With the clocks having gone back last month, all of a sudden many who cycle to and from work are now out on their bicycles during the hours of darkness. It's quite easy to get caught out and be on the roads without any bike lights.
So, on the back of last year's successful campaign, Cycle Law Scotland have once again teamed up with Police Scotland's Road Policing Division to reignite the #LIGHTUP campaign.
The campaign is an opportunity to educate ALL road users and make them aware of their respective responsibilities to be safe.
Whatever your chosen mode of transport, you owe a duty of care to others when sharing road space.
It's important to understand your rights and responsibilities when on the road. From a cycling perspective, the law states that when on your bicycle between sunset and sunrise, it must be fitted with the following;
1. White front light
2. Red rear light
3. Red rear reflector
4. Amber/yellow pedal reflectors
Failure to comply with these regulations can result in a Fixed Penalty Notice for £50. It is considered in the same category as cycling the wrong way down a one-way street or jumping a red light.
The #LIGHTUP campaign will enable Police Scotland to offer out free lights rather than a fixed penalty notice to cyclists stopped for failure to display lights during the hours of darkness. The campaign is not designed to blame those cycling without lights, but instead, to make sure they understand why they must comply with the law and allow them to proceed more safely and legally to their chosen destination. Cyclists are vulnerable to sustaining injury in any collision with a faster moving vehicle and as such must ensure they are there to be seen. Pedestrians are vulnerable too and cyclists must ensure they are lit up so as not to pose a risk to others on the road.
The reasoning behind the campaign name “#LightUp” is that it is also an opportunity for car drivers to ensure they too are ‘lit up’ with fully functional lights to make their vehicles clearly visible on the road. Any campaign, road safety or otherwise, can only be effective if the general public as a whole is engaged. If you segregate out a particular group of road users, we will not achieve the common objective of making Scotland’s roads safer and more user friendly.
Jodi Gordon, Partner at Cycle Law Scotland, is really pleased to be able to re-run the campaign,
“We’re delighted to support this important road safety campaign once again given that we see daily the consequences of road traffic collisions between vulnerable road users and vehicles. Anything we can do to help educate road users and promote the legal requirement to #lightup in order to see and be seen has got to be a good thing.”
Superintendent Simon Bradshaw, Deputy Head of Road Policing, said:
“This campaign provides us with a good opportunity to speak to members of the public who use the road network and highlight our respective responsibilities as road users, so we again welcome the opportunity to be involved this year. Being easily visible to others and being alert to other road users, whether you are a cyclist, pedestrian or driver, goes a long way to improving road safety. The majority of us will use several different modes of transport and so it is important we work together to make our roads safer for all.”