Student bike lights plea after two accidents

Riding a bike at night with no lights. (Picture by TimothyJ/Flickr)
Riding a bike at night with no lights. (Picture by TimothyJ/Flickr)

The University of St Andrews has stepped up the pressure on students on bikes to be seen and be safe at night.

An email to all students this week reminded them that with daylight hours shortening, lights on bikes were essential.

“We are receiving numerous complaints from local motorists that near accidents are taking place because of students on bikes with no lights,” stated the email, which was sent collectively by Pat Matthewson, president of the Students’ Association, Dr Chris Lusk, director of student services, and Professor Lorna Milne, vice-principal (Proctor).

“Yesterday we had the second student casualty this week. Every road accident is potentially very serious.

“The police are also concerned and may issue penalties to cyclists without lights. It’s the law.”

Fortunately neither accident resulted in serious injury. The latest move to impress on students the importance of using bike lights follows on from a warning from police that on-the-spot fines could be imposed.

Increasing concerns with the safety of cyclists, other road users and pedestrians have prompted officers to initiate an action plan to engage with students, urging them to take responsibility.

St Andrews University Liaison Officer PC Norman Hill said: “We have had many instances reported to us from members of the public concerned about cyclists failing to obey traffic signs, cycling without safety helmets and of course, cycling during the hours of darkness without lights.”

PC Hill added: “We hope that by working together in this way that we can enhance the safety of our many road users and prevent them from coming to harm especially during the darker evenings.”

Cycling without lights can result in being issued with a £30 penalty notice.