Aberdeenshire council bosses have urged children and parents to keep safety in mind when cycling to school after reports of pupils going without protective equipment.
Some youngsters have been reported riding in the region without appropriate lights or even cycle helmets.
It is illegal not to have lights on your bike if cycling in the hours of darkness.
Chairwoman of the council’s education committee, Gillian Owen, said parents should ensure their children are properly prepared for the dark.
She 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-chairwoman 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.”