Brake Light Modulators

Has anyone got a brake light modulator or know if they’re legal for road use in the UK?

http://www.signaldynamics.com/products/Modules/xp.asp

Many thanks, H

Almost certainly not.

It’s more than a while since I read (bits) of the Vehicle (Construction and Use) Regulations. At that time I was looking to see if a line switch that controlled a 3 light unit was leagal. (The harder you braked the more lights came on.)

The answer to that was “No”, so something that flashes almost certainly aint.

You can check the Regs on line if your very, very bored.

I often see a BMW (GS or something like that) on my commute that has something like that. It’s like a cheesy xmas tree whenever he hits the brakes. First time I saw it I thought his bike was broken and found it very distracting.
I doubt it has any benefit, in contrary. People have learned now what a brake light means, so why would you want to change it?

I’d like to add a couple of (switchable) lights to the back of my bike to give a high intensity rear light for mucky nights and another to give a high intensity brake light for the same reason.

I try to avoid motorways and fast A roads but I had a nasty experience in rain on the M25 a few weeks back.

I did an near emergency stop behind an accident while the twerp in the Sierra behind missed me by inches, but only because I’d started to take to the hard shoulder.

Don’t think the result would have been any different with the lights, but if he’d hit me the insurance claim would have been easier.

I agree with Driesie here, though. Why bother to change?

it might just make them notice that you are braking ? if not then why do you get advised to tap your brakes to make the light flash a couple of times when slowing in traffic by the guys at Bikesafe ? I’m sure its illegal, but then so are small plates loud exhausts and driving without due care and consideration! we all do something during our riding careers that is illegal in one way or another, at least this little bit of illegality could save your ass! of course you could allways just put some nice bright rimtape on :wink:

even them flashing lights on pushbikes are illegal too, if they have a flashing light there are suppose to have 1 on constant too.

When I first saw them, I had no idea it the guy was braking, all I could see was a load of LEDs flashing like a xmas tree and I honestly thought it was just some stupid bling. Only the second time I saw him I noticed it went only on when he was actually hitting the brakes.
My point is not that you woudln’t get noticed, but the point is that there’s an expectation. When people see a brake light go on, they know you’re braking. If you’re brake light isn’t bright enough, then it’s fair enough you might want to add another or make one brighter, but it’s still the same behaviour. If you suddenly start changing that behaviour you have to assume people are going to know what it means, which may not always be the case.

Ah! but you DID see him :slight_smile: as to expectations, they like assumptions are the mother of all cockups :slight_smile: anyways brake light modulators only flash the brakelight, it looks like you are cadence braking, it is difficult to mistake for anything other than brake lights, the LED lights are a different item altogether.

There are a few different versions of these, but the one I was looking at had an option to flash a few times and then be steady on… I just figured at night it would grab attention perhaps (especially when drivers approach a sea of brake lights and they all look as bright as eachother).

But you’re right… there’s no evidence, even in the US where they’re sold legally, as to if there is any benefit.

So that’s saved you a bit of money.

So now spend it on something that is a boon to safety. A louder (but of course, legal) exhaust.

Not even come close to running a pedestrian down since fitting mine.

A similar thing seems to be legal on cars in the UK. Both Volvo and Lexus offer a system that at normal breaking the light is constant but for rapid breaking the rear lights flash.

“Research by Mercedes engineers has shown that driver reaction times are shortened by up to 0.2 seconds if a flashing red warning signal is given instead of the conventional brake light during emergency braking. At a speed of 80 km/h this reduces the stopping distance by approx. 4.40 metres, and at 100 km/h by no less than 5.50 metres or so. This means that flashing brake lights are an effective and easily implemented way to reduce rear-end collisions.”

http://www.baby-benz.com/portal/mercedes-benz-articles/flashing-brake-lights-effective-against-rear-end-colli.html
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11351634/

if your main lights conform to the regs auxiliary lights can do just about anything you want as long as they dont breach the basics, ie white light on the rear unless for reversing, red lights on the front, etc(not totally legal mind you)…the rules are there for a reason and it is about safety but as I say auxiliary lights are a lot more vague

if you have a flashing red light on your helmet for instance, this is mostly going to go as okay, as is a red flashing light under your main rear light…as long as it is an auxiliary light…

However, if you read the regs they will confuse dismay and annoy you…

Well put, it seems to me that if a driver sees a flashing brake light he’s more likely to think “what the heck is that?” rather than “jeez, I need to stop sooner than usual”

Well put, it seems to me that if a driver sees a flashing brake light he’s more likely to think “what the heck is that?” rather than “jeez, I need to stop sooner than usual”

I think the problem is, as stated, he/she will be confused.

Given that most car drivers seem to spend their lived confused, is it very smart to add to their problems with “making safe forward progress”?

Each day I se a few that can’t mange "safe " and “forward” at the same time without something new to further confuse them.

By the shore of Gitche Gumee,By the shining Big-Sea-Water,At the doorway of his wigwam,In the pleasant Summer morning,Hiawatha stood and waited.All the air was full of freshness,All the earth was bright and joyous,And before him, through the sunshine,Westward toward the neighboring forestPassed in golden swarms the Ahmo,Passed the bees, the honey-makers,Burning, singing in the sunshine. Bright above him shone the heavens,Level spread the lake before him;From its bosom leaped the sturgeon,Sparkling, flashing in the sunshine;On its margin the great forestStood reflected in the water,Every tree-top had its shadow,Motionless beneath the water. From the brow of HiawathaGone was every trace of sorrow,As the fog from off the water,As the mist from off the meadow.With a smile of joy and triumph,With a look of exultation,As of one who in a visionSees what is to be, but is not,Stood and waited Hiawatha. Toward the sun his hands were lifted,Both the palms spread out against it,And between the parted fingersFell the sunshine on his features,Flecked with light his naked shoulders,As it falls and flecks an oak-treeThrough the rifted leaves and branches. O’er the water floating, flying,Something in the hazy distance,Something in the mists of morning,Loomed and lifted from the water,Now seemed floating, now seemed flying,Coming nearer, nearer, nearer. Was it Shingebis the diver?Or the pelican, the Shada? Or the heron, the Shuh-shuh-gah?Or the white goose, Waw-be-wawa,/td> With the water dripping, flashing,From its glossy neck and feathers? It was neither goose nor diver,Neither pelican nor heron,O’er the water floating, flying,Through the shining mist of morning,But a birch canoe with paddles,Rising, sinking on the water,Dripping, flashing in the sunshine;And within it came a peopleFrom the distant land of Wabun,From the farthest realms of morningCame the Black-Robe chief, the Prophet,He the Priest of Prayer, the Pale-face,With his guides and his companions. And the noble Hiawatha,With his hands aloft extended,Held aloft in sign of welcome,Waited, full of exultation,Till the birch canoe with paddlesGrated on the shining pebbles, Stranded on the sandy margin,Till the Black-Robe chief, the Pale-face,With the cross upon his bosom,Landed on the sandy margin. Then the joyous HiawathaCried aloud and spake in this wise‘Beautiful is the sun, O strangers,When you come so far to see us!All our town in peace awaits you,All our doors stand open for you;You shall enter all our wigwams,For the heart’s right hand we give you. ‘Never bloomed the earth so gayly,Never shone the sun so brightly,As to-day they shine and blossomWhen you come so far to see us!Never was our lake so tranquil,Nor so free from rocks and sand-bars;For your birch canoe in passingHas removed both rock and sand-bar. ‘Never before had our tobaccoSuch a sweet and pleasant flavor,Never the broad leaves of our cornfieldsWere so beautiful to look on,As they seem to us this morning,When you come so far to see us!’ And the Black-Robe chief made answer,Stammered in his speech a little,Speaking words yet unfamiliar:‘Peace be with you, Hiawatha,Peace be with you and your people,Peace of prayer, and peace of pardon,Peace of Christ, and joy of Mary!’ Then the generous HiawathaLed the strangers to his wigwam,Seated them on skins of bison,Seated them on skins of ermine,And the careful old NokomisBrought them food in bowls of basswood,Water brought in birchen dippers,And the calumet, the peace-pipe,Filled and lighted for their smoking. All the old men of the village,All the warriors of the nation,All the Jossakeeds, the Prophets,The magicians, the Wabenos,And the Medicine-men, the Medas,Came to bid the strangers welcome;'It is well,’ they said, ‘O brothers, ’That you come so far to see us!’ In a circle round the doorway,With their pipes they sat in silence,Waiting to behold the strangers,Waiting to receive their message;Till the Black-Robe chief, the Pale-face,From the wigwam came to greet them,Stammering in his speech a little,Speaking words yet unfamiliar;‘It is well,’ they said, ‘O brother,That you come so far to see us!’ Then the Black-Robe chief, the Prophet,Told his message to the people,Told the purport of his mission,Told them of the Virgin Mary,And her blessed Son, the Saviour,How in distant lands and agesHe had lived on earth as we do;How he fasted, prayed, and labored;How the Jews, the tribe accursed,Mocked him, scourged him, crucified him;How he rose from where they laid him,Walked again with his disciples,And ascended into heaven, And the chiefs made answer, saying:‘We have listened to your message,We have heard your words of wisdom,We will think on what you tell us.It is well for us, O brothers,That you come so far to see us!’ Then they rose up and departedEach one homeward to his wigwam,To the young men and the womenTold the story of the strangersWhom the Master of Life had sent themFrom the shining land of Wabun. Heavy with the heat and silenceGrew the afternoon of Summer;With a drowsy sound the forestWhispered round the sultry wigwam,With a sound of sleep the waterRippled on the beach below it;From the cornfields shrill and ceaselessSang the grasshopper, Pah-puk-keena;And the guests of Hiawatha,Weary with the heat of Summer,Slumbered in the sultry wigwam. Slowly o’er the simmering landscapeFell the evening’s dusk and coolness,And the long and level sunbeamsShot their spears into the forest,Breaking through its shields of shadow,Rushed into each secret ambush,Searched each thicket, dingle, hollow;Still the guests of HiawathaSlumbered in the silent wigwam. From his place rose Hiawatha,Bade farewell to old Nokomis,Spake in whispers, spake in this wise,Did not wake the guests, that slumbered: ‘I am going, O Nokomis,’On a long and distant journey,To the portals of the Sunset,To the regions of the home-wind,Of the Northwest-Wind, Keewaydin.But these guests I leave behind me,In your watch and ward I leave them;See that never harm comes near them,See that never fear molests them,Never danger nor suspicion,Never want of food or shelter,In the lodge of Hiawatha!’Forth into the village went he, Bade farewell to all the warriors,Bade farewell to all the young men,Spake persuading, spake in this wise: ‘I am going, O my people,On a long and distant journey;Many moons and many wintersWill have come, and will have vanished,Ere I come again to see you.But my guests I leave behind me;Listen to their words of wisdom,Listen to the truth they tell you,For the Master of Life has sent themFrom the land of light and morning!’ On the shore stood Hiawatha,Turned and waved his hand at parting;On the clear and luminous waterLaunched his birch canoe for sailing,From the pebbles of the marginShoved it forth into the water;Whispered to it, ‘Westward! Westward!’And with speed it darted forward. And the evening sun descendingSet the clouds on fire with redness,Burned the broad sky, like a prairie,Left upon the level waterOne long track and trail of splendor,Down whose stream, as down a river,Westward, westward HiawathaSailed into the fiery sunset,Sailed into the purple vapors,Sailed into the dusk of evening. And the people from the marginWatched him floating, rising, sinking.Till the birch canoe seemed liftedHigh into that sea of splendor,Till it sank into the vaporsLike the new moon slowly, slowlySinking in the purple distance. And they said ‘Farewell forever’Said ‘Farewell, O Hiawatha!’And the forests, dark and lonely,Moved through all their depths of darkness,Sighed, ‘Farewell, O Hiawatha!’And the waves upon the marginRising, rippling on the pebbles,Sobbed, ‘Farewell, O Hiawatha!’And the heron, the Shuh-shuh-gah,From her haunts among the fen-lands,Screamed, ‘Farewell, O Hiawatha!’ Thus departed Hiawatha,Hiawatha the Beloved,In the glory of the sunset,In the purple mists of evening,To the regions of the home-wind,Of the Northwest-Wind, Keewaydin,To the Islands of the Blessed,To the kingdom of Ponemah,To the land of the Hereafter!