It’s accepted logic that bicycle lights need to be incredibly bright in order to ensure hapless cyclists are seen by their fellow road users. However it would appear the vast majority of those lights are far too bright, exceeding the legal levels that govern the luminance of dipped car headlights.
The problem was brought to light after an investigation by the Sunday Times. Photometric tests found eight of the ten leading bicycle lights exceed the legal maximum, even when set to their lowest setting and pointed towards the road rather than aimed straight ahead.
Even when set to strobe, the lights can dazzle onlookers.
The government has promised to take action in order to ensure motorists aren’t blinded by their two-wheeled counterparts.
Stephen Young, managing director of Lumicycle, makers of the LED4Si bicycle light, defended the lights, saying: “You have to offset the vulnerability of the cyclist and if that means causing a dazzle to a driver, maybe it’s worth it.”
Stephen Hammond, minister of road safety, issued a more logical response, claiming: “cyclists are required to use lights to ensure that they are visible to others using the roads and to see the road ahead.”
“However, we are aware that the law on vehicle lighting has not kept pace with developments in the market for bike lights, so we are reviewing the lighting regulations and hope to come forward with proposals to revise them later this year.”
The Department for Transport’s current rules state bike lights must not exceed a peak intensity of 70 candela.
Image: Wikimedia Commons
Via: Aol Cars