Fashion-conscious cyclists are putting themselves and pedestrians in danger by rejecting bicycle bells as needless clutter on their handlebars, according to a report last week in The Times.
According to the news report, a law forcing cycle shops to include a bell with every bike sold is being undermined by shopkeepers who regard bells with contempt.
RoSPA says that there is a culture among some retailers of telling customers that they are fitting bells only under duress.
It is a criminal offence to sell a bicycle without a bell under the Pedal Bicycles (Safety) Regulations, which came into force in 2004, but shopkeepers admit privately that bells are as unwelcome on handlebars as baskets.
Chris Juden, of the Cyclists Touring Club, said: “Bells are a funny thing. A lot of cycling enthusiasts have an aversion to clutter on the handlebars. A lot of people behind the shop counter are enthusiasts, who pass on those feelings to the customer. The dealer is probably the weak link in the chain. If he thinks it is silly, he will pass the bell to the customer separately.”
Click here to read the full Times Online news report.