Cyclists are being urged to take responsibility for their own safety this winter and make sure their bikes are fitted with the correct lights.
British Summer Time ended on 28 October, meaning darker evenings for the school run or commute.
Cycling UK believes cyclists, like all road users, should ‘behave responsibly and within the law’ and ensure that they and their bikes are visible at night.
Cyclists must use white front and red rear lights lit at night (flashing lights are now permitted). Bikes must also be fitted with a red rear reflector, and amber pedal reflectors if they were manufactured after 1 October 1985.
Cherry Allan, Cycling UK’s campaigns and policy co-ordinator said: “For many people out cycling, especially for commuting or making the journey to school, it’s increasingly likely these journeys will be made in darkness.
“It’s time to light up, not just so cyclists can see where they’re going but also to help you be seen by other road users.
“Cycling UK always asks for people driving to be aware of cyclists and give them plenty of space when overtaking, but especially now that the evening commute for the vast majority of people is in darkness.”
Drivers urged to be ‘especially aware’ of cyclists
With road defects being harder to spot in the darker hours, and autumnal leaf fall and damp road conditions potentially creating a slip hazard, Cycling UK is also urging drivers to be especially aware of cyclists and give them extra space while overtaking.
The campaign group points to a list of tips for drivers, compiled by the AA, several of which are particularly relevant as the clocks turn back.
The AA advises: “Cyclists are more vulnerable than car users. They have the same rights on the road and drivers should remember they are sharing the road with cyclists.
“Drivers should give as much room as practically possible when overtaking a cycle – Highway Code Rule 163 illustrates one car’s width – they may have to move out to avoid hazards like drains, potholes, or other debris on the road that you may not be able to see.
“At night, drivers should use dipped headlights when approaching cyclists as they would when approaching any other road user.
“And they should allow cyclists extra room in wet weather as surfaces will be wet and slippery.”