Recent NCE letters have voiced opinions as to the pros and cons for ideas promoting a safer environment for cyclists.
What appears to have been overlooked is the issue of cyclists being seen by other road users.
Being on a relatively slow moving small vehicle, a cyclist's visibility is paramount in the busy traffic conditions of most towns and cities, especially in the gloomier areas. The same could also be said of the country lanes in my vicinity, which are totally black at night.
The ardent cycling enthusiast is often to be seen at night in brightly coloured clothing, and his bike equipped with various winking lights and pedal reflectors. However the more casual users, especially children and some adults, are not visible until found crossing your path three feet in front of the car!
Some fifty years ago, when I was a child cyclist, I am sure that the rules and regs on bicycle lighting were upgraded to promote the use of larger lights, and the police gave lectures to ram these ideas home. Nowadays, apart from cycles owned by the enthusiast rider, it is commonplace for such machines to have no lights whatsoever.
The only saving grace with the modern bike is the factoryfitting of reflectors, but surely this is not enough on our busy roads? To promote cyclist safety at night, it should be made a punishable offence for riders without reflective coats, and/or using a bike without working front and back lights.
Mike Gouldsborough Mike.Gouldsborough@mouchel.com]