LETTER: Proper lights are vital for safety

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It was a dark and stormy night, rain lashing from the low clouds scudding across the flickering sky.

On my way home from Farnborough, I had five encounters with cyclists. Two had some sort of dim lighting, just visible. Two had double headlights, double tail lights, high vis jackets etc. One was so bright, it made the Eddystone lighthouse look like a candle in the wind, by comparison.

Then, in Pondtail Road, Horsham, it happened: out of nowhere, a bike appeared right in front of me; no lights, not even a reflector, dark clothing, hoodie etc. Only my incredible reactions (I wish!) and good brakes prevented a nasty collision.

Cyclists, I would be devastated if I hit you, but please make yourself visible. Bright, steady lights at front and rear, reflector strips and light, preferably reflective clothing. Use flashing lights as well if you want, the more the better.

Then we can see you well in advance and plan to give you maximum clearance.

On the same route I saw at least 15 cars with one headlight failed. One was on sidelights only. Now I cannot believe all of these failures had just happened. So if it does, put all other available lights on, and get a replacement immediately.

I do have sympathy, as changing bulbs on some cars is very difficult. On mine, you have to take half the car apart first. But the boys in Halfords, and other retailers, seem to have treble jointed hands and will not only sell you new bulbs, but fit them immediately for a small fee.

I have written about this before, because I think it is very hazardous. But where are the road safety organisations, local authorities, even the police? No posters, no adverts, no advice, no involvement. They should be pushing this heavily. One life saved would more than pay for the effort involved.

PETER BURGESS

(Con) Horsham district councillor for Holbrook West, North Street, Horsham