See the Light

See the light [Letter by Mr A.Moss sent to cycling weekly on the 5/11/09] I ihink you may have something here which will keep cyclists safe.
Posted on November 7, 2009 by fastrunrobbie
Seen the Light

I’VE just finished reading your article in the 22/10 issue about winter and commuting, and couldn’t help but notice how ineffectual the rear lights were on the picture featured and how they blended and disappeared in the town traffic.

I have managed to solve this problem, however, what I am about to say is probable quite illegal and is down to you and the readers decide if they want to go down this route.

While browsing a very well known internet auction site, looking for the latest super rear cycle light, I happened to come across o blue flashing rear cycle light in the mould of a cat’s-eye red rear light. The problem with commuting in towns is bike lights get lost in the amount of red car lights that surround us. However on seeing a combined red/blue flashing brightly, what would your first reaction be as a driver of a vehicle?

Mine and probably 99.9% of the population – would be to slow down and take appropriate action, because they think it’s the emergencies services and, in fact, in my experience this is definitely what happened: drivers do show much more courtesy. In fact when I am using this red/blue combo, vehicles actually overtake me and indicate too, letting the following cars know there’s an obstacle ahead, instead of leaving the statutory 12 to 18 in. When I go back to red its back to trying to kill me. I have received no abuse and no honking of horns; in fact, on several occasions drivers have pulled over and said what a good it is and some have even asked where I got them. I’m almost sure they are not legal, however the last 3 winters I have been overtaken by the police/ambulance/fire vehicles and no one has ever stopped or approached me in any way to say my lights are illegal. I presume the police are turning a blind eye, and would rather me use the lights and be very visible than sweeping me up from the side of the road.

ANDY MOSS, Hartlepool [in the letters section of cycling weekly 5/11/09]