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Old 15.02.2011, 15:39
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Bicycle Lights and Swiss Highway Regs

Hi there,

I guess this is a question to those on the forum who do a lot of road cycling.

I have raced and trained on UK roads for 20 years and now find myself in Ticino, where riding a bike scares the sh*t out of me to be honest.

Anyhow.....whilst risking my neck this morning on my 3 mile commute, I was harranged by a typically polite Ticino driver telling my lights are not legal.

Does anyone know what the legislation is regarding flashing rear lights. A flashing rear light is legal in the UK during daylight hours. If a flasher unit is used at night it has to be accompanied by a static light also. In the UK there is a section of the highways act specific to lighting on vehicles. Is ther a similar document in Switzerland?

In response I suggest that exceeding the speed limit, driving whilst pissed, driving whilst using a mobile phone (all of which are popular sports in Ticino) have far larger risks associated with them.

Rant over.... I feel bettter now
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Old 15.02.2011, 16:15
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Re: Bicycle Lights and Swiss Highway Regs

A fixed light visible at 100m is required by law. White front and red back.

Additional blinking lights are allowed as long as they are again white for the front and red for the back.

Lights worn on the body are not legal.

Other pointers on keeping your bike safe and/or legal here:
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Old 16.02.2011, 13:02
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Re: Bicycle Lights and Swiss Highway Regs

Thanks for the info.

I found some more rules on the Luzern police site. I dont think I will ever own a legal push bike here.

All the bikes have the road tax sticker including the tandem. Hmm I wonder if I need two.....

Until the local plod down here stop leering at women as they cruise around and start policing the highways I'm not to worried.

Thanks agiain and have a good day.

Andy
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Old 17.02.2011, 09:13
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Re: Bicycle Lights and Swiss Highway Regs

I tend to worry more about what's safe than what is legal, especially since what is legal is different everywhere.

On urban streets with street lights then flashing lights are best (more than one front and rear is not overkill), constant lights are significantly less effective in these situations (although not a bad idea), because it's all about getting the drivers attention. Judging your position after attention has been drawn to you is quite easy on streets that are lit.

On streets without any other lighting, you not only need to get driver' attention, you also need to give them a way to judge your position, speed, and distance. Flashing lights are very poor for this. Therefore, on streets without any lights, then it's a good idea to have at least one light on the front and one on the back that is constant. Having flashing lights in addition to these is also good because you still need to get the drivers' attention first.
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Old 26.02.2013, 14:00
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Re: Bicycle Lights and Swiss Highway Regs

This old thread almost answers my questions.
However, I would like to know about regulations in the City of Zurich on paved sidewalks in dark parks.

There is a biker who trains in the same place I walk my dog at 6 am (Its dark!). She has no lights. She has nearly collided with us on two separate mornings. She became enraged when I suggested that she might like a light.

Does anyone know the bike-light rules for dark Zurich parks? Thanks!
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Old 26.02.2013, 14:11
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Re: Bicycle Lights and Swiss Highway Regs

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This old thread almost answers my questions.
However, I would like to know about regulations in the City of Zurich on paved sidewalks in dark parks.

There is a biker who trains in the same place I walk my dog at 6 am (Its dark!). She has no lights. She has nearly collided with us on two separate mornings. She became enraged when I suggested that she might like a light.

Does anyone know the bike-light rules for dark Zurich parks? Thanks!
Lights are a legal requirement, irrespective of where you cycle.
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Old 26.02.2013, 14:26
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Re: Bicycle Lights and Swiss Highway Regs

Sorry, but I have to laugh ..... the majority of bikes I see after dark, usually have no lights - unfortunately, even kids (where are the parents?).

Bearing in mind that everyone is clad in dark clothing, and that a front and rear light set, with batteries, can be found for as little as 10 chufs, I find the complacency unbelievable.
Even those with built in dynamo lights can't be arsed to use them.

Best advice is to have what you feel safest with, and sod those nosey gits who think they know better.

Personally, all this official (and other) negativity to blinking lights is jobsworth bollocks. I am much more aware of cyclists with flashing lights, than those with permanent light - especially when there is no relative movement in the lateral plane.

Interesting to note that other road users (motorists) can look directly at you/your light and not see you - particularly when they want to pull out in front of you.
If I suspect this when riding my motorbike (with headlight on), I usually wiggle from side to side.

EDIT: reply is in answer to OP (check date next time), but I'll leave it anyway.
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Old 26.02.2013, 15:06
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Re: Bicycle Lights and Swiss Highway Regs

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However, I would like to know about regulations in the City of Zurich on paved sidewalks in dark parks.
Bikes are allowed on roads or on bike lanes only.

Not on foot paths which are signposted just for pedestrians.
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Old 26.02.2013, 15:21
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Re: Bicycle Lights and Swiss Highway Regs

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Personally, all this official (and other) negativity to blinking lights is jobsworth bollocks. I am much more aware of cyclists with flashing lights, than those with permanent light - especially when there is no relative movement in the lateral plane.
It's quite a contentious topic at the moment - personally I find moving flashing lights much more difficult to place precisely than a nice steady one. there is then a counter-argument that drivers will stop and pay attention to something out of the ordinary, and therefore be safer, but it's far from convincing.
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