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Thread: Flashing lights are now Legal!
1st October 2005 #1
Just got my copy of the CTC's oct/nov mag and it states that LED lamps are now legal so long as 1) they flash2) they are emit more than 4 Candela (candle power)However take this situationif for example your light is a 40 watt lupin HID it wont be legal as: A it doesn’t flash and B it isn't LED!If you have a LED light that doesn't comply with BS6102/3 and you have it on static (none flashing) this is also illegaljust been onto http://www.audax.uk.net/lights/legal.htmand its in a bit more detail...UPDATED - this page updated September 2005.This page pertains to the legal situation in the UK specifically - not to anywhere else.Some people are concerned that if they use LED lights or flashing lights on their bike they are breaking the law.In the UK, a change in the law in October 2005, permits a bike to be fitted with flashing lights, rear and/or front.The exact specification for these lights is, flashing between 1 and 4 times per second, with a brightness of at least 4 candela. (Or that may be 4 candlepower - there are conflicting versions at this time.)Most modern LED lights will comfortably meet this specification, assuming they have reasonably fresh batteries fitted.A forthcoming amendment to the Highway Code will recommend that a bicycle fitted with such lights, should also be fitted with a steady headlamp - but this is a recommendation and not law, the flashing lights alone will be legal.In the case of steady (ie non-flashing) lights - the use of LEDs for steady lighting seems still to be a slightly grey area.It is impossible to find any authority to state categorically that these lights are (or can be) legal.This is due to a really obscure 'loophole' in the legal documentation.But it's definitely just a technicality - no-one is denying that the intent of the law, since April 1995, is to legalise LED lights that are BS-approved.So LED lights that are packaged as 'legal' would be more accurately described as 'BS-approved'. This is just as good as 'legal', but, to be pedantic about it, it's not quite the same thing!All steady lights (LED or filament, or HID) must be BS-approved to be legal in the UK.Actually, this is a slight simplification, as some overseas standards such as DIN can be taken as 'equivalent to BS' and lights that are approved according to such a standard are also legal in the UK."
1st October 2005 #2
Note that there are two completely separate issues - flashing lights and LED lights.Flashing red lights have now reached the stage where they are undeniably symbolic of 'cyclist' - in that respect, they are a very good thing. Up to now, some cyclists have circumvented the legality issue by wearing the flashing light on their clothing, which is not technically a part of the vehicle. This is a sad compromise, as the light is most unlikely to be seen to its best advantage if it is flopping around on someone's belt.As of October 2005, it is no longer necessary to adopt this compromise - fit the flashing lights to your bike, and be legal.Steady LED lights are not so easy!The use of LEDs in the form of a steady light is well accepted, yet the position in law is very confused. To quote a letter from the Department of Transport dated 23 October 1995, The Road Vehicle Lighting Regulations 1989 require cycles to be fitted with certain obligatory lights if used at night. Obligatory lights fitted to new cycles must be 'e/E' approved or comply with British Standard BS 6102 Part 3 or with a standard providing an equivalent level of performance." BS 6102 part 3 was amended in April 1995, and does now recognise the LED as a legitimate light source - prior to that date only filament bulbs were acceptable. However another letter from the DoT dated 11 March 1996 refers to "the latest version of BS6102 part 3 (which the lighting regulations do not currently recognise)". Many LED lights are now sold as 'BS approved' - but does the law recognise the BS in question?? Grey area!Some people are additionally concerned about the colour of LEDs that can be used to the front of the bicycle - sometimes green or yellow. The 1995 letter has this to say - "Regulation 11 of the Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989 strictly controls the colour of light that may be shown to the front and rear of vehicles. In general, only red light may be shown to the rear and any other colour than red to the front." I would add to that, that blue lights are prohibited on any vehicle other than emergency vehicles. But green or yellow lights do appear to be acceptable at the front."Hope that makes it clear"
2nd October 2005 #3
- Join Date
- Jul 2004
Understood but for people like me and a lot of other riders who have American lights like Light and Motion, Cateye, my understanding is that these are not BS approved so although you can use USA lights, you must have an additional light which is BS approved working at the same time?!?Is this correct? Thanks.
8th October 2005 #4
How about those days when you do not need lights as it is outside Lighting up time"you still wish to have a flashing light to the front/rear of your bike? I suppose it falls under the category of orange lights on tractors bin lorries etc.WDYT??"
8th October 2005 #5
As far as i understand Mark your correct... but now the light DOES NOT need to be BS aproved as long as its LED and flashes between once and 4 times per second and emits more than four candle power.So if i have translated this corectly you run your cateye/ Light and motion halogen or HID to the left of your bars and your poxy little green flashing LED to the right as your lights must be fitted centeraly or to the off side of the cycle any suplimentary lights can be fitted anywhere like on your clothing bar ends ect like those barplug lights for example However with lights which are to a European standard IE the K" marked german approved lights are as they are in Europe as are we europe we have cross overs and integration in legality. The Geraman cycle lighting law is more strict than ours, they even specify the weight of the bike a peticular light is aproved to illuminate! I have a Trelock LS 510 and its instructions say "In germany, the Trelock LS510 rear lamp is approved as a suitable lighting device for racing cycles upto a weight of 11KG." !!! i dont know if thats the bikes weight on its own or if it includes any paniers saddle bags ect.not forgetting the need for reflectors ectHarry..I dont think they have changed that IIRC the law says words to the effect that if you have working lights fitted in reduced visablility you must use them if not dont worry ;-)"
8th October 2005 #6
K marked german approved lights are, as they are in Europe as are we. the law has cross overs and integration in legality.that reads slightly better ;-)its like the LED's in BMW's are technicaly illegal as the road vehical lighting regs in the UK specify a filament light but since the BMW's tail lamps are "E" marked they are permitted through out europe"