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Cyclists are told: Be bright and stay safe at night

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Be bright event 2019 web

Around 165 cyclists have been stopped and reminded about the importance of being visible when cycling after dark in a joint operation between Portsmouth City Council and the Police.

The council's safer travel team held three events in January and February to encourage good visibility amongst cyclists during the darkest winter hours.

Working in partnership with Hampshire Constabulary, officers positioned themselves on Copnor Road, Burnaby Road (near University library) and on Albert Road near Festing Road. Cyclists were stopped if they weren't properly and safely equipped for cycling at night time.

Of the 165 cyclists spoken to, eight were fined for cycling without lights after dark - which is illegal and subject to a fixed penalty notice. If the cyclist purchases lights within 28 days from one of the council's recommended suppliers the shop will fit the lights for free and the £50 fine will be dropped.

All cyclists stopped were given free rucksack covers, reflective drawstring bags and temporary lights.

The events were held at dawn and dusk, between 7am - 9am at Copnor Road and 5.30pm - 7.30pm at the other locations, to give cyclists travelling at different times the opportunity to speak to officers.

Councillor Lynne Stagg, Cabinet Member for Traffic and Transportation, said: "Once the clocks change in October we see an increase in cycle collisions, with 55 per cent occurring in the hours of darkness. This is a really crucial time to reach out to cyclists and remind them about the need to be bright, be seen, and ensure that all road users remain at less risk of incidents."

Inspector Marcus Cator, said: “This type of event with our local partners is really important to us. They are much more than stopping people riding on the pavements or without lights, it’s about being out on the streets engaging with our community and helping to prevent or solve crimes. During these events we have disrupted drug dealing and identified stolen property, which we were able to return to the rightful owner."

In November 2018, the council organised its third Glow Ride event along Southsea Seafront and around Southsea Common. Despite the wet weather the event was a huge success with 500 participants cycling the 3km traffic-free route and dressing themselves and their bikes in hi-vis, glow-in-the-dark accessories and lights to be fully visible to other road users.

It is illegal to cycle on a public road after dark without lights. Anyone cycling without lights could be issued with a £50 fine. You can get good-quality lights and other cycling products from the council at almost cost price. Just ask at reception at the Civic Offices, Guildhall Square.

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