Am I legally required to have lights on my bike?
If you ride your bike at night it is a legal requirement for you to have lights fitted to the front and rear of your bike. This is important as it means that you will be seen by other road users. The type of lights which meet regulation are specified in ‘The Road Vehicles Lighting Amendment Regulations, 2005.’
According to these regulations, the front of your bike must be fitted with a white light. Furthermore, the back of your bike must be fitted with a red reflector light. Unless your bike was manufactured before October 1985, you must also have amber pedal reflectors fitted.
The Highway Code has stated that flashing lights are permitted. However, it is recommended that a steady front lamp be used in areas which do not have street lights. The flashing lights must be of an appropriate colour as per the 2005 Regulations referenced above. They must also flash between 60 and 240 times per minute. If a lamp does not need British Standards Approval then it is classed as an optional lamp and therefore will not meet regulations. If this is the case then you will be breaking the law.
There are very few British Approved lamps on the market and therefore many people are riding their bikes illegally at night. You may not be challenged on the exact make of your lights when you’re travelling normally. However, if you are involved in a night-time accident the standard of your lights may be challenged as a contributory factor to the accident.
Finally, you are not required to put your lights on in the day when visibility is reduced. For example, in the fog. Whilst you are legally required to do so in a car, you are not required to do so in vehicles which are not required to have lights fitted as standard. We would suggest that you check this article for more information on the subject.