BWA on Twighlight and Lights - Concerning

Equipment and On Road Behaviour, Laws and Rules. Cycling Promotion and Advocacy

BWA on Twighlight and Lights - Concerning

Postby Aushiker » Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:17 am

Bicycling WA (the WA branch of Bicycle Victoria) has posted a "safety" post on lights and visibility following an incident involving a cyclist here in Perth. It is being reported that the

cyclist was riding home at twilight when knocked off her bike sustaining injuries and severely damaging the bike. Police cautioned the cyclist for not having lights on her bike "after sunset", yet the cyclist believed reflectors and visible helmet were in her favour.


BicyclingWA goes on to say

The WA road traffic code states that cyclists must have adequate lighting in the hours of darkness, but does beg the question of whether twilight constitutes "hours of darkness".
[my emphasis]

The WA road traffic code actually requires bicycles (it distinguishes between bicycles and motor vehicles but the same applies to motor vehicles to have their lights on during the hours of darkness ...

224. Lights and other equipment on bicycles
(1) A person shall not ride a bicycle during the hours of darkness, or in hazardous weather conditions causing reduced visibility, unless the bicycle, or the rider, displays —


and hours of darkness are defined in regulation 3 as ...

hours of darkness means the hours falling between sunset, on one day, and sunrise, on the succeeding day


All this seems pretty clear cut to me yet BWA has an issue with "twilight". This is from an cycling organisation wishing to lobby on safety issues on our behalf. I find this quite concerning.

In the post BicyclingWA goes on to discuss visibility further using material from Bicycling Victoria which refers to "research" which brings into question the roll of high visibility amongst other points. Not once is the "research" referenced or identified in some way to allow for its veracity to be ascertained. To me this is very shoddy way to present a position on a cyclist safety and in my view brings into question their ability to talk on cyclists behalf on safety matters. All research should be properly referenced to allow proper review of their "advice" and position.

Thoughts?

Andrew
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by BNA » Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:01 am

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Re: BWA on Twighlight and Lights - Concerning

Postby Ross » Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:01 am

Common sense should tell you to have your light on at twilight. But common sense isn't very common these days.

I agree that non-reflective hi-vis clothing does virtually nothing for visability at night.
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Re: BWA on Twighlight and Lights - Concerning

Postby il padrone » Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:52 pm

Victorian road rules require lights to be used "in times of low visibility" - nothing to do with sunset/sunrise times. You are required to use lights during severe storms causing low vision, or in fog. Basically any time the streetlights come on you need to be using your bicycle (and motor vehicle) lights.

Bicycle lights should be used during dusk, up to half an hour before sunset. I run my lights all the time when riding because of the notable benefits in reaction that I get from drivers.

I generally agree with BWA/BV that good functioning well aimed lights are far more important than reflective clothing, and fluoro clothing is useless after dark. I use reflectives on my clothing and the bike, but it's only trim on jerseys and rain jacket, together with the legally required red reflector and reflective tyre sidewalls. I do not wear any specific reflective jackets.
Last edited by il padrone on Wed Jul 03, 2013 4:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: BWA on Twighlight and Lights - Concerning

Postby gorilla monsoon » Wed Jul 03, 2013 4:02 pm

^^ What the bloke in the dinner suit said. ^^
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Re: BWA on Twighlight and Lights - Concerning

Postby rolandp » Thu Jul 04, 2013 12:39 am

Very disappointed with BWA. They were one of the sponsors for Tim's Ride last year of which ride regulations included:

To facilitate Safe Riding and our 2012 theme ALL riders for Tim’s Ride MUST have the following standard as COMPULSORY. Please note that if you do not have these standards, you will NOT be permitted to participate in the ride even if you have registered and paid for it. We are strict about enforcing this message:
1. Front and rear lights. Note that since we are riding into dusk, we advocate that you have strong lights but it should be aimed in front of the road and not to dazzle oncoming traffic and other fellow road users;
.....

Lest we forget.
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Re: BWA on Twighlight and Lights - Concerning

Postby zero » Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:05 am

I can't see what the fuss is about.

The question about twilight is a poser for the reader, intended to make them think about it, its not a statement that twilight isn't dark, and the thrust of the full article is clear - use lights.

The study into hivis and reflectives that they are most probably referring to, showed a best case detection of 90% (reflective top + lower leg reflectives), which just isn't good enough alone.
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Re: BWA on Twighlight and Lights - Concerning

Postby human909 » Fri Jul 05, 2013 5:36 pm

zero wrote:I can't see what the fuss is about.


Agreed.
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Re: BWA on Twighlight and Lights - Concerning

Postby ball bearing » Fri Jul 05, 2013 7:55 pm

My lights are used for every ride that includes roads these days. I have noticed that drivers give way to me more at intersections. Twilight is a time when lights are really important if you wish to be seen by motorists.
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Re: BWA on Twighlight and Lights - Concerning

Postby g-boaf » Sat Jul 06, 2013 5:31 pm

Common sense should tell you when it is appropriate to use your lights.

And lights meaning adequately visible ones, not the almost impossible to see rear light used by the young lady on the step-over bike in Granville the other week. She had a death wish using that hopeless little light.
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Re: BWA on Twighlight and Lights - Concerning

Postby GH » Sat Jul 06, 2013 7:08 pm

il padrone wrote:.

Bicycle lights should be used during dusk, up to half an hour before sunset.


Actually Dusk is post sunset, civil Dusk is when the sun is 6 degrees below the horizon and Nautical Dusk is when it is 12 degrees below the horizon.

And to confuse it all there is aeronautical last light......

But, lighting requirements are pretty clear, sundown to sunrise and in time of low visibility.
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Re: BWA on Twighlight and Lights - Concerning

Postby il padrone » Sun Jul 07, 2013 6:41 am

GH wrote:But, lighting requirements are pretty clear, sundown to sunrise and in time of low visibility.

Well I've read the Victorian Road Rules thoroughly and, while I cannot confirm it right now, I'm VERY sure that there is no mention of sunset/sunrise times, only a requirement to use lights at night or at times of low visibility. Before sunset there is often (especially in winter) quite noticeably reduced, or low, visibility.

Streetlights coming on/going out are your best guide to the need for lights. I have some European B&M senso lights that actually come on automatically, even before the streetlights come on.
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Re: BWA on Twighlight and Lights - Concerning

Postby human909 » Sun Jul 07, 2013 9:57 am

The relevant Victorian Rule:

259 Riding at night

The rider of a bicycle must not ride at night, or in hazardous weather conditions causing reduced visibility, unless the bicycle, or the rider,
displays
(a) a flashing or steady white light that is clearly visible for at least 200 metres from the front of the bicycle; and
(b) a flashing or steady red light that is clearly visible for at least 200 metres from the rear of the bicycle; and
(c) a red reflector that is clearly visible for at least 50 metres from the rear of the bicycle when light is projected onto it by a vehicle's headlight on
low-beam.
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Re: BWA on Twighlight and Lights - Concerning

Postby citywomble » Sun Jul 07, 2013 1:00 pm

Hi Il Padrone

Just like my recent comment on the MHL thread, you do not appear to read much of what you are commenting about.

The OP was commenting about WA and it is WA rules that are applicable in this debate. The other important sub text is that BicyclingWA (as a subsidiary of Bicycling Victoria) is not very good at leaving BV bias behind at the border and adapting to the different environment, regulatory and enforcement regimes applicable in WA. Perhaps BV needs to take geography and history lessons before it leaves home?

In particular, and this was and is the whole thrust of this WA thread, the statement:
but does beg the question of whether twilight constitutes "hours of darkness".

Does beg the question of whether BWA (and BV) are able to understand how to read and interpret the law especially as what are the hours of darkness are clearly defined in the RTC2000 - in the definitions at the beginning!

In my personal opinion one thing is sadly missing from the B (insert state acronym here) websites is a bold clear disclaimer that B(insert) is not a lawyer and advice provided does not constitute legal advice.
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Re: BWA on Twighlight and Lights - Concerning

Postby il padrone » Sun Jul 07, 2013 4:46 pm

Yes, I was commenting on the VICTORIAN rules, like I said. It's where I live. GH made a blanket statement about the road rules for bike lights; and I know not where he resides.

BTW the Vic road rules are substantially the complete Australian Road Rules model, similar to what most states have adopted, but not WA.

Regardless of all that, I would still maintain that quite often the half-hour or so before sunset, and after sunrise, are of such low visibility that you need to use your lights. Don't know about the exact legal enforceability, but it is very much safe roadcraft.
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Re: BWA on Twighlight and Lights - Concerning

Postby casual_cyclist » Mon Jul 08, 2013 7:33 pm

I was interested in the research about high visibility clothing and reflective clothing too. I didn't know that high-vis only referred to the colour, which doesn't show up well at night and "reflective" refers to the "shiny" bit.

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I aways thought it wasn't high-vis if it didn't have the reflective part. Anyway, my experience from riding a lot at dusk/night time is that the reflective bits become really obvious when hit by a car headlight or another cyclists's light. I wear a vest like the above on any ride where it will be dusk or dark when I arrive home. I have found that it does make a difference with the amount of room that cars give me on the road.
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Re: BWA on Twighlight and Lights - Concerning

Postby il padrone » Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:28 am

Touring and commuting I ride with Ortlieb panniers. The reflective patches on the bags are REALLY good. They are low-placed so catch headlights readily and a friend in a car has commented (in early morning light) "What are those bright lights on your bags?".......... "Umm, your headlights" :)

Reflected car headlights are brighter than any 'night-blinder' bike tail-light.
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Re: BWA on Twighlight and Lights - Concerning

Postby pacra » Wed Jul 17, 2013 11:04 pm

I have been riding with front and rear lights on, day or night for years now. While reflective ankle strips and bands on backpacks help at night, they are a reactive measure. Good lighting is proactive and removes the inane 'didn't see you' argument some motorists use to cover their negligence.

I wonder whether it's time for considering compulsory daytime lighting on bikes. The price of usb rechargeables and AAA/AA bateries is so low as to make expense a non issue and is no more inconvenient than any other safety requirement, be it bells, brakes or helmets.

With regard to the OP, daytime lighting on bikes removes any ambiguity on twilight or dusk however you measure it. For what it's worth, BOM.gov.au gives the official first light/twilight, sunrise/sunset times for any day of the year in the capital cities.
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Re: BWA on Twighlight and Lights - Concerning

Postby zero » Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:19 pm

pacra wrote:I have been riding with front and rear lights on, day or night for years now. While reflective ankle strips and bands on backpacks help at night, they are a reactive measure. Good lighting is proactive and removes the inane 'didn't see you' argument some motorists use to cover their negligence.

I wonder whether it's time for considering compulsory daytime lighting on bikes. The price of usb rechargeables and AAA/AA bateries is so low as to make expense a non issue and is no more inconvenient than any other safety requirement, be it bells, brakes or helmets.

With regard to the OP, daytime lighting on bikes removes any ambiguity on twilight or dusk however you measure it. For what it's worth, BOM.gov.au gives the official first light/twilight, sunrise/sunset times for any day of the year in the capital cities.


No, we don't want more compulsory stupidity for bicycles. Always on was designed into motorcycles by an ADR, and found to be so pointless, that the ADR was dropped altogether. I don't run my light during the day, it may sometimes be discharged during the day, and I need to go places during the day and ride home during the night, all of which are reasons that I'd like to choose when to use my light and when not to, just like any other vehicle. Particularly if I happen to be in a forest for the next 4 hours.
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