POLICE are urging cyclists to ensure they can be seen in the dark this winter.
Sussex police say cyclists could be putting their lives at risk if they fail to equip their bike with lights or wear high visibility clothing.
PC Andy Huggett of Sussex Police’s Road Policing Unit said: “Cycling on a public road without lights and reflectors is not only illegal but very dangerous for you and other road users.”
He added: “I have spent 16 of my nearly 25 years in the police on traffic patrol duties.
“During this time I have dealt with many nasty road collisions involving death and serious injury.
“One that sticks in my mind involved a young cyclist, who was about 17, riding in the dark without lights. He was struck from behind by a car that couldn’t see him and thrown from his bicycle. He received bad head injuries and died as a result.
“My patrol partner and I were the first police unit to arrive on scene, the cyclist was still alive when we got there, but he died shortly after we arrived.
“It was me that got sent to tell the parents their child wasn’t coming home. That will live with me for a very long time.
“It could have been prevented if the cycle had been fitted with lights.
“Please fit lights to your bike, make sure they work, and always switch them on when the light starts to fade.”
At night cycles must have a white front light and a rear red light lit.
All cycles must also have a rear red reflector fitted at all times and, if manufactured after October 1985, must have amber pedal reflectors.
If you don’t use lights at night, you could receive a £30 fixed penalty notice.
Each year around 19,000 cyclists are killed or injured in reported road accidents.