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Advocacy & Safety Cyclists should expect and demand safe accommodation on every public road, just as do all other users. Discuss your bicycle advocacy and safety concerns here.

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Old 11-05-10, 11:43 AM   #1
vol
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Shouldn't there be a law that requires bicycle manufacturers...

to complete all new bikes with head light and rear light, since they are required of the riders by law, just like the reflectors? And the head light and rear light shall be "visible from 500 feet" blah blah... ?

Edit:
What I have in mind is some kind of integrated lights, or built-in lights, that the bike makers put in the bike, not the kinds you buy and mount them. Most lights we buy have mounting problems, almost none is perfect in the way they are installed. That's why I'd like to see new bikes with built-in lights.

Last edited by vol; 11-05-10 at 05:05 PM. Reason: see above
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Old 11-05-10, 12:10 PM   #2
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+1, I totally agree with this
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Old 11-05-10, 12:11 PM   #3
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I would guess that lights are only required at night. Why would anyone want a law that forces consumers to buy a light that they probably won't use? If they ride in the dark, the rider will want better than average lighting. If they don't ride at night, they have to pay for something they'll never use.
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Old 11-05-10, 12:16 PM   #4
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Bicycle manufacturers have always lobbied heavily against light requirements at the point of sale. They pushed for the all-reflector requirement, which was cheaper for them. They also got bicycle manufacture regulated by the CPSC rather than the DOT, treating them as "toys" rather than as vehicles. The manufacturers have more political power than those who take a scientific approach to bicycle safety.
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Old 11-05-10, 12:27 PM   #5
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other countries require bikes sold with lights, cheap dynamo systems abound in Germany for instance.

how would bicycle manufacture be regulated by the DOT anyway and what would bikes then look like?

Hydraulic disc brakes and handlebar airbags wrapped in a unibody safety cage with a 12v lighting system and turn signals?

It's not such a conspiracy to have bicycles regulated by the consumer product safety commission.


The CPSC had recently scheduled to overhaul bicycle safety standards due to the prevalence of carbon fiber in bikes and component manufacture, not sure if they've made final recommendations yet.
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Old 11-05-10, 12:36 PM   #6
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I personally would rather choose my own lights.
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Old 11-05-10, 12:39 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by sd790 View Post
I would guess that lights are only required at night. Why would anyone want a law that forces consumers to buy a light that they probably won't use? If they ride in the dark, the rider will want better than average lighting. If they don't ride at night, they have to pay for something they'll never use.
But one can never guarantee that he'll only be riding in daylight. Contingencies are always possible which will force them to ride into dusk, or dark cloud-covered weather. It's like everyone should have an umbrella or other rain gear, even if you never plan to go out in rain.

They can also require light manufactures to make sure the lights will be "visible from 500 feet away...".
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Old 11-05-10, 12:42 PM   #8
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other countries require bikes sold with lights, cheap dynamo systems abound in Germany for instance.

how would bicycle manufacture be regulated by the DOT anyway and what would bikes then look like?

Hydraulic disc brakes and handlebar airbags wrapped in a unibody safety cage with a 12v lighting system and turn signals?

It's not such a conspiracy to have bicycles regulated by the consumer product safety commission.


The CPSC had recently scheduled to overhaul bicycle safety standards due to the prevalence of carbon fiber in bikes and component manufacture, not sure if they've made final recommendations yet.
However, the legal authority under which the CPSC regulates bicycles is the law allowing regulation of "toys or other articles intended for use by children." In my view, that has always presented problems.
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Old 11-05-10, 12:44 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by sd790 View Post
I would guess that lights are only required at night. Why would anyone want a law that forces consumers to buy a light that they probably won't use? If they ride in the dark, the rider will want better than average lighting. If they don't ride at night, they have to pay for something they'll never use.
The same could be said about reflectors and isn't accurate: People you wouldn't think would ride at night do ride at night. Often with no lights.

I don't think they should be required to add lights. But I do think consumers would be wise to choose commuter bikes with dynamos over blase hybrids and low end mountain bikes.
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Old 11-05-10, 12:49 PM   #10
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But one can never guarantee that he'll only be riding in daylight. Contingencies are always possible which will force them to ride into dusk, or dark cloud-covered weather. It's like everyone should have an umbrella or other rain gear, even if you never plan to go out in rain.

They can also require light manufactures to make sure the lights will be "visible from 500 feet away...".
I would be happy to see some 3rd party (gov or otherwise) testing of lights. There's some crappy lights on the market, and it's annoying digging through forums to find out or finding out on your own.
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Old 11-05-10, 12:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sd790 View Post
I would guess that lights are only required at night. Why would anyone want a law that forces consumers to buy a light that they probably won't use? If they ride in the dark, the rider will want better than average lighting. If they don't ride at night, they have to pay for something they'll never use.
instead the manufacturers put those little CYA stickers on new bikes:

Always wear a helmet
Do not ride at night



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Old 11-05-10, 01:01 PM   #12
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Ahh the fine work of bikes belong and other fine lobbying institutions!
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Old 11-05-10, 01:01 PM   #13
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I also prefer to use lights I choose. I have extras as well and would transfer them if I got a new bike. The same is not done with motor vehicles as lights are built in.

Also note that a taillight is not required in many localities . Change the operational requirement first before changing what manufacturer must provide.
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Old 11-05-10, 01:04 PM   #14
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I also prefer to use lights I choose. I have extras as well and would transfer them if I got a new bike. The same is not done with motor vehicles as lights are built in.

Also note that a taillight is not required in many localities . Change the operational requirement first before changing what manufacturer must provide.
that's fine; and, as with motor vehicles you could chose to switch out the lights that came with the bike. but the default should not be no lights at all.
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Old 11-05-10, 01:08 PM   #15
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So you want to increase what I pay for a new bike and increase waste, people will just throw away these lights when they have better.
How much do you think the total cost will be for a light set that is actually useful?
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Old 11-05-10, 01:17 PM   #16
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How many people get rid of the reflectors because they're "dorky"?

How many people do you think would get rid of the lights that came with their bike because they're "dorky"?

I tried to give away an old headlight taillight combo of mine to a coworker who was a bike ninja. He said they were too dorky.
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Old 11-05-10, 01:18 PM   #17
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No, I'd rather choose my own lights than pay extra for a bike to get something I'm probably going to throw away.

For the people who don't know the legal requirements for lights when riding at night in their state; that's their problem, not mine.
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Old 11-05-10, 01:26 PM   #18
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For the people who don't know the legal requirements for lights when riding at night in their state; that's their problem, not mine.
Right. Also once that first set of crappy alkaline cells that will come with these cheaped out lights wear out it won't be used anymore except by someone who wanted a light and would buy one anyway.
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Old 11-05-10, 01:29 PM   #19
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No more laws.... I'm lawed out. Buy your own damn lights you lazy, protectionist people (Save us from ourselves)...

How about a law that prevents stupid laws... or people....
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Old 11-05-10, 01:32 PM   #20
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So you want to increase what I pay for a new bike and increase waste, people will just throw away these lights when they have better.
How much do you think the total cost will be for a light set that is actually useful?
usable basic dyno sets could probably be added at an added manufacturer's cost of less than $5 to $10 per bike
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Old 11-05-10, 01:35 PM   #21
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I'd personally toss the lights, as I have a P7 flashlight and a superflash. But given the prevalence of bike ninjas here, I'm sure it wouldn't hurt for Wal-mart to throw lights on its bikes when selling them.
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Old 11-05-10, 01:35 PM   #22
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Most bicycles are never ridden at night. Requiring that bikes come with lights does seem a bit silly given that bit of information.

Besides, if people don't care about their lights, they end up with dead batteries and then they're useless again. Dynamos neatly bypass that, but they're a good deal more expensive.
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Old 11-05-10, 01:39 PM   #23
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usable basic dyno sets could probably be added at an added manufacturer's cost of less than $5 to $10 per bike
Hmmm- A Cervelo with Di2 electric shifting and Zipp wheels (probably costing around $15k) with a dynamo and lights front and rear? I don' t see that any time soon.
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Old 11-05-10, 01:42 PM   #24
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Yes, there should be a law for everything. There should be a law that requires people to own & carry umbrellas in the rain.
There should be as many requirements as possible for manufacturers to produce no harmful products whatsoever.

Oops... there go cigarettes, and toys with Happy Meals!

OP, you can PM me, and I'll send to you the crappy mandatory front/rear lights that come with European marketed Bianchi's. And you can be the judge.
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Old 11-05-10, 02:28 PM   #25
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Most bicycles are never ridden at night. Requiring that bikes come with lights does seem a bit silly given that bit of information.
Never ridden at night? Really? I've been riding at night since age 10. Every kid I know rode in darkness once and a while. I see lots of kids in my neighborhood riding after dark. Most of the casual adult cyclists I know get caught out after dark once and a while. Lots of roadies push their luck and end up riding home at or after dusk. Most don't have lights.

I think it would be practical to require bikes be sold with inexpensive LED lights but allow buyers to upgrade or present proof of ownership of a light with bike mount. I don't suggest that this should be a high priority - I'd rather see enforcement of the law we have - but it would be another approach to reducing the high percentage of crashes in darkness. And sure, people who don't ride often at night will let their batteries go dead in their mandatory safety lights, but in an emergency, it's easier to find AAA batteries at the last minute than to buy a bike light.
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