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Brighten up for Winter

Clocks going back

12:01am 30th October 2011
(Updated 6:40pm 30th October 2011)

The clock have gone back which only means one thing, the darker nights are now upon us.

Road safety officials in York are asking us all to make sure we're visable to motorists when we're out at night.

They're urging cyclists in particular to make sure the lights on their bike are working.

They're warning those who're caught without their lights on, will be issued with a £30 fixed penalty ticket.


Travel and road safety partners in York are reminding everyone who's out and about after dark of the importance of being visible to other road users.  

This is especially the case for cyclists who need to light up to see and be seen on York's roads this Autumn and Winter.

It's important for cyclists to ensure that they follow The Highway Code, obey the rules of the road, and look out for pedestrians, but also that they can be seen clearly by other road users.

This means:

  • Ensuring that lights and reflectors work and are kept clean;
  • Wearing light coloured clothing;
  • Investing in some high visibility clothing or reflective 'slapwraps', if possible.

Motorists can help by slowing down and making sure they give cyclists enough room.

North Yorkshire Police and the Safer York Partnership will run Operation Image which will start at the beginning of November, where Police Officers and Police Community Support Officers will stop cyclists who are riding bikes in the dark without lights or committing cycling offences

They will be issued with a £30 fixed penalty ticket or a suspended fixed penalty notice that gives them 14 days to ensure that working lights are fitted to their cycle.

They will then need to visit a local cycle retailer, who will check that their lights are working and put a business stamp on the penalty notice, so that they can report back to the police station with the stamped notice and lights on their bike.

Those who fail to act within the 14-day period will be reported for summons and may have to attend court.  Cyclists who are stopped will also have an opportunity to purchase lights and bike locks at a discounted price, supported by Safer York Partnership. Lights £5.00 and Locks at £12.00

Persons cycling without lights and on pavements is one of the main issues of complaint from residents, we need to ensure that we take positive action but also educate those using the roads, to be safe and be seen.

The Highway Code states that, at night, cyclists must have white front and red rear lights lit. Bikes must also be fitted with a red rear reflector (and amber pedal reflectors, if manufactured after 1 October 1985). White front reflectors and spoke reflectors will also help cyclists 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.

Graham Titchener, from City of York Council's transport team, said:

"In the Highway Code, 'night' is defined as the period between half an hour after sunset and half an hour before sunrise.

"The rules are very clear, so there is no excuse for not having lights on your bike after dark. If you're unsure about what sort of lighting to use just visit your local cycle shop and ask for their advice."

Cllr. Dave Merrett, Cabinet Member for City Strategy added:

"We want to ensure that everyone stays safe when riding their bikes through the winter months.

"Remember if you're a cyclist and don't have lights on, you are very difficult to see and pose a real danger to yourself and others around you.

"If you're a driver, please give proper consideration to cyclists."

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