Premier Icon shermer75
    Free Member

    I actually reckon non-flashing lights are safer

    Premier Icon nofx
    Free Member

    I had a cop stop me & start gobbing off at me because I had led lights. He said “You’ve got a yellow light on the back of the bike!!!”. I told him “I’m colour blind & I can see its red”. He carried on ranting, so I just rode off. His panda car couldn’t follow me down steps.

    Premier Icon Houns
    Full Member

    Don’t most lights pulse and not flash (so the light doesn’t go ‘off’)

    Premier Icon YoKaiser
    Full Member

    I actually reckon non-flashing lights are safer

    Definitely. I aim a bright rear light downwards slightly and illuminate the back wheel and ground. You could also consider illuminating yourself, shine a light towards your chest.

    Premier Icon mikeys
    Full Member

    I had one person so keen to give me their opinion on my lights last year that as they squeezed alongside me at a junction and wound their window down they crashed into the car in front.

    As I pointed out what they had just done they continued to tell me about my lights.

    The person in the car in front then got out to challenge my about why I had crashed into their car. So I had to explain the above situation. Unsurprisingly they weren’t very impressed.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    To be properly legal you need a BS standard light as well – thats both a minimum size IIRC something like 1×2″ and a max power and a steady light. Flashing lights are only legal as secondary lights. Its actually pretty difficult to buy a legal light nowadays

    I ride with one steady rear and one flashing and a steady front light

    Offroad bright lights are actively dangerous on the front.

    Premier Icon doris5000
    Free Member

    My light is a Cateye Volt 300, and when I’m around town I have it on the ‘hyper’ mode where it puts out a steady 100 lumens and a 300 lumen flash about twice a second. So not exactly strobey.

    My take is like Trimix really – I’ve been hit by cars that didn’t look before, so I’d rather be slightly obnoxious and alive than overly polite and sprawled on the wet tarmac.

    That said, on cycle paths and out in the fields I am fastidious about turning the light down to its lowest level when someone comes the other way, even shielding it with my hand if possible. It really annoys me when other cyclists with their Fire Of A Thousand Suns 3000 Lumen Death Ray don’t do the same!

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Full Member

    Given how much traffic seems to try to kill, me I’m quite happy to annoy the hell out of them with my flashing lights so they actually see me.

    If they were trying to kill you they would. Don’t be melodramatic.

    If you are worried about someone’s standard of driving then blinding them* is unlikely to help.

    Don’t take the piss with lights. It doesn’t help. If you want to increase visibility, use more lights.

    e.g. a Lezyne micro on the ‘daylight’ setting. No-one else can see a bloody thing – drivers good or bad, or other cyclists.

    Premier Icon tthew
    Full Member

    Fire Of A Thousand Suns 3000 Lumen Death Ray

    It’s getting towards that time again on the Chester/Connah’s Quay Greenway. ☹️ Even worse given its dead straight, otherwise unlit and quite narrow.

    Premier Icon funkmasterp
    Free Member

    Premier Icon DezB
    Full Member

    Dunno how you people attract these weirdos. Just tell em to **** off and get on with riding your bike.

    Premier Icon wzzzz
    Free Member

    I think it’s a real problem.

    When in the car, yes I’ve seen the cyclists mega bright flashing light from 5 miles away.

    But a blinding light flashing in my near vision makes focussing in the distance to check it’s OK to overtake very hard.

    Premier Icon nealglover
    Free Member

    Guy in Leeds city centre tonight with 2 bar mounted mini sun super lumen off-road type lights adjusted perfectly to blind car drivers.
    And 2 strobing front lights mounted either side of his helmet.
    Fully blinded as he rode towards me (I was on foot)
    No back light though 🙄

    Tool.

    Premier Icon jonm81
    Full Member

    I’m not a fan of flashing lights and set mine to constant.

    I can really struggle both in the car and on the bike to judge a cyclists speed with some flashing lights, especially those that flash really slowly (ie. flash once every few seconds) as a fast cyclist can travel quite a distance between flashes. At the other end of the scale are the epilepsy inducing cheapy Chinese things that are just basically strobe lights (a mate bought one and it actually gave me a headache after about 30 seconds of use on strobe mode).

    EDIT: On a similar note with regards to dazzling, it is the same as motorcyclists insisting on riding around with the main beam light on. The argument of “I want to be seen” doesn’t hold water as now I can’t see anything let alone the cyclist/motorcyclist (and before the motorbikists jump down my throat I ride one too).

    Premier Icon eddiebaby
    Full Member

    I’m confused TJ, you say

    To be properly legal you need a BS standard light as well – thats both a minimum size IIRC something like 1×2″ and a max power and a steady light. Flashing lights are only legal as secondary lights. Its actually pretty difficult to buy a legal light nowadays

    But Highway code differs:

    This is backed up by Rule 60 of the Highway Code, which says:

    “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.”

    What am I missing?

    Premier Icon slackalice
    Free Member

    Breaking the law and ‘those’, not ‘them’

    Apart from that, I didn’t read anything else.

    Premier Icon butcher
    Full Member

    Really can’t understand why people get so worked up about bicycles lights. All winter, every time I head out in the car, I’m blinded by other cars with incredibly powerful led lights, momentarily not being able to see the road at all – and I ordinarily have good eyesight.

    I can’t recall a single time where I’ve experienced that level of blindness from a bicycle light. Not once.

    Clearly, we all have different experiences, and just because it’s never happened to me doesn’t mean it’s not happened to anyone else. But I do think there is a blind acceptance (excuse the pun) to the issue with other cars. When it comes to bicycles, it’s unusual, catches attention, makes one think… And people feel justified in vilifying it, even when it’s much less of an issue than other traffic on the roads. Much like everything else we do on a bike. Same old story, we’re fair game.

    Premier Icon Flaperon
    Free Member

    If you are worried about someone’s standard of driving then blinding them* is unlikely to help.

    Oddly, if something is dazzling me I don’t tend to drive into it.

    Premier Icon ransos
    Free Member

    , I care about ensuring they see me.

    Pretty much any rear light on the market is adequate to be seen with.

    Premier Icon YoKaiser
    Full Member

    Oddly, if something is dazzling me I don’t tend to drive into it.

    And that’s fine if the cyclist maintains the course you think they are going to take. If they move to avoid potholes, road furniture, pedestrians etc and they are at the edge of your peripheral vision…. It could be that you are not going to notice in time.

    Premier Icon wobbliscott
    Full Member

    Given how much traffic seems to try to kill, me I’m quite happy to annoy the hell out of them with my flashing lights so they actually see me

    Whilst I agree you should make yourself as visible as possible to traffic, blinding drivers is not going to make the roads any safer for cyclists, and defineatly p’ing them off is not going to do anything to help the aggression some drivers feel towards cyclists. And I think it’s been proven that high vis clothing is much more effective at getting you noticed than lights, so absolutely no need for the 20 million lumen flashing stobes. Bright lights are fine but no need to have them angled up and aimed directly at drivers eyes, angled down slightly is perfectly fine.

    I like the flashing plus constant light combo. Flashing lights act as an attention getter for other road users and constant light good for actually illuminating the road in front of you.

    Premier Icon oldnpastit
    Full Member

    Pretty much any rear light on the market is adequate to be seen with.

    Doesn’t help you much if they’re looking towards you.

    I have several stretches of road on my commute where there are just a jazillion things going on if you are a car driver – spotting the cyclist coming towards you as you make a right trying to squeeze into the gap in the traffic is tricky.

    I feel I’m helping them out by turning my front light up to the max.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    Eddie – maybe its changed but certainly when flashing lights first came out there was a standard for bike lights that you need to be fully legal. Remember the old everready ones – needs a lens of that size. I’ll have a search

    https://www.cyclinguk.org/lighting-regulations

    This state the BS thing. I cannot find the actual regs for the Bs number. I think almost no lights on the market meet it and I have seen lights with a warning on tha package stating it does not meet BS standard thus can only be used as a secondary light.

    Premier Icon eddiebaby
    Full Member

    Ta.

    Premier Icon oldnpastit
    Full Member

    and defineatly p’ing them off is not going to do anything to help the aggression some drivers feel towards cyclists.

    They will just find some other excuse to hate you.

    There are people out there with sad embittered lives, who know that everything about them up until now has been a failure.

    A cyclist with a slightly bright light is just a convenient excuse. A dog that could be kicked would do just as well.

    Premier Icon djflexure
    Free Member

    Only if you are looking

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    N the cycleways near me bike riders with offroad style lights are an utter pain dazzling everyone

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Full Member

    maybe its changed

    It has.

    Twinkly lights in order to be seen are great. Blinding oncoming motorists, not so much.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    Lighting Standards
    Other parts (two and three) of BS6102 live on, since they deal with reflectors (BS6102/2) and lights (BS6102/3) and are called up by the Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations. Conforming with one of those standards ensures that a reflector or lamp is approved, which means it can be the one item of that type you are required to have in the dark. But it’s not the only way to gain approval and non-approved lamps can always be used in addition to the approved ones, for extra conspicuity, so shops must be free to sell them. Unfortunately that is sometimes all they have for sale, approved lamps can be hard to find, but that’s another story.

    https://www.cyclinguk.org/cyclists-library/regulations/standards

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    Cougar – the only reference I can find to the BS states ” under reveiw” Cycling UK agree with me.

    Its utter bollox tho as you cannot buy lights to these standards –

    Premier Icon Poopscoop
    Full Member

    Flashing front and rear for me but not those mega bright things you can buy. Also tilted down to some degree.

    I agree with what someone else said though, some newer cats have incredibly bright headlamps. When at car driving height I find them much more “dangerous”.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Full Member

    shermer75

    Member

    I actually reckon non-flashing lights are safer

    Mix of the two is best imo. As a driver and as a cyclist… I always find it easier to spot a bright flash but easier to actually judge anything like distance etc from a bigger steady one. I have one on the back of my helmet, one on my bag, 2 on the bike, half flashing and half solid. The really bright flashy one points mostly downwards and does a good job of lighting up road furniture and stuff but I think it’s a bit too much to have pointing straight back…

    I reckon quite a lot of lights are too pinpointy, one really bright LED is very visible from the right angles but usually sucks for side visability.

    To be annoying you have to be visible but you can’t take it too far.

    Oh and proper visible gear. Not just your bog standard crap yellow, those 360 retroreflectives are awesome. Tend to be expensive and/or sweaty though but when you see a rider wearing them it’s like a ghost- a bright white torso just hanging in the air

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Full Member

    There’s several points with this.

    The first point – the guy shouting at you – is a classic example of why I hate the stuff that often gets trotted out about “giving cyclists a bad name”. Frankly, if every single cyclist obeyed every single aspect of the law to the letter, there’d still be thousands of morons out there who think that there’s something illegal somewhere along the way.

    Flashing lights are legal, that was added in a 2005 amendment but the rest of the regs are still stuck in the past and refer to things like “candelas” of brightness and obsolete BS standards.
    https://www.cyclinguk.org/lighting-regulations
    And generally, the police have better things to do anyway – the only downside is if it ends up in court then it’s yet another technicality for a switched-on lawyer to argue about.

    Re the lights themselves – being seen is all well and good but blinding the crap out of someone with a mini-disco mounted on your seatpost is unlikely to be helpful to you or them. It’ll make judging an overtake very difficult, it risks them misjudging distance and speed and while it’s fine to say “oh well they should keep their distance then”, chances are they’ll want to get past you even more just to get away from the retina-searing flashes of a small nuclear explosion on your seatpost. Some flashing light modes are absolutely awful and some cyclists seem completely oblivious of how offputting they can be to anything following.

    Maybe part of the issue is daytime running lights and the general “noise” of urban living now where there’s light pollution everywhere and the need to stand out has just resulted in ever brighter and more “flashy” lights. I have to admit at this point that I use lights all the time, no matter what the time of day or weather…

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 112 total)

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