Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped.
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Washington, DC
Bikes: Some bikes. Hell, they're all the same, ain't they?
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Originally Posted by DataJunkie
I find it annoying when riders do that. Are you coming or going?
If memory serves me correctly, the law states that red blinkies are for the rear and clear for the front.
That's the gist of it. Lights are for quicker identification in low-light situations. Having specific colors on the front & back (or, as illustrated by a car's white reverse-gear lights, the direction of travel) helps others to determine a vehicle's orientation more quickly, which reduces the amount of time spent making a decision.
Imagine a sea of red lights going the same direction as yourself, and the only white lights are on the other side of the road going the opposite direction. If a driver suddenly spots a white light in front of them, they're going to freak out -- even if just for a second -- and think that some drunken idiot is going to smash into them head-on. Knowing how idiotic some drivers can be, they might even panic and try to swerve, causing an accident themselves.
It's just like how emergency vehicles get specific additional rules for lighting. For example, if you see flashing blue lights, you know
that it's an ambulance or cop car.