Remember when just about every car had the same Lucas Indicator. Dipswitch
/ Horn control crudely arrached to the steering column with a clamp?
I once had a Hillman Imp - it had a indicator stalk that was different - it
was latched by a solenoid - which cot released by a switch on the column.
First I had seen that had a bit of original design back in those days.
Trafficators were a great idea - in the early days when drivers still
expected to see hand signals out of the window, the trafficator combined
similar movement with a nice modern amber light. The fact that they
were dim and got stuck was a problem with the implementation not the
Really? This article from 1956 refers to 'all three types of indicator
at present approved', which suggest they were legal for some time before
Maybe it was the same situation as flashing red/white lights on bikes, which
used to be technically illegal when they first came out because they weren't
on all the time but only intermittently - completely ignoring the fact that
flashing lights are more conspicuous than steady ones and so are very
desired when marking hazards, or cars that are planning to change direction.
A case of the law being a long way behind common sense improvements.
As far as bikes go, flashing rear lights are a massive improvement - as
you say, they are highly visible - the batteries also last a very long time.
Flashing front lights are less so. The ones that are white versions of
the rear ones serve the same purpose well, but the intensely bright
lights that many cyclists are using (seems to be intensely bright or
none at all around here) should be banned from road use, unless a proper
steady dipped/steady main/weak flash version with the switch right at
the riders fingertips can be arranged. The flash catches your eye and
you automatically look at it, only to be totally dazzled by the
brightness, making them dangerous.
It is bad enough with high intensity car lights bouncing on bumps, but
on bikes, even when not flashing, they swing from side to side, bounce
around and generally point a high intensity beam in all sorts of
unintended directions. They have no height control, are mounted on
handlebars, close to drivers' eye level - or, even worse, worn on the
head, so the cyclist sees you, looks at you and dazzles you immediately!
I have also found that flashing front lights can be difficult to
identify for their position, they shut off before the viewer has been
able to identify their location, only to come back on ready to blind
the viewer. The effect is worse the faster the flash rate.
I'd find it very difficult to cycle at night with the road ahead lit *only*
by a flashing white light. I'm amazed at the cyclists who do this. I'd go
for a brighter constant white light (*), and a dimmer "to be visible" light
which hopefully was too dim to be visible as reflected light off the road
(*) Hopefully with a beam pattern that did not dazzle oncoming
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