Legalisation of flashing lights [long]

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Just Zis Guy, Jan 29, 2003.

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  1. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    Here's the contents of a document I received yesterday from Chris Juden at CTC. I aven't asked his
    permission, but it should be OK to post here as it's a "position paper" rather than the formal
    response at this point, and was fairly widely circulated.

    ROAD VEHICLES LIGHTING REGULATIONS
    ==================================
    CTC Position Paper – by Chris Juden, CTC Technical Officer –
    2003.01.28

    The proposal from DfT to allow flashing lamps on bicycles is most welcome, but only addresses one
    issue, whereas there are several further ways in which the lighting regulations have become out of
    touch with the means employed by intelligent cyclists to improve their conspicuity. This is clear
    from the mere admission that "the use of flashing front and rear lights on pedal cycles is becoming
    common". That was the situation 10 years ago. "Has become" and "ubiquitous" would be more accurate
    descriptions of the current situation!

    Red flashing lamps on breakdown vehicles etc.
    ---------------------------------------------
    Before cycle lighting issues, DfT raise this other suggestion. As mentioned above, red flashing
    lights are now so commonly used by cyclists as to now send one clear message: BIKE. Their adoption
    by breakdown vehicles would dilute and confuse that message, so we strongly oppose the appropriation
    of this, our unique marker, by any kind of motor vehicle.

    It is not too clear why breakdown vehicles need red flashing lights when they are already allowed to
    use yellow flashing lights. It is alleged (in the Background paragraph) that yellow beacons have may
    have lost their effectiveness through inappropriate use. Are we to give the naughty child another
    toy to replace the one he’s broken?

    The need uniquely to identify such vehicles was mentioned. We respond with the need uniquely to
    identify bicycles! However it is true that red flashing lights are also used by joggers and
    equestrians. And cyclists don’t have a problem if this identifier becomes just a little less unique
    by association with other /vulnerable/ road users.

    In their Regulatory Impact Assessment, DfT mentions the need to warn about breakdown personnel in
    the road. We accept this point and consider it entirely appropriate for such personnel to wear red
    flashing lights attached to their hi-vis clothing etc. We note and regret the number of persons
    killed or injured on the hard shoulder or verges. Let people therefore directly identify and protect
    themselves by wearing red flashing lights – not by hanging them on the vehicles they have vacated.

    We therefore suggest an option A3: encourage people vacating or attending broken down vehicles to
    wear red flashing lights.

    Red and Blue flashers
    ---------------------
    We agree that the conditions under which Police are allowed to use red flashing lights should be
    more tightly controlled. Anything which keeps red flashing lights more clearly and uniquely
    associated with vulnerable road users has to be a good thing.

    B2 or B4 – flashers only?
    -------------------------
    Permission to use flashing lights in addition to approved, steady lights, option B2, probably needs
    no further work from us to make it happen. But that is no longer enough. It is clear that what most
    cyclists really want is to be allowed to use flashers only, at least at the rear, and as we cannot
    see an overwhelming reason why they shouldn’t, CTC supports that desire.

    The fears of some cyclists that flashing lights don’t pinpoint location and might not be so safe are
    now known to be exaggerated. The cyclist’s main problem is to grab the motorist’s attention, which
    flashing lights do best. After that any tracking issues become insignificant.

    *Option B4* is the only one that lets a flashing red LED be one's only rear lamp, so that’s the one
    we must support. Unfortunately the DfT have muddied that option by lumping in a load of gimmicky
    flashing pedal and wheel reflectors. Cyclists are not queuing up to add LEDs to their pedals and
    wheels. Products like this have been around for as long as LED rearlamps but you do not see many on
    bikes. DfT fears of a “profusion of flashing lamps” are unfounded. But if that’s a problem, we say
    take them out of option B4.

    The real problem for DfT and flashers only, is the lack of any equivalent to BS6102/3 for front and
    rear lamps that allows DfT simply to say "okay if it passes that".

    Some (not many) rear lamps which claim compliance with BS do also have a flashing mode, but there is
    no testing regime in the BS to check the flash rate or the relative duration of the on/off phases.
    Both these matters would have to be controlled before a flasher could be approved and neither are
    likely to be added to the BS on a shorter timescale than this legislation.

    The reasons to cut loose from BS
    --------------------------------
    The solution is to write these criteria into the regulations rather that 'calling up' an existing
    standard. That, however, would be seen by DfT as a retrograde step. That's how the Regulations used
    to be, when they spoke about a "white" front light "visible from a reasonable distance" – before
    they got the BSI precisely to define the colour and intensity in all directions. The trouble with
    precise definitions is, they root you to a point in history – but that’s another matter.

    So, to be sure we were getting something equivalent to existing approved lamps, we could ask DfT to
    extract just the most important criteria out of the BS, write them into the regs and let the free
    market take care of the rest. That, I am afraid, is the only way to make flashers legal as a
    cyclist’s only lights, in the short term. It could also solve some other problems.

    Lights that are TOO good!
    -------------------------
    Increasing numbers of cyclists are resorting to very bright so-called off-road rechargeable
    headlights in order to make themselves more conspicuous from the front. At present these are legal
    as additions. However: when one has 20W of rechargeable halogen power on the handlebars, it is
    ridiculous to add a comparatively puny fig-leaf of an approved headlamp and still shell out on
    disposable batteries. For one thing there is seldom enough space left to mount it. So almost nobody
    bothers and it really doesn't matter - except that it's illegal.

    Why are these lamps not approved? There are various highly technical reasons to do with beam
    pattern, the size of the writing on the battery pack etc., none of which has much bearing on road
    safety. I'm sure that they could be manufactured to BS, but we have to accept that Britain is a
    commercially insignificant cycling country with peculiarly restrictive cycle lighting laws. Anything
    goes in the USA and the southern half of Europe, so why should manufacturers bother? After all: they
    can sell it in the UK just the same – it's only the users who may have a legal problem and few of
    them know it. Fewer still policemen.

    Without a European Directive on cycle lighting standards, and there's no prospect of that, foreign
    lamp manufacturers (we no longer have any significant ones in Britain) will continue to say: "ah
    yes, very nice standard, but I think my lamp will sell better if I make it like this". And it will.

    Performance criteria
    --------------------
    The writing into the lighting regulations of common minimum performance criteria for headlamps and
    rearlamps is, I suggest, the way forward. BS6102/3 could still be mentioned as one of the ways to
    ensure they are met.

    DfT already propose to write some performance criteria into the regulations. Flashing additional
    lights will be allowed between 1 and 4 flashes per second. For them to replace steady lights, we
    should require that they at least deliver an equal amount of light energy, averaged over time. For a
    rear lamp that would be 4cd (so a lamp that flashed with equal on and off periods should reach a
    peak intensity of 8cd or more). I think we should also require the duration of each “on” phase to be
    at least 125 milliseconds (half of the time at fastest permitted flash rate). This may be needed to
    avoid strobe-type flashes of blinding intensity. These criteria are equally applicable to flashing
    and non flashing lights and could easily be written into the regulations, opening the market to all
    responsibly designed flashing lights.

    The same should be said of front flashing lights, for which the BS minimum is 400cd, peak
    brightness. An upper limit on peak brightness is also advisable and I’d suggest the same limit as
    that applying to car headlamps: 24000cd.

    BS6102 presently limits the light emitted 3.5° above beam centre to 70cd to stop cyclists dazzling
    oncoming traffic. This is design restrictive (none of these higher-power lamps control the beam this
    tightly) and ultimately futile, since the Lighting Regulations say nothing about how the lamp is
    mounted on the bike. And any cyclist can simply reach down and twist his lamp to point as desired.
    No one, however, should need their lamp aimed higher than 1° below the horizontal, and I suggest
    that writing that requirement into the Lighting regulations would compensate for breaking free from
    BS6102/3 and its pointless 70cd limit.

    It remains only to ensure that both these lights also direct some light to the sides. This is easily
    done by defining zones within which the averaged intensity must exceed certain levels, e.g. 1cd
    everywhere 10° up and down and 45° R&L from the centre, 0.05cd throughout 15° U&D and 80° R&L.

    Pedal Reflectors
    ----------------
    It is most regrettable that DfT have ignored the problems experienced by cyclists using modern
    clipless pedal systems. Most simply cannot have pedal reflectors, so cyclists wear reflective ankle
    bands etc. It is all very well to talk about flashing lights on pedals and in the wheels, but it is
    much more important to recognise these alternative means of providing the mandated reflectorisation
    in cases where no such hardware can be applied. Nothing brings the law into greater disrepute than
    when well-informed, law-abiding people find that it ignores their attempts to satisfy its
    intentions.

    I believe that reflective ankle bands exist that can equal the performance of pedal reflectors.
    Also, since the only function of front pedal reflectors is to take the place of rear ones when the
    pedal rotates, front reflectors need only be fitted when a pedal is capable of being used either way
    up. The regulations must be amended so that reasonable alternatives can be used. If necessary,
    cyclists could add additional fixed reflectors to the rear of the bicycle, but alternatives of some
    sort must be allowed, not on the pedals.

    It is not good enough to dismiss “keen” cyclists, the users of high-tech pedals, as an unimportant
    minority. In many parts of Britain conditions are so hostile for cycling that, especially after
    dark, such enthusiasts are almost the only cyclists out there.

    Stationary in traffic
    ---------------------
    The existing law requiring an unlit cyclist to be at the kerbside seems very reasonable until you
    consider the practicalities for dynamo users. There you are, approaching a junction in the correct
    lane for going straight ahead, when the traffic grinds to a halt. However the left-turn filter is
    still moving and fast. What to do? Stay put, which is illegal since your lights are out, but
    perfectly safe because everything fore and aft has stopped like you? Or try to hop across that
    stream of traffic on your left! The latter course is ridiculously hazardous and leads to even
    greater danger when a few minutes later you must try to cross it again and re-enter the now
    accelerating stream of traffic so recently vacated!

    Modern dynamo systems are the most reliable of cycle lights and their use should be encouraged by
    anyone who is serious about road safety. We suggest that cyclists are allowed to remain unlit not
    only when stopped at the kerbside but also in all other circumstances where an approaching vehicle
    would also have to stop, even if the cyclist were not there. To summarise these conditions:

    A cyclist should be allowed to be unlit on a road if stationary:
    2004. at the kerbside
    2005. at a give-way or stop line, and prevented from advancing by traffic signals or vehicles
    crossing in front that have right-of-way
    2006. at any place on a road immediately behind a vehicle that has stopped in front.

    I should mention that the Continentals, who are ahead of us in so many cycling ways, have developed
    dynamo rear lamps that stay on when you stop, albeit at somewhat reduced brightness. A sensible
    compromise, that would encourage dynamo users to upgrade their rear lamps, would be to allow the
    front light to be extinguished in all the above suggested circumstances, but still require at least
    2cd output from the rear lamp (50% of the level normally required).

    Guy
    ===
    ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
    dynamic DNS permitting)
    NOTE: BT Openworld have now blocked port 25 (without notice), so old mail addresses may no longer
    work. Apologies.
     
    Tags:


  2. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Chris Juden at CTC wrote:
    > The need uniquely to identify such vehicles was mentioned. We respond with the need uniquely to
    > identify bicycles! However it is true that red flashing lights are also used by joggers and
    > equestrians. And cyclists don't have a problem if this identifier becomes just a little less
    > unique by association with other /vulnerable/ road users.

    What about the motorist who ploughs into the back of the stationary breakdown vehicle. Isn't he/she
    a vulnerable road user?

    This doesn't exactly encourage me to sign up to the CTC. I wouldn't want to be associated with this
    stupid and selfish attitude.

    ~PB
     
  3. "Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> wrote:
    > Here's the contents of a document

    ...full of funny Microsoft non-characters like the iso-8859 "start of guarded area" character.
    Mutter, mutter.

    How do you expect real cyclists to be able to read something like that?
     
  4. Steve Peake

    Steve Peake Guest

    "Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > The fears of some cyclists that flashing lights don't pinpoint location and might not be so safe
    > are now known to be exaggerated. The cyclist's main problem is to grab the motorist's attention,
    > which flashing lights do best. After that any tracking issues become insignificant.

    Known by who?

    My eyes tell me different, a combined flashing and steady light would seem to be a better solution.

    Steve
     
  5. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    Pete Biggs wrote:
    > Chris Juden at CTC wrote:
    >> The need uniquely to identify such vehicles was mentioned. We respond with the need uniquely to
    >> identify bicycles! However it is true that red flashing lights are also used by joggers and
    >> equestrians. And cyclists don't have a problem if this identifier becomes just a little less
    >> unique by association with other /vulnerable/ road users.

    > What about the motorist who ploughs into the back of the stationary breakdown vehicle. Isn't
    > he/she a vulnerable road user?

    Except that they won't because the breakdown vehicle already has *orange* flashing lights, and the
    only reason people don't take more notice of them is that breakdown vehicles regularly drive with
    their orange flashing lights on, which is illegal. So how will allowing them to have red flashing
    lights help here? How long will it be before they are driving along with their red flashing lights
    on? What colour next? Perhaps we should suggest that all the colours of the rainbow are included so
    that there is no need to amend the regulations when abuse makes the new red flashing lights
    ineffective as well.

    It seems to me entirely reasonable to reserve red flashing lights for use of vulnerable road
    users (and police) rather than create confusion by also allowing their use on stationary
    breakdown vehicles.

    --
    Guy
    ===
    I wonder if you wouldn't mind piecing out our imperfections with your thoughts; and while you're
    about it perhaps you could think when we talk of bicycles, that you see them printing their proud
    wheels i' the receiving earth; thanks awfully.

    http://www.highwaycode.gov.uk/09.shtml#103 http://www.highwaycode.gov.uk/09.shtml#104
     
  6. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    Geraint Jones wrote:
    > ...full of funny Microsoft non-characters like the iso-8859 "start of guarded area" character.
    > Mutter, mutter.

    Wierd. This was copied from Microsoft Turd (format in which it arrived) and pasted into Agent, which
    should have made it text-only. Normally I save as ASCII first, but I was running late last night:-/

    --
    Guy
    ===
    I wonder if you wouldn't mind piecing out our imperfections with your thoughts; and while you're
    about it perhaps you could think when we talk of bicycles, that you see them printing their proud
    wheels i' the receiving earth; thanks awfully.

    http://www.highwaycode.gov.uk/09.shtml#103 http://www.highwaycode.gov.uk/09.shtml#104
     
  7. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    Steve Peake wrote:

    >> The fears of some cyclists that flashing lights don't pinpoint location and might not be so safe
    >> are now known to be exaggerated.

    > My eyes tell me different, a combined flashing and steady light would seem to be a better
    > solution.

    I agree - but since I have four rear lights on my commuter I am not exactly running with the
    pack here :)

    --
    Guy
    ===
    I wonder if you wouldn't mind piecing out our imperfections with your thoughts; and while you're
    about it perhaps you could think when we talk of bicycles, that you see them printing their proud
    wheels i' the receiving earth; thanks awfully.

    http://www.highwaycode.gov.uk/09.shtml#103 http://www.highwaycode.gov.uk/09.shtml#104
     
  8. Graeme Dods

    Graeme Dods Guest

    "Pete Biggs" <pLime{remove_fruit}@biggs.tc> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > What about the motorist who ploughs into the back of the stationary breakdown vehicle. Isn't
    > he/she a vulnerable road user?

    Only in so far as he/she is obviously as blind as a bat. The CTC only seems to be asking that *red*
    flashing lights aren't used on breakdown vehicles, not that they stop using existing orange lights.
    Anyone who cannot *see* an orange flashing light is unlikely to be able to see a red flashing light.
    Having it actually register on their consciousness may be a different matter, but that isn't a
    reason to change light colour, it's a reason for better driver awareness in general. (If I start to
    sound like P**l S****h please shoot me)

    I'm not aware of anyone having difficulty seeing being able to see recovery vehicles with oragne
    lights. In my own experience often the trouble is they are *too* obvious and can be distracting if
    you let your concentraion lapse for a second (but maybe that's my moth like tendancies coming out).
    I've been behind recovery vehicles that are towing and have soo many orange flashing lights that you
    can't see when/if they turn their indicators on.

    And don't start me on numpties who tow with their hazards on!

    Have fun!

    Graeme
     
  9. Clive George

    Clive George Guest

    > Here's the contents of a document I received yesterday from Chris Juden at CTC. I aven't asked his
    > permission, but it should be OK to post here as it's a "position paper" rather than the formal
    > response at this point, and was fairly widely circulated.

    <snip>

    Wow, top quality stuff. Even answers my gripe about pedal reflectors. Hooray for the CTC!

    (and boo to PB for thinking that flashing red lights will stop people running into
    breakdown trucks).

    cheers, clive
     
  10. Pete Biggs <[email protected]> wrote:
    >Chris Juden at CTC wrote:
    >>The need uniquely to identify such vehicles was mentioned. We respond with the need uniquely to
    >>identify bicycles! However it is true that red flashing lights are also used by joggers and
    >>equestrians. And cyclists don't have a problem if this identifier becomes just a little less
    >>unique by association with other /vulnerable/ road users.
    >What about the motorist who ploughs into the back of the stationary breakdown vehicle. Isn't he/she
    >a vulnerable road user?

    No; they're in a big metal box, and clearly driving without due care and attention, since the
    breakdown vehicle will be showing amber flashing lights.

    Read what Juden wrote before criticising it; he doesn't want to remove lights from breakdown
    vehicles, but rather to preserve the meaning of light colours rather than permitting them to be used
    more indiscriminately.
    --
    David Damerell <[email protected]> flcl?
     
  11. Steve Peake <[email protected]> wrote:
    >"Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >>The fears of some cyclists that flashing lights don't pinpoint location and might not be so safe
    >>are now known to be exaggerated. The
    >Known by who?

    Known by people who have performed more rigorous analysis rather than simply going with gut feel,
    I imagine.

    >My eyes tell me different, a combined flashing and steady light would seem to be a better solution.

    Better still, yes, but this demands 2 lights which are obviously better than one.
    --
    David Damerell <[email protected]> flcl?
     
  12. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Just zis Guy, you know? wrote:

    >> What about the motorist who ploughs into the back of the stationary breakdown vehicle. Isn't
    >> he/she a vulnerable road user?
    >
    > Except that they won't because the breakdown vehicle already has *orange* flashing lights, and the
    > only reason people don't take more notice of them is that breakdown vehicles regularly drive with
    > their orange flashing lights on, which is illegal.

    I think there's more to it than that......

    > So how will allowing them to have red flashing lights help here?

    Red lights are associated with REAR of vehicles. Orange and yellow lights are associated with all
    sorts of other things. The dozey motorist reacts more instinctively to red lights - by far the best
    colour to indicate danger.

    Motorists may well be stupid & careless, but that doesn't stop them being vulnerable too. Cars DO
    run into breakdown and emergency vehicles. Even if you think they deserve to die (I don't), their
    innocent passengers certainly don't.

    > How long will it be before they are driving along with their red flashing lights on?

    If that would be problematic (I'm not so sure), it could be made compulsary to fit flashers that
    automatically turn off or go steady once the vehicle moves (or moves over a certain speed).

    Flashing red lights work by grabbing attention - THEN the motorist sees and identifies the vehicle
    for whatever it is. I don't believe the use of them on other vehicles will do any harm to cyclists.
    I maintain that it's selfish to restrict the use of safety devices to the "most vulnerable" groups.
    In my view, they should be allowed for anyone who would benefit from them.

    ~PB
     
  13. Clive George

    Clive George Guest

    "Pete Biggs" <pLime{remove_fruit}@biggs.tc> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > Flashing red lights work by grabbing attention - THEN the motorist sees and identifies the vehicle
    > for whatever it is. I don't believe the use of them on other vehicles will do any harm to
    > cyclists. I maintain that it's selfish to restrict the use of safety devices to the "most
    > vulnerable" groups. In my view, they should be allowed for anyone who would benefit from them.

    Have you ever seen the flashing amber lights on top of recovery trucks? Changing them to flashing
    red won't make any difference - if somebody's dozy enough to hit it with flashing ambers, they'll
    still hit it with flashing reds.

    clive
     
  14. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    Pete Biggs wrote:

    >>> What about the motorist who ploughs into the back of the stationary breakdown vehicle. Isn't
    >>> he/she a vulnerable road user?

    >> Except that they won't because the breakdown vehicle already has *orange* flashing lights

    > I think there's more to it than that......

    Yes - the "more" in this case is that the operators of the recovery vehicles are considerably more
    vulnerable than the dozy cagers, and Mr Juden rightly points out that they can hang as many red
    blinkies on their high-viz jackets as they like. Having seen a breakdown truck only this morning
    loading up a MDG whose driver was unable to cope with snow, you'd have to be f***ing BLIND not to
    notice the flashing lights on those things - orange flashers, hazards, roof-mounted spotlight -
    loads of light. And if a driver is confused, you know what he should do? *slow down*, like the HC
    says. The original consultation document gives the misuse of the orange lights as the primary reason
    for allowing red ones - like Mr Juden says, do we give the naughty child another toy to replace the
    one he's broken?

    > Red lights are associated with REAR of vehicles. Orange and yellow lights are associated with all
    > sorts of other things. The dozey motorist reacts more instinctively to red lights - by far the
    > best colour to indicate danger.

    The dozy motorist should slow down and assess the situation. Most of the fatalities among breakdown
    drivers are caused either by cagers driving straight into the back of the whole assembly (which is
    usually lit up like a Christmas tree), or passing too close and too fast. When in doubt, slow down.
    I know that the P**l Sm*th school of safe driving says that you are only safe when exceeding 70mph,
    but it doesn't hurt to give yourself a bit more reaction time.

    > Motorists may well be stupid & careless, but that doesn't stop them being vulnerable too. Cars DO
    > run into breakdown and emergency vehicles. Even if you think they deserve to die (I don't), their
    > innocent passengers certainly don't.

    I don't think they deserve to die (cutting their goolies off is quite sufficient), but I don't think
    that the misuse of orange beacons by breakdown vehicles is a particularly good reason to allow them
    to use one of the few distinctive lighting features which bikes have.

    >> How long will it be before they are driving along with their red flashing lights on?

    > If that would be problematic (I'm not so sure), it could be made compulsary to fit flashers that
    > automatically turn off or go steady once the vehicle moves (or moves over a certain speed).

    This same technique could be applied to the orange beacons, thus solving the real problem rather
    than moving it to a different colour of light.

    > Flashing red lights work by grabbing attention - THEN the motorist sees and identifies the vehicle
    > for whatever it is. I don't believe the use of them on other vehicles will do any harm to
    > cyclists. I maintain that it's selfish to restrict the use of safety devices to the "most
    > vulnerable" groups. In my view, they should be allowed for anyone who would benefit from them.

    I have to disagree - motorists in general pay far too little attention to vulnerable road users,
    and raising the profile of bikes and horse riders with a unique colour of lighting is a Good Thing
    in my view.

    --
    Guy
    ===
    I wonder if you wouldn't mind piecing out our imperfections with your thoughts; and while you're
    about it perhaps you could think when we talk of bicycles, that you see them printing their proud
    wheels i' the receiving earth; thanks awfully.

    http://www.highwaycode.gov.uk/09.shtml#103 http://www.highwaycode.gov.uk/09.shtml#104
     
  15. Chris French

    Chris French Guest

    In message <[email protected]>, "Just zis Guy, you know?"
    <[email protected]> writes
    >Geraint Jones wrote:
    >> ...full of funny Microsoft non-characters like the iso-8859 "start of guarded area" character.
    >> Mutter, mutter.
    >
    >Wierd. This was copied from Microsoft Turd (format in which it arrived) and pasted into Agent,
    >which should have made it text-only. Normally I save as ASCII first, but I was running late
    >last night:-/

    It all came across looking like pain text to me here.
    >

    --
    Chris French, Leeds
     
  16. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Clive George wrote:
    > Have you ever seen the flashing amber lights on top of recovery trucks? Changing them to flashing
    > red won't make any difference - if somebody's dozy enough to hit it with flashing ambers, they'll
    > still hit it with flashing reds.

    I'm not so sure, and the new/extra lights need not be _on_top_ of the trucks. I suspect lights in
    the usual brake-light positions - but just more intense (flashing could help this) - could be more
    effective.

    ~PB
     
  17. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Just zis Guy, you know? wrote:
    > Yes - the "more" in this case is that the operators of the recovery vehicles are considerably
    > more vulnerable than the dozy cagers, and Mr Juden rightly points out that they can hang as many
    > red blinkies on their high-viz jackets as they like. Having seen a breakdown truck only this
    > morning loading up a MDG whose driver was unable to cope with snow, you'd have to be f***ing
    > BLIND not to notice the flashing lights on those things - orange flashers, hazards, roof-mounted
    > spotlight - loads of light. And if a driver is confused, you know what he should do? *slow down*,
    > like the HC says.

    Yes, of course they /should/, but they are not doing so. Something different needs to be tried.

    >>> How long will it be before they are driving along with their red flashing lights on?
    >
    >> If that would be problematic (I'm not so sure), it could be made compulsary to fit flashers that
    >> automatically turn off or go steady once the vehicle moves (or moves over a certain speed).
    >
    > This same technique could be applied to the orange beacons, thus solving the real problem rather
    > than moving it to a different colour of light.

    That could be done, but I don't think that's the whole problem though. (Details in
    previous replies).

    The two cruxes of the arguments I take issue with are:

    1. "Flashing red lights make motorists drive more carefully".
    - They don't in my experience (and in my discussions with drivers I know); once attention has
    been grabbed, drivers still see "bike" and treat bikes as they always have done.

    2. "Using flashing red lights on breakdown trucks will add to confusion and deminishes the care that
    motorists will give to cyclists and riders".
    - I think the size difference of vehicles, and size and number of lights, will make this a non
    issue. They will look too different for that to be a problem.

    BTW, I think red lights on vehicles should be strictly limited to use at the rear. I do not want
    them at the front of breakdown trucks; not even sure about on top.

    My thinking is that red = rear / danger / slow / stop. Making a red light flashing just enhances
    this - doesn't turn it into a new colour. It does not and should not turn it into something totally
    different or unique, and so it should be acceptable for _all_ vulnerable road users to use them. I
    reckon it's fair to include stationary or slow moving breakdown vehicles.

    ~PB
     
  18. >It all came across looking like pain text to me here.

    Moi aussi - nice plain text when I read it.

    Cheers, helen s

    ~~~~~~~~~~
    Flush out that intestinal parasite and/or the waste product before sending a reply!

    Any speeliong mistake$ aR the resiult of my cats sitting on the keyboaRRRDdd
    ~~~~~~~~~~
     
  19. Bob Flemming

    Bob Flemming Guest

    >> The fears of some cyclists that flashing lights don't pinpoint location and might not be so safe
    >> are now known to be exaggerated. The cyclist's main problem is to grab the motorist's attention,
    >> which flashing lights do best. After that any tracking issues become insignificant.

    INSIGNIFICANT???????????????

    I'd say that as both a car driver and a cyclist I'd take just one really bright, constant LED rather
    than a flashing one any day of the week. After that I'd go for reflective clothing, reflectors on
    the bike and then lastly a flashing LED.

    Real early the other morning I came across a postman on his bike, dressed in all his gear. Caught in
    my headlights in the distance he 'lit up' like a neon. A while further down the road I followed a
    lad on a dark coloured bike, dressed in black, with a rear flashing led....and a weak one at that.
    At first it was very difficult to 'pick up' on what he was doing. He was darting in and out of
    traffic, going to the side of me, behind me, in front etc. Ok, not that big a deal, he wasn't
    breaking the law, but jesus, to 'pick him up' with side mirror, windscreen mirror was a times,
    unnervingly difficult.

    Sorry, but personally speaking, I just don't buy into the flashing led thing at all.

    But I still use one though :)

    bob
     
  20. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On 30 Jan 2003 18:16:59 GMT, [email protected] (wafflycathcsdirtycatlitter) wrote:

    >Moi aussi

    Translation: I am an Australian.
     
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