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  1. #1
    Ride the Road Daily Commute's Avatar
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    The LBS as Smuggler

    Livngood cites this bizarre Georgia law in the thread about the cyclist recently killed in Atlanta:

    40-6-297.(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to sell a new bicycle or a pedal for use on a bicycle unless the pedals on such bicycle or such pedals are equipped with reflectors of a type approved by the Department of Public Safety. The reflector on each pedal shall be so designed and situated as to be visible from the front and rear of the bicycle during darkness from a distance of 200 feet. The commissioner of public safety is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations and establish standards for such reflectors.
    Under the law, it appears to be illegal to sell clipless pedals. I can just imagine the dialog in some Atlanta back alley:

    "You sure you're not a cop?"
    "Promise."
    "I'm looking for some Speedplay's."
    "I can hook you up with some really rad SPD's."
    "I was really hoping for some Speedplay's."
    "Sorry, man. All I got is SPD's. The state troopers caught a load of Speedplay's last week. The supply's all dried up."
    "Damn. I'll take the SPD's if that's all I can get."
    "You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. . . ."

  2. #2
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    The same thread seemed to say some recumbents are illegal too. I would expect the police to adopt zero tolerance policy and come down hard on these despicable dealers!

    --J
    To err is human. To moo is bovine.

    Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?


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  3. #3
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Livngood cites this bizarre Georgia law...
    [INDENT]40-6-297.(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to sell a new bicycle or a pedal for use on a bicycle unless the pedals on such bicycle or such pedals are equipped with reflectors....
    Very funny! Michigan has that law with nearly identical wording. I bet a lot of states have passed it. The one in Mich. was enacted in 1976.

    http://www.michiganlegislature.org/m...662&highlight=

  4. #4
    Huachuca Rider webist's Avatar
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    I think it may still be true in PA that you have to have a flag bearer in front of a car during the day and a lantern bearer at night. My understanding is that it is seldom enforced.

    Just in case though, I suppose we need a new name for pedals in order to circumvent the law. I suggest "Shoe to Cycle Interface."
    Just Peddlin' Around

  5. #5
    He drop me Grasschopper's Avatar
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    Yea PA has a similar law. FWIW if you want to comply simply get a set of M520s and put the flat pedal adapter that comes with many bikes (to be legal under this law maybe?) with SPDs and has both front and rear reflectors. My LBS just gave me a set of these for free as I want to put the pedals on my wife's bike to ease her into the use of clipless. My new ULtegra PD-R600s also had a comment about reflectors in the installation instructions. So clearly Shimano is aware of the situation, I wonder what Look and Speedplay and others do.

    Is this why high end bikes come with no pedals?
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  6. #6
    Ride the Road Daily Commute's Avatar
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    The law is weird. It is illegal to sell 1) a bike with non-reflective pedals, and 2) non-reflective pedals by themselves. But it is not illegal to ride a bike with non-reflective pedals.

    Grasschopper's question is a good one. Are there any bike manufacturers or LBS people out there who know if this law has any effect on how bicycles are sold?

  7. #7
    He drop me Grasschopper's Avatar
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    Actually I just took the time to look it up and PA clearly is up to date on cycling as the refer to LEDs and flashers and that they can replace reflectors. Also they no longer require the use of pedal reflectors but I do know for a fact that they did in the past.

    Section 3507. Lamps or other equipment on pedalcycles.
    (a) Lamps and reflectors. -- Every pedalcycle when in use between sunset and sunrise shall be equipped on the front with a lamp which emits a beam of white light intended to illuminate the pedalcycle operator's path and visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front, a red reflector facing to the rear which shall be visible at least 500 feet to the rear, and an amber reflector on each side. Operators of pedalcycles may supplement the required front lamp with a white flashing lamp, light-emitting diode or similar device to enhance their visibility to other traffic and with a lamp emitting a red flashing lamp, light emitting diode or similar device visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear. A lamp or lamps worn by the operator of a pedalcycle shall comply with the requirements of this subsection if the lamp or lamps can be seen at the distances specified.

    Comment: Many car-bike crashes occur at night and involve a poorly illuminated bicyclist. Bicyclists should understand that headlamps serve two purposes: a) primarily, they advise other road users of their presence (vitally important to prevent unsuspecting motorists from cutting across the paths of cyclists they cannot even detect), b) secondarily, illuminate the bicyclist's path.
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  8. #8
    He drop me Grasschopper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daily Commute
    The law is weird. It is illegal to sell 1) a bike with non-reflective pedals, and 2) non-reflective pedals by themselves. But it is not illegal to ride a bike with non-reflective pedals.

    Grasschopper's question is a good one. Are there any bike manufacturers or LBS people out there who know if this law has any effect on how bicycles are sold?
    I would say that the OEMs are well aware of the laws since every bike I saw yesterday at my LBS which had clipless pedals on it (most either had flats or no pedals) had SPDs and had the Shimano insert with the reflectors. Can the LBS really be held responsible if they put a set of pedals on your bike which doesn't have reflectors? That could be a scarry thought for LBS in states where the law still reads in this manner.

    Edit: Oh and PA has a pretty nice web site with the laws and with tips and even some maps. See it here.
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  9. #9
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grasschopper
    I would say that the OEMs are well aware of the laws since every bike I saw yesterday at my LBS which had clipless pedals on it (most either had flats or no pedals) had SPDs and had the Shimano insert with the reflectors. Can the LBS really be held responsible if they put a set of pedals on your bike which doesn't have reflectors? That could be a scarry thought for LBS in states where the law still reads in this manner.

    Edit: Oh and PA has a pretty nice web site with the laws and with tips and even some maps. See it here.
    An LBS that sells a bike that is not in compliance with the applicable safety standards could certainly have at least patial liability in the event of a crash were the lack of the safety equipment could have been a factor.

  10. #10
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    When I am in a vehicle after dark, often the FIRST clue that a bike is ahead is the headlights hitting the pedal reflectors. The bike's red reflector and "blinky" light can get lost among the hundreds of other bits and pieces of light on and near a big city roadway. Pedal reflectors, going in a circular pedaling pattern, register as a distinct message that a moving bicycle is ahead.

    I don't ride at night without pedal reflectors. I also wear at least one wide reflective legband, and sometimes two.

    The police in my city are too busy with murder cases, armed robberies, and shaking down cantina owners to bother much with bikes. I have often barely avoided collisions with other bikes at night - the guys without a single reflector or light on their bikes, wearing dark clothing, riding on the wrong side of the road. I WISH the police would ticket such riders - but I have not ever seen it happen.

  11. #11
    No pain, no gain. PainTrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
    ...I have often barely avoided collisions with other bikes at night - the guys without a single reflector or light on their bikes, wearing dark clothing, riding on the wrong side of the road.
    This has been the cause of many near misses for me as well.

  12. #12
    Ride the Road Daily Commute's Avatar
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    My clipless shoes have reflectors on the back, but I don't know if cars could see them around my saddle bags. Fortunately, the saddlebags themselves have a reflective cover with an even more reflective stripe. I then have 1 to 3 red blinkies (depending on conditions), an HID headlight (I have a back-up 10w halogen), spoke reflectors, and a reflective nylon shell and/or reflective vest. I'll sometimes even turn on the LED on my helmet. That's about as much as a Christmas tree as you can get without getting goofy (like tireflies, tube lights, etc.).

    There's always something else you can make reflective or powered by AAA batteries, but you have to draw the line somewhere.

  13. #13
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    I have reflectors on the backs of my shoes. On my commuter bike I have a 10 watt halogen headlight, 7 LED rear blinker, plus my carradice saddlebag has a reflective patch. I have reflective tape on the rear of the seat stays and both front and back of the crankarms. I also wear a reflective construction vest and an illuminite helmet cover. You can see me from neighboring states!

  14. #14
    Year-round cyclist
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    I think California requires either reflectors on pedals or reflective material on the shoes, but don't quote me on this.

    As far as our retrograd Québec Highway Code is concerned, the requirements are more weird than that of Georgia and Pennsylvania.

    At all times, a bicycle must be equipped with:
    - white reflector in front;
    - red reflector in rear;
    - yellow and red spoke reflectors in the front and rear wheel respectively (iow. no white spore reflectors in Québec);
    - 2 yellow reflectors on each pedal.

    And only at night are a front and rear lights required. Personnally, I would require headlight and taillight to be permanently attached to the bike, so that they are used at night. If it seems strange, such requirements exist for cars (drivers don't store their headlights in daytime), and they also exist for bicycles in Germany. I think German law also requires a batteryless system, but I'm not sure.

    BTW, if there are any German readers on the list, do you find that German bicyclists are lit at night?
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

  15. #15
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    What if the pedals are sold labeled as "off road use only"? The aftermarket auto parts industry has similar issues.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  16. #16
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grasschopper
    Actually I just took the time to look it up and PA clearly is up to date on cycling as the refer to LEDs and flashers and that they can replace reflectors. [/B]
    No, that's not quite right. What is says is:

    ...pedalcycles may supplement the required front lamp with a white flashing lamp, light-emitting diode or similar device to enhance their visibility to other traffic and with a lamp emitting a red flashing lamp, light emitting diode or similar device visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear.

    They key word here is: sup·ple·ment (n.) : Something added to complete a thing, make up for a deficiency, or extend or strengthen the whole.

    If the word they had used was "to supplant", then your interpretation would have been correct.
    supplant (v) : take the place or move into the position of.

    So, like Georgia, PA's law still require a bicycle ridden between sunset and sunrise to be fitted with reflectors.

  17. #17
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Doesn't this make sense? If your lights failed for any reason, you would have reflectors as backup. Another thing to watc for is that the statutes specify certain colors for the various reflectors and lights. People get ticketed for having a red blinkie on the front of the bike, for example.

  18. #18
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    all the LBS has to do is give platform adaptors to you, already on the pedal when you buy it. The adaptor can have the reflectors on it already.

    Then you can yank them off at the sidewalk right after you leave the shop

  19. #19
    Ride the Road Daily Commute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catatonic
    all the LBS has to do is give platform adaptors to you, already on the pedal when you buy it. The adaptor can have the reflectors on it already.

    Then you can yank them off at the sidewalk right after you leave the shop
    Yeah, but that adds another $10-20 to the cost of the pedals (depending on LBS markup). And do they sell those for speedplay's?

  20. #20
    8speed DinoSORAs Ed Holland's Avatar
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    In a similar vein, a law was passed last year that states that every new bicycle sold in the UK must be fitted with a bell..... which may be removed by the rider as soon as they leave the shop. As I understand it, there is no law that states it is compulsory for bikes to have a bell when ridden on the road. Perhaps 2004 was a bad year for bell manufacturers?

    Ed
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  21. #21
    Senior Member royalflash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michel Gagnon
    Personnally, I would require headlight and taillight to be permanently attached to the bike, so that they are used at night. If it seems strange, such requirements exist for cars (drivers don't store their headlights in daytime), and they also exist for bicycles in Germany. I think German law also requires a batteryless system, but I'm not sure.

    BTW, if there are any German readers on the list, do you find that German bicyclists are lit at night?
    Last time I looked at the German vehicle law (STVO) it was compulsory for all bikes to have permanent dynamo lighting (front and rear) and reflectors on the front, rear, pedals and wheels. There is however an explicit exception for lightweight racing bikes (under 10 kg) which can have removable battery lights instead of the dynamo.

    Bikes in Germany also have to have a bell (thought for some strange reasons German bike shops only sell pathetic bells that cannot be heard if there is ANY sort of traffic noise). Air horns are illegal.

    If you have ANY sort of lighting thought you are unlikely to be stopped by the Bavarian police who dont seem to take cycling offences very seriously. I regularly narrowly avoid "organ donors" cycling the wrong way, with no lights at all. It is relatively likely that one day I will have a head-on crash with someone cycling the wrong way down the cycle lane.

    This is one unfortunate consequence of cycle paths. Once the bikes are banished from the roads no one much cares what they do anymore.

    I always light myself up like a Christmas tree and on my commuter I have a SON hub dynamo system backed up with battery lights and at least one blinky. I have also ordered a front helmet LED light from ebay which hasnt yet arrived.

    My life is worth a few lights (at least to me).
    only the dead have seen the end of mass motorized stupidity

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    (well if he was alive today he would have written it)

  22. #22
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daily Commute
    Yeah, but that adds another $10-20 to the cost of the pedals (depending on LBS markup). And do they sell those for speedplay's?
    Hmm, most of the LBSs I've went to just give them to you for free. The one I went to in san jose actually would not sell clipless pedals without the adaptor in place anyways. However you could walk up to their shop, and ask for them and usually get them for free.

  23. #23
    Caffeinated. Camel's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=alanbikehouston]...Pedal reflectors, going in a circular pedaling pattern, register as a distinct message that a moving bicycle is ahead...[QUOTE]

    I wear reflective leg bands (along with a bunch of other reflectivity+active lighting) for the above reason, but now am moving away from pedal/leg reflectors.

    I agree that the motion registers to some drivers as "bicycle" ahead. Some drivers don't want you on "their" roads though, so perhaps other reflectivity as well as active lights may be better. Might cause more of a --"What is that thing in the road ahead?" (reaction) at a distance-along with a "perhaps I should slow down (to the speed limit or bellow), and pass it at a safe distance" (action).

    I guess some drivers may just think "its just a cyclist", and continue at a high speed/pass to close.

  24. #24
    Ride the Road Daily Commute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catatonic
    Hmm, most of the LBSs I've went to just give them to you for free. The one I went to in san jose actually would not sell clipless pedals without the adaptor in place anyways. However you could walk up to their shop, and ask for them and usually get them for free.
    Nothing is really "free." It's included in the price one way or another. I've gotten a few free reflectors from LBS's, but only from ones that I go to a lot. "Freebies" like that are why LBS' charge mark ups on other things. You may get a "free" $2 reflector, but they charge you $25 for a chain you can get for $11 elsewhere.

  25. #25
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Forgive me--I don't understand. Why are some cyclists against pedal reflectors--even if they do cost a couple bucks. Could they not save your life?

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