Why no Lights?

About three times a week I cycle from Dagenham to Blackfriars. I enjoy the ride as most of it is on a segregated superhighway 3. Parts of the ride are quite fast. But  I reckon that about 20% of the cyclist I meet have no lights on, front or back. I simply do not understand why these people insist on putting their life and more importantly those of others at risk. Talk of safety and protection for cyclist is fine, but shouldn’t the some cyclists (20%) actually put their own house in order first. I am interested to know what others experience is? And what must be done to improve the situation?


When was the last fatality in which the police attributed part of the cause of the collision to the cyclist not having lights?


It's about priorities...

So because someone I have never met and no control over does something like not use lights in Barking, there shouldn't be protection for me cycling in the West End, or North London? Riiiiiight.....

There is no "us" - cyclists are disparate individuals just going somewhere. Do you feel the same about people driving badly, or walking inconsiderately, or not paying their fare on public transport? Because of them there should be no improvements to public transport, or road resurfacing, or improvements to pedestrian crossings that make life better for everyone?


We as cyclists are all individuals and individualists - that's why we cycle, we're goats not sheep.

Although lights or rather the lack of them are seldom cited as the cause of an accident it is the excuse for a lot of finger pointing.

We are an 'outgroup' so in the same way that twenty cyclists waiting patiently for the lights to turn green are invisible, but, the one cyclist who RLJ's is visible from space; a rider with no lights can be seen by every car driver on the planet. [I've written that badly but I hope you get my drift]

A simple "You're brave!" as you go past can often let you start a conversation regarding lights without being confrontational.

We've all had reasons for riding without lights. Stolen, idiot at work thinks it's a laugh to turn your lights on during the day, forgot them that morning and had to work late, you forgot to charge them/put new batteries in. There's lots of reasons.

The built enviroment always needs to be improved and the actions of the few should never be used as an excuse for not doing it!

Its illegal, let the police deal with it if they have no other priorities.

  • By Dagda at 9:25am 7 February 2014

How many motorised vehicles have you noticed in the same period that have broken or inadequate lighting? What can we do about that? 

  • By Biker at 2:25pm 7 February 2014
I am lit up like a Christmas tree when I am cycling in poor light, but that seems to make little difference to some people...motorists, cyclists and pedestrians alike. Pedestrians stepping out into the road, cyclists undertaking at great speed in bike lanes, motorists who don't think their side mirrors actually add on width to the size of their vehicles, etc...no one group is to blame...and even if all pedstrians, cyclists and motorists were to behave impeccably, that still wouldn't address some of the more serious problems. Sadly, London just isn't very good at sorting out this type of thing...those who are supposed to be managing this issue, just 'keep calm and muddle on'. Perhaps, if cyclists were to be 'appropriately' lit up (whatever that means), it might be safer for everyone...but it might make no difference at all. In the long term, we need to take a considered look at future mobility in London, and the many important issues raised by that subject (e.g. why does the taxpayer pick up the cost of RTAs which, even in minor incidents, can run into tens of thousands of pounds). But I do think, in the short term, we really need to crack on with making path/road surfaces safer for cyclists to travel on (bumps, holes, debris, etc), separating cyclists from motorists on main roads, and keeping cycle lanes free of moving and parked motor vehicles, especially during peak/rush hours. As for air quality.....

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