Those Push-Bike Rear Lights.
AF l‘.7 days ago, a Birmingham policeman died as a result of having been knocked off his bicycle, at night, by a motorist who altogether failed to see him. The Chief Constable, in consequence, has issued instructions that in future Birmingham policeman must carry rear lamps on their bicycles. The example thus set is one which might well be followed by all cyclists.
The law at present allows cyclists to travel with red reflectors only. These reflectors can be efficient, provided that they are of good type, clear and set at the right angle; and provided also that the car behind has its head lamps alight. The danger is that most cyclists are very lax about their reflectors, and that many motorists—particularly when a car is approaching them, turn off their headlamps. The cyclist, if he is wearing dark clothing, as was the unfortunate policeman, is then totally invisible.
There is no user of the roads, who, for his own safety, so much requires an efficient rear lamp. My own view is that it should be made compulsory for all cyclists to carry them. I would go further, indeed, than this : I would say that in his own interest the cyclist should also carry a reflector, so that if by any chance his lamp goes out he has an additional safeguard.
I am a motorist myself and I exercise all possible caution. Even so, I have had some narrow shaves, of which the cyclists, themselves, probably, have never been aware. Until such time as rear lamps are made compulsory by law–as they already are in France and as I am sure they will be here, when a few hundred more people have been killed– 4 appeal to cyclists to protect themselves.
The motorist is sometimes to blame, but not often ; proof of this lies in the findings at inquests, where, in most cases, the driver of the car is exonerated.
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