A tragic case where a 17-year-old cyclist riding without lights, died after being hit by a car, is being used to urge cyclists to make themselves visible.
PC Andy Huggett of Sussex Police’s Road Policing Unit told how he was left with the heartbreaking job of telling the boy’s family about his death.
Sussex Police stressed cycling on a public road without lights and reflectors is not only illegal but very dangerous for cyclists and other road users.
PC Andy Huggett of Sussex Police Road Policing Unit said: “I have spent 16 of my nearly 25 years in the police on traffic patrol duties.
“During this time I have dealt with many nasty road collisions involving death and serious injury.
“One that sticks in my mind involved a young cyclist, who was about 17, riding in the dark without lights. He was struck from behind by a car that couldn’t see him and thrown from his bicycle. He received bad head injuries and died as a result.”
PC Huggett continued: “My patrol partner and I were the first police unit to arrive on scene, the cyclist was still alive when we got there, but he died shortly after we arrived.
“It was me that got sent to tell the parents their child wasn’t coming home. That will live with me for a very long time.
“It could have been prevented if the cycle had been fitted with lights.
“Please fit lights to your bike, make sure they work, and always switch them on when the light starts to fade.”
At night cycles must have a white front light and a rear red light lit.
All cycles must also have a rear red reflector fitted at all times and, if manufactured after October 1985, must have amber pedal reflectors.
If you don’t use lights at night, you could receive a £30 fixed penalty notice.