CHILDREN are dicing with death by cycling at night in dark clothes and without lights, police have said.
Many youngsters are riding on roads without fluorescent clothing, increasing the risk of serious injury, said Sgt Pete Rogers of Pocklington and Wolds Weighton Police.
He said he recently witnessed a near-accident and said officers often saw children ill-equipped to be cycling in the dark, “allowing them to risk death or serious injury”, and he has urged parents to take action.
He said: “A while ago, I witnessed a teenager on a bike out one dark evening who cut across the front of a vehicle.
“The rider was wearing dark clothing and had no lights displayed and seemed totally oblivious to the danger he was in.
“While the poor car driver was forced to brake suddenly, the cyclist simply carried on as if nothing had happened. The cyclist was simply not visible to the driver.
“If you’re a driver yourself, you’ll know that the worst times for accidents on the road are in the early morning, when people are tired, and in the evening, when folk are coming home after a hard day at work.
“Yet these are exactly the times when our kids can be engaged on paper rounds or coming home from school themselves.
“And these are the times when they’re in the most danger as a result.”
He said parents should think about children’s safety and make sure they have lights and reflectors on their bikes and that they go out clearly visible.
“Christmas has just gone and many young people will have received cycles as presents. But as we go into the new year, are we happy that they’re going to be safe on them?,” he said.
“As we all know, legal penalties exist for riding pedal cycles without lights.
“But this is more serious than a £30 fixed penalty ticket; this is the welfare of our children we’re talking about.”
Cycle safety tips
- See and be seen. Whether daytime, dawn, dusk, foul weather, or at night, you need to be seen by others. Always wear neon, fluorescent, or other bright colors when riding day or night. Also wear something that reflects light, such as reflective tape or markings, or flashing lights.
- When possible avoid riding at night. It is far more dangerous to ride at night than during the day.
- If you have to ride at night, make sure you have reflectors on the front and rear of your bicycle, in addition to reflectors on your tyres.