Mum of Leeds teen who died in cycling crash calls for change of law on bike lights

The mum of a teen who died in a tragic cycling crash has called on the government to make it compulsory for all bicycles to be sold with working lights.

By Daniel Sheridan
Friday, 9th August 2019, 11:08 am
Charlie Fox
Charlie Fox

Charlie Fox, 14, was fatally struck by a White Mercedes Sprinter van in Bullerthorpe Lane at around 7.10pm on October 22, 2018.

Charlie, from Seacroft, was taken to Leeds General Infirmary, where he was pronounced dead at 11.30pm that night, an inquest heard.

-> 14-year-old cyclist died after collision in Leeds: Inquest opens after death of Charlie FoxWest Yorkshire Police say the van was heading in the opposite direction and overtaking a white Volkswagen Polo.

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Charlie Fox

The driver of the van, a 28-year-old man from Castleford, was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and released under investigation.

Almost a year on, Charlie's mum Rebecca Roe has launched a petition - titled 'Charlie’s Law: require all bicycles to be sold with working lights' - which has seen vast support of over 4,000 signatures.

Rebecca is appealing for the help of the public in reaching the 10,000 signatures mark which would result in the government responding.

She said: "I don't want to change the current law of bicycles needing lights between sunset and sunrise, I just want bicycles to be sold with them so people and children can abide with the law a lot easier.

"At the minute, I believe people’s knowledge of the law is very little.

"I know some people consider this common sense but when children have been riding their bikes since the age of 4, and you buy with reflectors I think we are lead to believe they are good enough for night, certainly dusk when this happened to Charlie.

"There are no signs up in shops when buying a bike to tell you the law, we are not told the law upon purchasing a bike and bike lights are not discussed at all.

"That is my experience and many others that I have spoken to."

Under the current law of The Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989, cyclists only need to ensure they have working lights and reflectors on their push bike between sunset and sunrise.

The full petition - which can be viewed here - states: "My 14 year old son Charlie Fox, was tragically knocked off his bicycle on October 22, 2018, by a van driver overtaking on a blind bend. This resulted in him suffering a fatal head injury, two other children suffered serious psychological and physical injuries.

"It needs to be made a requirement by law that bicycles be sold with lights.

"Cycling is encouraged by the Government, with more people using bicycles as their main transport.

"There are many cycle lanes on roads across the country but still legal to buy bikes without lights, despite it being the law to use them between sunrise and sunset.

"All vehicles sold must have working lights. The law needs to move with the times to keep cyclists safe whilst on our roads."

An inquest opening was told a post mortem was carried out and preliminary results showed Charlie died of a head injury due to the crash.

The death of Charlie was the second death of a teenager on Bullerthorpe Lane in three years.

Amelia Hope Wake, a 14-year-old schoolgirl from Rothwell, died in 2016 after being struck by a car as she tried to cross the road.