Cyclists 'look bright, use your lights' to be seen and safe

05 April 2017

VicRoads is reminding cyclists about the importance of using lights for safer riding in the darker months ahead so they can be seen more easily by other road users.

Mornings and evenings will become progressively darker now daylight saving has finished and the need for riders to use bicycle lights and optional highly reflective accessories is increasingly critical.     

In addition to being a legal obligation under the road rules, using a white front light, red rear light and rear red reflector at night or in low light helps ensure drivers or pedestrians see cyclists in time to avoid a crash.  

VicRoads crash statistics show that 16 per cent of all fatal and serious injury crashes involving riders in Victoria, happened at night between 2011 and 2016.

The current fine for not using bicycle lights at night is $194.

VicRoads has produced an illustrative video demonstrating the stark difference in visibility between a rider using lights and highly reflective accessories, and a rider without any illuminating equipment whatsoever.

The video, which can be viewed on VicRoads Facebook page makes it clear just how dangerous it is to ride at night without lights. 

“We know that many cyclists do not use lights while riding at night, which places them at a much greater risk than riders who do use lights,” VicRoads Executive Director Access and Operations, Robyn Seymour, said.

“Our video shows just how difficult it can be to see a cyclist who is not using lights at night.     

“Riders who don’t use lights on their bikes are not only breaking the law but are effectively making themselves invisible and this creates a much greater risk of being involved in a crash.

“Cyclists are some of our most vulnerable road users and we want them to do everything possible to improve their visibility and safety at night, which is why our message is ‘Look bright, use your lights’.” 

Ms Seymour urged all cyclists to ride with lights and highly reflective gear to boost their visibility at night.

A diverse range of bicycle lights and highly reflective accessories is available from retailers, including lights with a variety of different flashing modes and internal batteries that can be recharged using a USB connection.

An extremely effective option is for riders to wear reflective strips on their ankles, as the circular pedalling movement illuminated by vehicle headlights is particularly attention-grabbing.

Wearing a highly reflective vest or material strips elsewhere on the body and bicycle helmet is also eye-catching.

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