Bike lighting consultation

This article was published in 2003, in Newsletter 47.

The government is currently consulting on proposals to relax the laws on cycle lighting.

The consultation quotes research which concluded that ‘flashing lamps neither improve pedal cycle conspicuity nor impair it.’ But it adds that constraints such as battery life must be considered.

The proposal is to amend the law to:

  • Amend the definition of ‘British Standard mark’ to enable pedal cycles to use LED lamps as their only front or rear lighting.
  • Permit flashing front and rear position lamps on cycles as optional lamps, in addition to steady lamps required by the regulations.
  • Permit steady amber or white lamps to be mounted in the pedals and wheels of pedal cycles and their trailers and sidecars, to provide cyclists with additional options to improve their conspicuity.

In other words, the proposal is to de-criminalise the use of flashing LEDs, when used in conjunction with non-flashing lights, but not to go as far as allowing them to be used in place of steady lights.

The deadline for comments is 13 April.

Clare Macrae