Cars dont come without basic night safety equipment, so why do bikes, asks the Guild of Experienced Motorists. This august body founded in 1932 is calling for all new bikes to come factory-fitted with lights.

You can lead a horse to water, you cant make him drink

The Guild press release was sent out just before Christmas but is only just starting to surface in the mainstream media. The release is below.

As correspondents on the bulletin board have pointed out, fitting lights at source may be a laudable idea (and even a necessary one in a litigious society where suppliers and retailers can be sued for the negligence of customers) but as its clearly suicide to ride at night in an urban area without lights, the numbskulls who do so are unlikely to use lights even if fitted. And even if they did, they might cease to do so once the batteries died.

However, the OEM fitting of lights is a logical idea and may gain acceptance by the powers-that-be. As BS-standard reasonable quality LED lights are now available at keen prices, its perhaps now more feasible than ever before for bikes to leave the factory with at least a rudimentary, and street-legal, lighting set-up.

GEM press release:

Lights are Part of The Bike

All new cycles should be supplied complete with fitted lights, says The Guild of Experienced Motorists and is calling for legislation that would make it a legal requirement for all new cycles to be supplied with lights fitted as standard.

David Williams, the Guilds Chief Executive, said: It is unbelievable that vehicles which are supplied to be ridden on the public highway are sold without the obvious safety feature of lights being included in the price. Drivers would hardly expect their new car to be delivered with an extra invoice charging separately for front and rear lights. It is time for this anomaly to be rectified.

The Guild is also reminding parents who are buying cycles as Christmas presents this year to purchase approved front and rear lights to go with the cycle, plus a fluorescent/reflective tabard/belt and a safety helmet for the rider.

Mr Williams added: Cycles are often difficult to see in good daylight, but at night without lights they can be a disaster just waiting to happen.

Accidents involving pedal cyclists remain a major cause of death and injury on British roads. In 1999, 172 cyclists were killed and over 22,000 were injured.

An information leaflet containing advice for cyclists and drivers is available free of charge from the Guilds offices. Just call 01342 825676 or e-mail

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