A 23-year-old from Essex finds himself £332 out of pocket after being stopped by police for riding his bike without lights or reflectors

Chelmsford Magistrates Court has fined a cyclist £220 after he was stopped by police for riding without lights.

Roman Abramov, 23, from Grays, received the fine, as well as £90 costs and a £22 victim surcharge after his case went to court on Tuesday, October 13, according to the Essex Chronicle.

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The paper reports that the cyclist was stopped on London Road, Purfleet, on February 19 where it was found his bike was not fitted with lights or reflectors.

Ps David Martin said: “Cycling in the dark without lights is extremely dangerous both for the rider and for other road users. This result shows that illegal behaviour by cyclists will not be tolerated in Essex.”

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Essex Police reportedly offer cyclists who are caught for offences the chance to complete an online cycling safety course. Should they fail to complete the course, which costs £19.50 and takes 30 minutes, their case will be put before the courts.

Presumably Abramov did not complete the online course, therefore leaving himself £312 worse off in the process.

  • Mark Penrice

    I’m rather more bothered by the number of cars without lights because the manufacturers have been dumb enough to install a continually-lit dash, intended for an auto-light-equipped model, into one with manual lights… Hopefully THEY’RE being stopped, eventually…

    Most times I’ve seen people with phones in their hands recently it’s been at traffic lights or in very slow moving queues. Not that likely to cause much death and destruction in that case. And the proportion of cars with bluetooth built into their stereos is rising rapidly now the cheaper models featuring it are spreading through the second-hand markets, so it could well become a thing of the past very organically without any need for heavy handed application of a law meant to catch those clearly not paying attention whilst driving at 20+ through pedestrian-heavy areas or bombing along the motorway occasionally taking both hands off the wheel to drink takeaway coffee whilst continuing the call.

    There’s quite a lot of precedent for penalising people for not complying with statutory self-preservation requirements, btw. Seatbelts. Helmets. So-on and so-forth. Reason being that even if it leads to an accident where you’re the only party suffering injury or financial loss, that still ends up being a drain on the collective system that could have been very easily avoided. And chances are that you’ll end up either involving or certainly affecting more people than just yourself, when the incident would otherwise have been completely avoided, or at least made much less serious.

  • Mark Penrice

    Depends how the drivers in your area have been taught, I suppose. Hazard fixation is something everyone from cyclists to truckers should be taught how to avoid, but it doesn’t seem to be on that many curricula for some reason, a bit like how countersteering is often more something you learn about after getting your bike license rather than talked about in the classroom before you’re even allowed to sit astride the machine…

    But, honestly, if it was THAT big a problem, you wouldn’t be able to get from A to B at night for roads clogged up with smashed vehicles that have had head-on collisions thanks to that effect, and it would be a normal thing around the world for speed limits to fall to no more than 10mph after dark.

    The only version of it that gets mentioned in the UK driving test is the risk inherent in following someone else’s tail-lights in thick fog, because you have no idea if THEY can see where they’re going, and if they stop suddenly (…or crash into something), you’re unlikely to be able to avoid a rear-ender… as well as it becoming somewhat hypnotic, same as drafting too close to a truck for extended periods.

    I think someone has had a single bad experience at some point and has decided to extrapolate it to mean that it’s not possible to do the same as they did and NOT have a bad time…

  • mattoid

    And yet half of all instances of drivers using mobile phones are now ignored. Strange.

  • ChuckD59

    Go on…..
    Something I’ve thought about while on a bike after dark; we in the US are taught in High School Drivers Ed. (and maybe privately, can’t speak for it) that people will tend to steer toward what they’re looking at. That’s one reason we learn to look for the white shoulder line when blinded by oncoming lights.

    So what must the effect be of my dual Princeton Tec Swerves, stacked on the back of my seatpost, jangling away like the devil’s Christmas display in the night?
    Am I a ‘bright, shiny thing’?

  • Brian Sharpe

    I don’t know if these people are suicidal or just oblivious. I ride and I drive, the number of cyclists who are practically invisible in low light conditions is shocking…you don’t need a really expensive light in most urban areas but it could be the difference between life and death.

  • Stevo

    So are you saying cyclists are better of without lights or what?

  • ummm…

    I’ve gotten a ticket in NYC for not having a bell. Also, London is a CRAZY town to ride in. I’ve done it, but it isn’t as fun as my home town NYC. I feel a bit like a fixie daredevil in London, even if I’m riding a cruiser.

  • Ripley

    Drunk drivers are attracted to blinky red lights. Cyclists are forced to buy BLINKY RED LIGHTS (for “safety”). More ignorance from the ignorant. read up and you’ll understand why cyclists do these things.

  • Ripley


  • Stevo

    I agree. It is so easy to fall into trap of thinking “I can see other road users so they can see me” when on the bike.

  • Vance Harvey

    Exactly….. and it could well save this person from a nasty accident or even being killed – which then the driver would be blamed of course – for riding in the dark and not being seen. Lets hope it sends out a message to other cyclists riding with no lights in the dark!

  • Andrew Bairsto

    And rightly so.

  • Nigel Rue

    About time!