VIDEO. Safety: Why it is essential to have lights on your bike

In the city, there are many cyclists who ride without lights. In about twenty minutes by car we passed more than 10 “ninjas”, in other words, poorly lit cyclists.

However, shining on a bike is obligatory. And not having functional lighting at night is punishable by a fine of 11 to 36 euros. It is important to know the mandatory equipment: a lamp at the front, at the rear and reflectors (reflective elements) on the wheels and pedals.

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See clearly and avoid an accident

“It’s clear that it’s my fault, not having lights is dangerous, because we can’t see” confesses Antoine, victim of an accident which broke the fork of his bike, there a few months. Even in a generally well-lit city, like Paris, there are still dark streets at night, where a pothole or a deformed road quickly means an accident.

Patrick Benevant, who sells cycling equipment in his boutique L’Échappée Belle in Asnières, has some advice for cyclists who want to shine. “In addition to the obligatory lamps, it’s good to have a spare lamp in your bag,” he explains. It is also prudent to bring “a yellow vest, a retro-reflective helmet and an armband,” he specifies.

And this is all the more important in winter, when journeys after dark (from 5 p.m.) are more and more frequent.

Be visible to other users

And then, the lamps are important because they allow other road users to clearly see cyclists on the road. Lack of anticipation is a major cause of accidents between cyclists and motorists.

“Without equipment, a cyclist or pedestrian is only visible from around 30 m,” explains Cécile Lechère, in charge of road risk prevention for the MMA insurance company. However, “A car traveling at 50 km/h takes around 26 m to stop,” she explains. Which makes the accident almost inevitable.

“But if you wear retro-reflective equipment you are visible from 150 m away, that means you are visible 5 times earlier,” concludes Cécile Lechère.


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