The practice of bike riding or cycling in the city of London has increased fourfold over the last 20 years. Cycling comes with lots of benefits for your wellbeing, health as well as the environment. This is why it is crucial that other residents be encouraged to work towards safe cycling as much as possible.
Now, at peak times in the city of London, lots of pedestrians litter the streets, resulting in a crowded environment that the City Corporation are working very hard to ensure that vulnerable road users are protected. At such times, cyclists are required to ride their bikes at moderate speeds and be aware of other road users as well.
This has resulted in the fabrication of the rules of bike riding in London. But it is not all about your knowledge of the rules in the Highway Code. It doesn’t even matter whether you are a beginner or an experienced cyclist; what matters is that you can increase your ability to deal with complex junctions, traffic as well as new road signs.
The following are some of the rules of bike riding in London:
As a cyclist, it is required that you install appropriate front and rear lights that are not only working correctly but clean as well. The constitutional lighting responsibilities for cyclists are usually determined by sunrise and sunset times, and not the hours of darkness.
Therefore, your lights must be lit 30 minutes after sunset and 30 minutes before sunrise.
The United Kingdom’s guide to cycle lighting regulations also permits the use of flashing lights. But these lights are required to flash between 60 and 240 times every minute.
Just as with lights, the legal requirements for reflectors merely apply between sunset and sunrise and include:
• A red rear reflector
• Four amber pedal reflectors, one at the front as well as the rear of each pedal.
Brakes – It is now officially an offence to ride a bicycle on a community road without having or installing highly efficient braking systems. You are legally required to put two sets of brakes in place which work independently on both the front as well as the rear wheel.
Although a brake which functions or operates directly on an inflated or air-filled tire may not be efficient, the highway regulations are unsupportive regarding whether or not it is efficient. The rules do not also outline how brakes must function.
Drugs and alcohol
When it comes to cycling on bridle paths or public roads, you must not be under the influence of drugs or alcohol or you will be facing a fine of £1,000 if caught.
There is no breath test or blood alcohol test to corroborate this issue. Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs could make you endanger not only yourself but other road users as well.
You should not ride your bicycle carelessly or without paying attention to other road users. When you flout this rule, it attracts a hefty fine of £1,000 which can be upped to £2,500 if the offence borders on dangerous cycling. The test for these cycling offences is akin to that for dangerous and careless driving.
You are not expected to jump red lights as this is an offence which grabs the attention of the police and makes them – via a fixed penalty notice fine – to issue a £50 levy. The same punishment applies when you ride your bicycle across a cycle-only signal crossing when the green cycle symbol is not highlighted.