POLICE in a Hampshire town have launched a crackdown on cyclists who are putting themselves at risk by riding without lights in the dark.

Officers are taking to the streets of Totton after receiving countless complaints about the number of cyclists who are not equipped with lights or refuse to switch them on.

Drivers say many “non-illuminated” riders wear dark clothing - making them even harder to see at night.

The crackdown began on Tuesday, when Totton Neighbourhood Officers visited three locations in the town centre - Junction Road, Salisbury Road and Ringwood Road.


A police spokesman said: “Cyclists riding without lights are not only breaking the law they’re making themselves so much more vulnerable.

“Fifteen people were stopped, their details were taken and they were given words of advice.

“All were asked to dismount and told they couldn’t ride their bikes after dark until they had the correct lights fitted. One person was issued with a £50 fixed penalty notice after refusing to give his details.

“The crackdown will continue over the next few weeks and in different locations.”

It comes amid increasing concern over the number of accidents involving cyclists.

Last month police took to the streets of Southampton following reports that motorists were putting cyclists at risk by driving too close to people on bikes.

Nine people were pulled over but officers also stopped about 20 cyclists before issuing them with high-visibility equipment and advising them to wear bright clothing.

Collisions tend to increase after the clocks go back and road users find themselves travelling home in the dark.


Sergeant Rob Heard of Hampshire police said: “From a safety perspective motorists need to take added care to look out for cyclists. Equally cyclists need lights on their bikes, not only to avoid prosecution but also to keep them safer.”

Each year more than 3,000 cyclists are either killed or seriously injured in the UK.

Cherry Allan, Cycling UK’s campaigns and policy co-ordinator, added: “Cycling UK believes cyclists, like all road users, should behave responsibly and within the law and ensure they are visible at night.

“Cyclists must have white front and red rear lights. Flashing lights are now permitted."