Aberdeenshire pupils urged to be safe and be seen when cycling to school

Pupils who cycle to and from school are being reminded they need to be safe and be seen during the winter months.

Although it may be starting to become a little brighter in the mornings and afternoon daylight is lasting that bit longer, Aberdeenshire Council is encouraging both children and their parents to remain focused on safety at all times.

There have been some reports of youngsters riding to school without appropriate lights or even cycle helmets which has given real cause for concern.

It is illegal not to have lights on your bike if cycling in the hours of darkness and there is no specific time set each day as the surroundings play a large part in light levels.

As soon as the sun has set, cyclists need to ensure they remain visible with lights as well as reflectors.

In order to ensure pupils can continue to enjoy their healthy ride to school, the council is urging parents to make children as visible as possible in these low light conditions. 

Councillor Gillian Owen, Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Committee, said: “We must stress that when riding at night, the law states you must always use a working white front light and red backlight, plus a red rear reflector.

“Sadly, we have heard of instances when pupils have been attending school – some on new bikes they received at Christmas – without the appropriate lights.

“Similarly, some children are also cycling without a helmet and I would urge parents to ensure their children are suitably equipped to go out cycling safely.”

Committee vice-chair Councillor Rosemary Bruce added: “Aberdeenshire schools are great supporters of the Bikeability scheme which provides training and advice for both the pupils and their families.

“While we might be seeing a bit more daylight at the moment, winter weather can often darken very quickly and lights on bikes are essential to ensure a child’s safety.”