Does a Forward-Facing Bike Light Increase Rear Visibility?
A driver has been exonerated in Australia for striking a cyclist because he did not have a front-facing light and was, in the words of the magistrate, “an accident waiting to happen.” There’s just one thing: He was struck from behind, and he was sporting a rear tail-light.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Bob Anderson submitted that a headlight was not relevant because Mr Angel was hit from behind.
He said if Mr Angel was found to be wearing the yellow jacket, there would have been sufficient reflective material clearly visible by cars.
“A flashing red light was displayed on the victim as required by the road rule,” Sgt Anderson said.
So far, so good.
Defence lawyer Jon Irwin submitted that a cyclist riding in darkness required a headlight, rear light and reflectors on the bike.
After hearing six prosecution witnesses and two defence counsel witnesses, Magistrate Terry Wilson found Mr Angel failed to equip his bike with the requirements.
“If he had a (front) light it would have projected 200m in front and Ms Jasper could have picked up a bike was on the road,” Mr Wilson said.
This I find a bit hard to swallow. Firstly, I can’t say I ever spotted a cyclist from behind by dint of their front light. Secondly, maybe I’m using the wrong light, but there’s no way the beam projects 200 meters — it spills a (very) little light on the pavement about 15 feet of me. But maybe others out there have had a different experience?
(Horn honk to Treadly)
This entry was posted on Thursday, April 23rd, 2009 at 7:04 am and is filed under Cyclists, Drivers. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.