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Mistaken for a Police bike?



 
 
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  #1  
Old November 4th 03, 01:53 PM
SPG
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Default Mistaken for a Police bike?

Now it's dark on my urban commute I decided to get a high vis flashing
LED light. The Cateye EL200 I bought is extemely bright (even had a
comment from a passing cyclist to that effect so it most be good), but
has a strange but perhaps useful feature in its flashing mode. When
approaching stationary or slow moving queues (normally aiming to go
down the middle of the road) the cars pull over to the side! I can
only assume they think its some sort of emergency vehicle (though god
knows what exactly!) as this isn't the standard treatment from
Carlisle motorists. I've even had a kid ask whether I am a police
man!

I'm not sure how long this will last, and I geuss eventually some
motorists may cotton-on and then become awkward. I've not been
stopped by the police yet but would not be surprised if I was. What's
the legal status of flashing front (or come to that rear) lights and
the bluish colour? And could I be charged with impersonating a police
officer!!
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  #2  
Old November 4th 03, 02:55 PM
JamJar
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Default Mistaken for a Police bike?

Flashing lights on a normal road vehicle are illegal in any colour. Every
LED light set I've ever bought has had a warning about that printed in very
small print on it somewhere. I've never seen anyone get in trouble for it
though, maybe if yours is tricking people though ... it might.


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  #3  
Old November 4th 03, 03:44 PM
Dave Larrington
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Default Mistaken for a Police bike?

SPG wrote:

What's the legal status of flashing front (or come
to that rear) lights and the bluish colour?


Strictly speaking a flashing light of any type is streng verboten if
attached to the bike, but one is quite at liberty to attach it to ones
clothing. As to the bluish colour, I should imagine it's a quite different
blue to that used by Plod, being much whiter, and thus not really any bluer
than those poncy blue motorcar headlights that started on upmarket
/prunkwagen/.

I know of no cases wherein anyone has been pulled for having a flasher
attached to the bike; I can only assume that Plod is happy to see *any*
light rather than none at all.

Dave Larrington - http://www.legslarry.beerdrinkers.co.uk/
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Editor - British Human Power Club Newsletter
http://www.bhpc.org.uk/
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  #4  
Old November 4th 03, 04:48 PM
Pete Biggs
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Default Mistaken for a Police bike?

SPG wrote:
Now it's dark on my urban commute I decided to get a high vis flashing
LED light. The Cateye EL200 I bought is extemely bright (even had a
comment from a passing cyclist to that effect so it most be good), but
has a strange but perhaps useful feature in its flashing mode. When
approaching stationary or slow moving queues (normally aiming to go
down the middle of the road) the cars pull over to the side!


I get that a bit, too, even by an ambulance recently. Certainly more
reaction and caution from motorists in general since I got an EL200.

I can
only assume they think its some sort of emergency vehicle (though god
knows what exactly!)


They're reacting to the flashing blue light itself - they don't bother
figuring out the kind of vehicle and may not even be able to see you at
all and just see the light through mirrors or refelecting off something.
Might be an idea to get an even bigger and bluer flasher! Seriously
though, I don't really want people thinking I'm an emergency vehicle.
It's important that people react properly to them and they might get
complacent or confused with more emergency-style lights about.

I tend to switch mine to steady mode on the darkest roads or when I'm
stuck stationary traffic, especially when facing oncoming vehicles - so
they get a better fix on where I am and don't get too annoyed/confused,
etc.

I've even had a kid ask whether I am a police man!


I had that once, before I had the light, in the daytime!! Weird. I can
only think it was because I was riding slowly wearing black and white
clothes that looked very very vaguely like a police uniform and maybe I
had some kind of sarcastic look on my face at the time :-)

~PB


  #5  
Old November 4th 03, 04:49 PM
Allan McVie
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Default Mistaken for a Police bike?

Dave Larrington wrote:

SPG wrote:

What's the legal status of flashing front (or come
to that rear) lights and the bluish colour?


Strictly speaking a flashing light of any type is streng verboten if
attached to the bike, but one is quite at liberty to attach it to ones
clothing. As to the bluish colour, I should imagine it's a quite different
blue to that used by Plod, being much whiter, and thus not really any bluer
than those poncy blue motorcar headlights that started on upmarket
/prunkwagen/.

I know of no cases wherein anyone has been pulled for having a flasher
attached to the bike; I can only assume that Plod is happy to see *any*
light rather than none at all.

Dave Larrington - http://www.legslarry.beerdrinkers.co.uk/


Interestingly I passed two police cyclists on NCR7 along the Clyde
earlier this week one had a flashing rear light and nonflashing front
light and the other had their lights set the other way round .

allan
  #7  
Old November 4th 03, 07:24 PM
Ian Smith
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Default Mistaken for a Police bike?

On Tue, 4 Nov 2003 14:55:07 -0000, JamJar wrote:

Flashing lights on a normal road vehicle are illegal in any colour.


Unless they're not, of course. On some normal road vehicles flashing
lights are required...

regards, Ian SMith
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  #8  
Old November 5th 03, 08:02 PM
Mr [email protected] \(2.3 zulu-alpha\) [comms room 2]
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Default Mistaken for a Police bike?

"SPG" wrote in message
om...
Now it's dark on my urban commute I decided to get a high vis flashing
LED light.


I have a non-flashing HL-300- but since purchasing a hi-vis yellow Altura
jacket I have been mistaken for the old bill on a number of occasions;
particularly in the part of Reading where I live (fairly near to Guy) as its
seen as a "village" (more a suburb) and sometimes there are bobbies on
bikes.

What really made me laugh though was being mistaken for a particular bobby
who was recently featured in the local cycling club magazine. Particularly
as

1. He is considerably older than me (he was the area beat officer in my
teenage days)
2. He is white with ginger hair (I am Asian with black hair)
3. TVP cops don't normaly ride tourers! (uniformed have mountain bikes with
POLICE logo and blues/siren, CID have "normal" brands)
4. His helmet has "POLICE" on the front of it and possibly "HB"( force
callsign) on the back (Big giveaway this one)

Methinks those young scallies need to brush up their observation skills (or
perhaps visit the opticians!). But as for the motorists, it makes you wonder
what guilty consciences they must have, if they become that paranoid just at
the sight of a yellow jacket.

Heck, I used to be a raver and in my youth certainly "lived life close to
the line" and I'm not *that* paranoid!

Alex


 




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