What the Highway Code says when you travel in town or on a road at night (or even during the day if visibility is insufficient: fog, tunnel), your bike must have equipment that makes it visible to other users . This is an obligation provided for by the Highway Code (R313 – paragraphs 4,5,18,19 and 20). It is made up of several elements:
- a white or yellow front headlight
- a red taillight
- a front reflector (reflector) white or yellow
- a red rear reflector
- reflectors visible from the side (reflectors attached to the spokes of the wheels or tires with reflective sidewalls)
- pedal reflectors
- And if you have attached a trailer to your bicycle, it must also be fitted with a reflector, or even a reflector on each side if its width exceeds 1.30 m.
The system can also be removable to meet the specific needs of sports cyclists or mountain bikers.
A priority for your safety because beyond the respect of the Highway Code, the essential objective remains this one: to ensure the safety of the cyclist.
By bike, seeing and being seen is vital. However, too many users underestimate the importance of lighting.
Thus, according to a survey carried out by the public authorities in 2008, 15% of those surveyed considered it unnecessary to light their bicycles at night in the presence of public lighting. And 20% say they don’t use it for the simple reason that it is not in working order.
The regulations provide that all bicycles offered for sale must be fitted with a complete lighting device, fixed or removable. It is even explicitly said that any failure in this area constitutes an offense.
A bicycle with bad lighting, too dim, is only seen at the last moment, sometimes too late …
the Federation of Road Users (FUB) has expressed its wish to see the lighting regulations evolve to offer better safety to cyclists, it has proposed several changes:
– A system of flashing lights at the rear, more visible than a simple fixed red light (authorized in Great Britain but prohibited in France)
– Headlamps or rear lamps attached to a helmet (admitted in Belgium as alternatives to lights on the bicycle but not in France)
– A “position light” function at the rear to maintain the visibility of a stationary bicycle (compulsory in Germany, whereas in France this is only an option, not even a recommendation)
– Tire blanks fitted with a reflective strip (not yet compulsory in France).
Any cyclist who travels outside built-up areas at night is required to wear a so-called “high visibility” retro-reflective vest. This equipment, which can be supplemented if necessary by retro-reflective accessories – ankle straps, cycling shoes with reflective heels – is however considered restrictive by the FUB which would prefer that the bike be over-equipped rather than the cyclist.
The FUB, for its part, recommends providing as many elements as possible with retro-reflective surfaces: tires, frame, mudguards, bags, spokes, etc. With the advantage that these elements remain permanently and are less likely to disappear under a rain cape or other blackout object.
Good to know: the fact for a cyclist to contravene the provisions of article R313 concerning lighting can be punished with a fine provided for first class fines.
and to promote the use of cycling in the Metz urban area and Learn to cycle or get back in the saddle safely discover Metz by bike