No, this isn’t a discussion on the 1970’s hit song by Manfred Mann, originally written and sung by Bruce Springsteen (I’m showing my age now), its about our growing love of adventure bikes and more importantly the fitting of spotlights to the front framework.
On many occasions when discussing these lights with riders they tell me how great they are at warning drivers and it makes them more visible. It’s an interesting point of view because spot-lights are NOT meant to point at other road users to show them you are approaching; spot-lights are designed to light up the road in front of you during the hours of darkness or poor visibility. Legally the spot-lights should be adjusted to illuminate the road surface, if they don’t then they fall under the Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989. ‘Side Marker lights / Running ( Running lights face forward ) are legal, ( except red ) as long as they are static and don’t dazzle other drivers or look like emergency lights and have a on / off switch’.
So next time your out on a club run or with your mates, if the bike behind is ‘causing undue dazzle or discomfort’ to you then they are committing the offence under the RVL Regulations not to mention probably giving you a headache or just annoying the hell out of you. However, a few penalty points on your licence and a fine are probably not as important as your safety, I’ve investigated two recent collisions where the motorcyclist spot-lights have temporarily blinded the driver travelling toward them with dire consequences for the rider (I’m sure you can guess the rest); above all lets be safe out there, it’s a dangerous place for the motorcyclist and we all want to enjoy our riding.
So the motto of this story is make sure your spot-lights are adjusted and used correctly.
Mark Weaver – Police Rider