To all you cyclists out there, get yourself a flashing blue it may save you from mad car drivers[ read the 3 letters from the uk’s cycling weekly

Blue is the colour

A letter by Mr Peter Seymour of Dublin published in cycling weekly 14/1/10

Further to the brilliant[ in every sense of the word] letters on November 5 and December 17 issues , I too have started commuting and training in the winter lights with a blue flash light next to my helmet. The flashing blue light affords vulnerable cyclists the extra ‘force-field’ of protection against complacent motorists, desensitised to the warning light effect of a rear red light as a signal to exercise caution. However, a flashing blue light knocks them out of their complacency immediately.

Cycling at night along a dimly lit twisty road on the edge of Dublin city, I know longer ride in trepidation of cars brushing past me- now they all wait until there is a clear and safe opportunity to pass, and then do so giving ample room. This is immensely reassuring and also pleasantly empowering.

Although I was unable to find a flashing blue light, I improvised by buying a clear flashing light , and using a blue permanent water-proof marker to colour the outside of the clear cover blue.

The effect is clearly brilliant.

Mr Peter Seymour Dublin

Fun Run Robbie’s cycling weekly dated 17/12/09 [Letter of the week] Winning a Blackburn Delphi cycling computer

In response to the letter in the November 5 issue about the blue flashing lights rear lights. I went onto the internet and purchased three, one to put on my rucksack and one for each of my commuting cycles. I live in St Albans and commute to Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire. After using them for three weeks I have noticed that cars give you more room when overtaking with many of them indicating which warns other vehicles travelling behind. I did stop and ask two of Hertfordshire Constabularies finest about riding with blue rear flashing lights, there response after referring to the rule book stated that “cyclists must have the statutory lights for riding in the dark” which meant to them red lights only. However one of the officers said” we would not be doing our jobs if we harassed cyclists over a different coloured light.”
I say if it makes me safer on the bike I will take my chance and continue to use the 2 blue flashing blues with my 2 solid reds through the dark winter mornings and evenings of a Hertfordshire winter.

Fun Run Robbie
St Albans

ANDY MOSS, Hartlepool [in the letters section of cycling weekly 5/11/09]

I’VE just finished reading your article in the 22/10 issue about winter and commuting, and couldn’t help but notice how ineffectual the rear lights were on the picture featured and how they blended and disappeared in the town traffic.

I have managed to solve this problem, however, what I am about to say is probable quite illegal and is down to you and the readers decide if they want to go down this route.

While browsing a very well known internet auction site, looking for the latest super rear cycle light, I happened to come across o blue flashing rear cycle light in the mould of a cat’s-eye red rear light. The problem with commuting in towns is bike lights get lost in the amount of red car lights that surround us. However on seeing a combined red/blue flashing brightly, what would your first reaction be as a driver of a vehicle?

Mine and probably 99.9% of the population – would be to slow down and take appropriate action, because they think it’s the emergencies services and, in fact, in my experience this is definitely what happened: drivers do show much more courtesy. In fact when I am using this red/blue combo, vehicles actually overtake me and indicate too, letting the following cars know there’s an obstacle ahead, instead of leaving the statutory 12 to 18 in. When I go back to red its back to trying to kill me. I have received no abuse and no honking of horns; in fact, on several occasions drivers have pulled over and said what a good it is and some have even asked where I got them. I’m almost sure they are not legal, however the last 3 winters I have been overtaken by the police/ambulance/fire vehicles and no one has ever stopped or approached me in any way to say my lights are illegal. I presume the police are turning a blind eye, and would rather me use the lights and be very visible than sweeping me up from the side of the road.

ANDY MOSS, Hartlepool [in the letters section of cycling weekly 5/11/09]

  • louplummer

    “DON’T EMBARRASS ME!” – made me snort so hard I bit my tongue. Also, 14% for a mile and a half is just mean. Putting it at mile 70 is sadistic. You made it through my friend. Glad I could help.