Light up your bike this winter

County Wicklow Road Safety Together Working Group is calling on all cyclists to ‘Light Up Your Bike’ during these darker days and evenings.

Cyclists are reminded that the use of bike lights is a legal requirement when cycling during lighting up periods. If you choose to cycle without lights, or your lights fail when on the road, you become less visible and run the risk of a €40 fixed penalty notice.

The use of bike lights helps increase your visibility to other road users and there are many types and styles to choose from. Most bike lights tend to be battery or dynamo operated.

If using battery operated bike lights, rechargeable/non-rechargeable, it is important to remember that they may run out of power whilst on your journey. That is why it is important to have a backup pair which can be easily attached to your bike.  It is also important to remember that bike lights are not just for adults they are also to be used by children and teenagers when cycling to school. 

Top tips for lighting your bike:

Batteries – if you opt for disposable battery powered lights ensure you have enough power left to complete your journey fully lit. However, a better option might be rechargeable battery powered lights. All you must do is ensure they are fully charged each time by disconnecting when required and recharging either at work or home.

Spares – It’s useful to get into the habit of carrying some spare lights or spare batteries with you – especially if you have a slightly longer journey. Spare lights don’t need to be expensive and it might be a good idea to keep some at work, so you don’t get caught out on the way home. Remember to recycle your old batteries.

Beware Thieves– If your lights are detachable then never leave them attached to your bike while it’s unattended.

Dynamos – If you are buying a new bike, you may consider getting a dynamo fitted. Modern hub dynamos give you good light with minimal effort and no need to worry about theft or the batteries running out.

Cllr Shay Cullen, Cathaoirleach of Wicklow County Council, said: “I am pleased to be supporting this very important ‘Light Up Your Bike’ initiative to remind cyclists to make sure they have the correct lights on their bikes and to check them regularly. Bike lights are a simple yet effective way to improving visibility. As the evenings are getting darker, we need to ensure that the lights are also working on our children’s bikes and to check them regularly.”

Inspector Paddy Casey, An Garda Síochána, Bray District, stated: “An Garda Síochána is delighted to be part of this very important road safety initiative in County Wicklow.  A bicycle is not just for leisure activities but also used by some as a means of transport which comes with a personal responsibility to ensure that cyclists and their bicycles are appropriately equipped and visible to all other road users. This campaign is about the County Wicklow Road Safety Together Working Group bringing awareness to cycling safely on our roads. An Garda Síochána is asking cyclists to make sure they are visible to all other road users by equipping their bicycles with the correct lighting, while using our roads.”

Mr Sam Wade, CEO Road Safety Authority, added: “I am delighted to support this ‘Light UP Your Bike’ initiative to remind cyclists of what they can do to help make sure they are safe on our roads. Whether cycling for transport or for pleasure we want to make sure that cyclists are as visible as possible to motorists and other road users. As it is darker in the mornings and the evenings are getting darker earlier we want to remind cyclists to check the white light to the front of the bike is working and the red light at the back.

Linda Healy, County Wicklow Road Safety Officer, said that “Using good quality lights on your bike is the best way to improve your visibility to other road users during darker mornings and evenings. Bike lights are a legal requirement during Lighting-Up hours, which is from 30 minutes after sunset until 30 minutes before sunrise.”

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