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Thread: Modulating brake lights

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    3

    Default Modulating brake lights

    A recent report states that rear end collisions are on the increase. Motorists seem to be slow to react to the brake lights of the vehicle in front. Is it not time that modulating brake lights were made legal on motorcycles? These lights modulate (ie intensity varies) for a few seconds when the brake is applied, before reverting to a steady brake light as the braking continues. It seems pedal cyclists are allowed a level of safety with permanent flashing rear lights that is denied to motorcyclists when they apply the brakes. With increasing use of ABS, motorcyclists are more likely to brake hard in an emergency.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Default

    I very much doubt it make any significant difference, if the following driver is too close (the cause of the problem) nothing can prevent the resultant crash.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    105

    Default

    Modulating brake lights are illegal. The problem is the car behind you being too close. There is nothing the biker can do about this but to slow down and let him/her pass. If you are a serious biker I would book yourself onto a Police run Bikesafe course. This problem is delt with in the Bikesafe course so is controlling the following traffic.

  4. #4
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    Mar 2012
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    Hi wagolynn and Morris Mini. I'm afraid I did not make my concerns clear. It is not about how close the vehicle behind is. As you say, a biker can, to a degree, control how close the car behind is. What he cannot control is the vehicle behind being totally blind to his presence and driving into the back of the bike. According to reports I have seen, these rear end collisions typically occur when the bike is stationary at a halt sign or similar situation. I believe a modulating brake light would be an important aid to attracting the attention of the driver behind, regardless of how far behind he is when you start slowing down. You may not agree, but I cannot see any reason for modulating brake lights continuing to be illegal. The law now recognises that flashing rear lights are a good idea on pedal cycles in attracting the attention of other road users. They are also commonly used by bodies of pedestrians and horse riders. Of course, no such measures are necessary if everyone on the road is a good road user, but the reality is that half of road users (and that may include you and me) are below average (although they might not admit it).

  5. #5
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    Apr 2009
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    As far as I know, flashing lights on cycles are not written into law. They are fitted to reduce battery power consumption, as these lights are LED types there is no power penalty for turning them on and off, with a filament bulb, this would not apply. I think your problem is the police do not appear to pay much attention to vehicles driving too close. In a car, it is my normal practice when I am tail end charley in a queue to stop early, leaving a largish gap between me and the vehicle/stop line, then watch in the mirrors for the next vehicle. Should they look as though they have not noticed there is a queue, a dab on the brakes flashes a light to the rear, and finally I can ease forward if required. I must admit, I frequently have to move forward. This should work on a bike.

  6. #6
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    Apr 2009
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    I had time to check today, flashing cycle lights are in the Highway Code, but should only be used in areas with street lighting. In areas without street lighting steady beams should be used.

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