Third of Bristol cyclists ride without lights

Survey reveals lack of safety awareness

A new survey suggests that 31 percent of cyclists in Bristol, southwest England, ride without lights in the dark. 

The same figures, from specialist cycle insurer Cycleguard, showed that around 60 percent of Bristol's cyclists choose not to wear reflective clothing and 45 percent don’t wear a helmet

James Pickering, managing director of Cycleguard, said: "No one in their right mind would drive a car without lights on it, so it baffles me how many people are prepared to put their lives on the line for the sake of a set of lights on their bike. 

“Not only is it illegal to cycle without lights in hours of darkness, it's also the bare minimum any cyclist should do to keep safe and help identify themselves to other traffic,” he added. 

In October 2008, police in Oxford fined 83 cyclists caught without lights on their bikes during a crackdown in the city centre. The £30 fines were issued between 6.30pm and 9pm. 

Cyclists were issued penalty tickets, but were told the fine would be dropped if they showed a valid receipt for the purchase of a new set of bike lights at their nearest police station within seven days. 

The operation was run to coincide with the clocks turning back one hour. During a similar operation a year ago, only 53 cyclists were fined. 

At the beginning of 2008, police in Gloucester centre also had a £30 fine crackdown on cyclists caught without lights after dark.  

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