ROAD SAFETY: Are Bicycle Lights Getting Out of Hand?

Img 4784 is reporting on a campaign started by a London taxi driver against High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights, which the cabbie says create a hazard to other motorists, dazzling them and making it difficult to see other vehicles as well as vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians.  The campaign website, called Lightmare can be found here. What is interesting about this campaign is the comments in respect to cyclists and the continued demand/installation of brighter and brighter lights to “be seen.” quote Mr Perham the taxi driver …

“This escalating light madness caused by vehicles is forcing cyclists to use powerful front and rear flashing LED lamps in an attempt at self preservation, but unwittingly they making it collectively worse for everyone creating a lightmare,” he says on the organisation’s website.

Mr Perham cites the case of one cyclist who announced on a cycling forum that he had bought a 2,000 lumen front light that resulted in oncoming cars pulling over, describing it as the “best 300 quid I ever spent! Get One and Get Even!”

Interesting in a recent thread on the Australian Cycling Forums there was a similar statement by wookie661 …

i just picked up the 1400 lumen light from cell. … -LED-Light

the only reason i got this one is it was the same price as the 900 lumen, ….

i understand that some people may be annoyed by my lights sometimes, although im just out there to light my way, and be seen in the process, but i ride defensively and slow down at every obstacle.
these lights wouldn’t be any brighter on the eye then a hid headlight in the distance, and the ride i just took tonight, didn’t have any drivers even squinting as my bike path runs beside the opposite traffic, so i dont think they are too bad

Is it time to introduce German style regulations requiring cyclists to fit more appropriate lights and for that matter motor vehicles to also have safer lights fitted. Time to share the road in a considerate manner maybe?  I wonder know about my own Dinottee 400L lights, mind you, I tend to use them on medium setting (200 lumens) and directed down to minimise their impact on others.

The full article can be read here.

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