Last edited by DNP; 07-23-14 at 03:29 PM.
I wouldn't use the word "stupid," but I do contest that confusion may result from a front-facing tail light. Confusion isn't good for you or the other person. I honestly don't know if you're safer with a front-facing tail light or nothing, if those are your only choices. I'm open to debate. Debate, to me, doesn't involve anyone calling anyone else stupid.
Personally I think it's an attempt to enhance being seen. Since it flies in the face of standards, it might just work. But I'm more inclined to believe that working with standards related to traffic rules makes us safer, not the other way round.
But then again:
I recently use the the first half of that on a twentysomething and was visibly surprised when he finished the lyric. He laughed and said 'I try to keep up with old guys when I can.'
The flashing Red and Blue on the front, are the Police..
I had a pair of spoke lights that were motion activated but only in the dark. No switches. Pretty cool. But they flashed alternately in red and blue. Once, on a quiet suburban street, there was only one other road user, driving a car, coming in the oncoming direction. He pulled over. Oops. I don't use them any more.
I think that's the point, Tom. As drivers, we have conditioned responses, messing with those can have consequences ranging from comical to dangerous. I for one am in favor of leveraging those responses in a positive way for the benefit of my safety.
Sidebar: anyone remember the french lights that strapped to the outside of your leg? Red light behind and yellow front? I can't remember the book that advocated using them, because: "who would want to hit a red-eyed creature that jumps up and down in the road at night?"
I remember that light, made my Wonder in France. I used it occasionally. I think there's an important distinction between that and a front-facing tail light. I believe the leg light would make a motorist think, "Hmm, I wonder what that is. I better take a close and cautious look. Oh, it's someone on a bike." That, in turn, might lead to gentle and considerate overtaking.
A front facing tail light, I imagine, elicits, "Huh?" without any useful response.
I'm just guessing, of course.
A front facing taillight may also illicit a response which causes the person to drift towards it. People always follow taillights, so why not follow this one.
I have heard of drunks rear ending police cars with red lights thinking they were in the drive lane and not realizing they were parked with someone pulled over.
You may get a ticket for operating red lights facing forward. If you've noticed, backup lights are white and turn off when motor vehicle is put into park or drive. Amber lights are allowed i any direction.
I can't wait for the next pint of good chocolate milk after a long ride.
I mount a red light facing backward but placed in front of me. I keep it on solid mode and it illuminates me. I think it helps.
I also have a proper rear light set to blinky mode in the usual position.
I am not native to East Asia. But indeed, from what I see, other places in the region are not so bad. In SG (and Malaysia also to some extent) the government takes a keen interest in building roads as wide and as fast as possible. To avoid the gridlock that is characteristic of say, Thailand's Bangkok. The unintended consequence of course is that wide, fast roads just encourages more vehicle ownership, which in turn encourages more wide and fast roads. Private property is not really a concept that is practiced here, so that natural resistance (IMO) to building more road infrastructure is less that perhaps some other countries.
Cycling appears to be an activity much practiced by the lower middle class and poor. It is also much used by simple community shops and businesses. But when the government gets it into their head to widen and build they appear to do so blindly without much respect to how things were done. There is little give and take - but sure they'll compensate fairly nevertheless. But they follow set standards leading to a wonderfully smooth and fast drive. So your average cyclist now travels on pedestrian sidewalks.
Sure the government has been trying to build a cycling lane network, but these are too few and far between to be practical - and they are more for recreation than anything else anyway. I don't really like bicycle lanes because the usual defense by errant drivers will be "Well he should've been in his lane". No I'd much rather the roads be clearly defined as to be shared by motorists and cyclists alike. Also cyclists are not protected well by law. I have sent numerous videos of poor driving to the police but they take no action at all.
So I'm hoping for slower roads, better signage making explicit the presence of cyclists, and better laws protecting cyclists.
Sorry for the rant.
Last edited by Shahmatt; 08-01-14 at 12:06 PM.
Since bikes have to follow state law, a red light on the front would be subject to summons. White to amber lights in front, Amber to red in the rear.
“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the former."
― Albert Einstein
NYC was the wild, wild east of traffic enforcement, especially for bicycles, until very recently. Now cyclists are getting tickets for running red lights and other infractions. Some are even being cited for not having bells or lights.