A successful campaign in Dorset has made young cyclists more aware of the importance of riding with lights at night.
The Dorset Road Safe ‘No Excuse’ team announced its Bike Lights initiative in November in a bid to reduce the number of cycle casualties on the county’s roads.
Teams of officers carried out a series of targeted operations across the county and actively stopped cyclists found riding without lights. Operations took place in Weymouth, Dorchester, Broadstone, Kinson, Upton, Parkstone, Oakdale, Southbourne, Boscombe and Bournemouth.
A total of 73 children and young people were issued with a warning on the consequences of riding in the dark without lights and visibility clothing. Traffic officers then fitted their bikes with a free set of lights and gave the rider a ‘No Excuse’ reflective snap band and florescent bag.
They were also issued with an information letter to hand to their parents or guardians.
A total of 41 adults were caught riding without lights and were issued with a £50 Fixed Penalty Notice and a Defect Notice.
The riders were told they could take their cycle to a police station within seven days to prove lights had been fitted and their ticket would be cancelled. A total of 18 adults took that option.
Inspector Matt Butler, of Dorset Police’s Traffic Unit, said: “The Bike Lights initiative has proved successful in Dorset by helping to spread the message about the dangers of cycling in the dark without lights.
“The majority of young people realised they should have lights once they were reminded and all thanked the officers for their lights, florescent kit and information leaflet.
“More young people now have the tools they need to ride safely around the county.”
He added: “I would like to remind all cyclists they should wear a helmet, light coloured or fluorescent clothing in daylight and reflective clothing with bike lights in the dark. This will make sure that they are seen by other road users.”
Further Bike Lights initiatives are due to take place in Bridport, Christchurch and Winton and other parts of the county until April 2014.