South Dublin County Council, An Garda Síochána and Dublin Cycling Campaign are collaborating on a Light up Your Bike awareness campaign which shared some advice and helpful lighting-up tips to cyclists recently in Rathfarnham. The initiative involves the handing out of free bike lights from the Road Safety Authority in an effort to remind cyclists that bike lights aren’t just a nice accessory, they are a legal requirement during lighting-up hours (30 minutes after sunset until 30 minutes before sunrise). After dark you must have lights on your bike. If you are stopped by Garda and have no lights, you are liable to receive an on-the-spot fine of €40. Cyclists are permitted to use lights in either continuous or flashing modes. It is also worth noting that using high-vis accessories (vests, jackets, armbands) is not a valid substitute for lights on your bike, nor is there a legal requirement for wearing high-vis.
Top tips for staying lit on your bike!
Batteries– if you opt for disposable battery powered lights ensure you have enough power left to complete your journey fully lit. However, a better option might be rechargeable battery powered lights. All you must do is ensure they are fully charged each time by disconnecting when required and recharging either at work or home.
Spares – It’s useful to get into the habit of carrying some spare lights or spare batteries with you – especially if you have a slightly longer commute. Spare lights don’t need to be expensive and it might be a good idea to keep some at work, so you don’t get caught out on the way home. Remember to recycle your old batteries.
Beware Thieves- If your lights are detachable then never, ever leave them attached to your bike while it’s unattended. Most thieves are opportunists so don’t give them the opportunity.
Dynamos – If you are buying a new bike, you may consider getting a dynamo fitted. Modern hub dynamos give you good light with minimal effort and no need to worry about theft or the batteries running out.
Ally Menary, Road Safety Officer, South Dublin County Council, says: ‘Informing cyclists of their obligations to staying lit when cycling at night is such an important road safety initiative. There is no substitute to having working lights on your bike and I’d like to remind cyclists of the importance to staying lit during the winter months. Kevin Baker, Chairperson of Dublin Cycling Campaign, says, “We are delighted to have South Dublin County Council’s support for the Light Up Your Bike campaign. Lights are an essential accessory when cycling at night especially during the winter when the nights are much longer.”