Police launched their Lights on Bikes campaign at the beginning of November to coincide with the clocks changing and dark nights drawing in.That's awfully generous! I wonder if you or I were caught with bald tyres or a defective exhaust if they would be quite so accommodating?
Cyclists caught breaking the law are given the opportunity to avoid the fine if they show police a receipt for new lights within seven days.
Still, it's nice to see a good story about police and public for once. How are the students treating this generosity?
But bike shop staff revealed some people, particularly students, were returning to the store to get a refund after they had shown officers their new lights.Good lord, how pricey are bike lights, for heaven's sake?
Well, a quick glance in Halfords shows they are....not very much at all.
Certainly, not worth the risk of disappearing under the wheels of a goods lorry who can't see you in the dark...Or killed.
Jim Tanner, of Bike Zone, in Market Street, Oxford, said: “The police have tried to stop it by stamping the receipt. We’ve had people who try to cut the police stamp off.Not sure about the legality of that, but FFS, how dim are these kids?
“The police have said, if they ask for a refund, we should ask for their name and the police will reissue the fine and double it. But this time of year we are now refusing all bike light refunds.”
Road safety officer Pc Mark Pilling said: “The initiative is now running 365 days-a-year and legally the force is unable to stop shops from offering refunds, but if the receipt has been stamped it will have been used to prove purchase of a set of cycle lights and avoid paying a fine.
“If anyone would rather ride without lights after dark they should expect to either get injured or repeatedly stopped and fined.”
So what is it, a macho thing? Is it considered uncool to ride with lights? Is it a rebellion against authority?
I really, really cannot see what's to the student's advantage in doing this....