Keep them safe, keep them seen
We all want young people to enjoy cycling at night whilst being safe, but with the nights drawing in and the clocks going back, cycling on the road becomes more dangerous.
Winter is one of the worst times for accidents involving cyclists due to drivers dealing with poor visibility in winter weather conditions, often when children and young people are cycling home from after school clubs.
As parents and carers of children and young people who cycle home or play on their bikes after school, we should ensure we make our children and young people as visible as possible in these dim conditions.
The best way to keep your child safe when cycling at night is to make sure that they are visible to other road users. Here are our top tips:
Its important to have a good set of lights that work and to check them regularly. Its also illegal not to have lights on your bike when cycling in the dark. White lights for the front of the bike and red for the rear. We recommend at least 800 lumens. Ask your child to keep spare batteries in the back pack too, just in case.
Most bikes come with reflectors fitted to the front and back of the bike, and on both wheels, however these aren’t sufficient on their own. Check that they are big enough, aren’t obscured by clothing when riding, and are not cracked or covered with mud so they can reflect headlights effectively. As with lights, reflectors should be red at the rear and white at the front so people know which direction you are travelling in. Wheel reflectors should be white.
Hi vis jackets or vests are ideal, but your child might be against wearing them as they’re not the most
fashionable. Therefore a hi vis reflective back pack for their school bag might be an option.
If you buy a cycling jacket it is likely to already have reflective areas on it. Hi vis gloves are also another
way to add some extra safety.
It’s important for your child to always wear a helmet when cycling. Reflective strips can be added to the helmet if it doesn’t have them already. Help your child get excited about their own safety by suggesting that they decorate their helmet and bike with reflective stickers.
Following these tips can help your child be seen by other road users.