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  1. #76
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    My friend has epilepsy... strobing lights trigger seizures.

    This is a problem when he rides on the bike path and he usually limits his riding to the daytime.

  2. #77
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    Flashing/strobe lights should be banned for sure. High powered lights don't need strobing lights.

  3. #78
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    Huh? There are plenty of good lights out there. And half of the issue is how you use what you have.
    Lights with full cutoff (the only ones in the "not fully annoying" category IMO) for < $200 - Philips, B&M. Which others? I did see one other company making a full cutoff light but they were > $400.
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  4. #79
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbubbles View Post
    Flashing/strobe lights should be banned for sure. High powered lights don't need strobing lights.
    In full sunlight they do. I've got video of people pulling into oncoming lanes and heading directly at me when I've got a 1000 lumen light NOT flashing - 2 times in a month. Then it never happened the rest of the summer after I turned it to flashing. Could be a coincidence, who knows?
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  5. #80
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Oh, you're right. There's pretty much just B&M and Philips. Now there's also Sonus, but that's just dynamo powered. I think beams with cutoffs are better for courtesy and also efficiency, but they're not absolutely necessary. I do hope they become more common here, but until then, a round beam light, properly aimed, does a good or great job. If it's very bright, don't use it in blinky mode at night. Also, aim it carefully. My wife has a NiteRider handlebar mounted light. It's really pretty amazing.

    A cutoff beam might​ give users a clue that they ought to think about where they're aiming it. Time will tell.
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  6. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    Oh, you're right. There's pretty much just B&M and Philips. Now there's also Sonus, but that's just dynamo powered. I think beams with cutoffs are better for courtesy and also efficiency, but they're not absolutely necessary. I do hope they become more common here, but until then, a round beam light, properly aimed, does a good or great job. If it's very bright, don't use it in blinky mode at night. Also, aim it carefully. My wife has a NiteRider handlebar mounted light. It's really pretty amazing.
    Spanninga, Axa, Herrmans, Schmidt. Plenty of $50/$100 or below offerings. The b&m eyc is $80, very reasonable for a dynamo light but not comparable at all to $50 dual xml 1200 lumen lights from China. (The Philips is an ugly-ass light)

    Cut-off bike lights isn't going to be common in NA simply for the reality that bicycles aren't as respected as a form of transportation compared to western europe. And people balk at spending more than $30 on a bicycle light.

  7. #82
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    A very bright, strobing light gets the attention of everyone in the area, while also annoying everyone.

    A bright, very directional (narrow-beam, spot) light, aimed at a particular person, gets the attention of that person, while sparing everyone else.

    I use the latter. I have a 600-700 lumen spot light on my helmet. In my normal riding position, it points down at the ground about 30-40 feet in front of my bike. But by simply lifting my head, I can put the spot directly on any driver whose attention I want to get. As the beam moves around, it appears to flash, from that driver's perspective.

    Normally, even in heavy traffic, there are only a few cars that are threats to you. Car A on the side street that is creeping out into your street; car B ahead in your lane that might be about to hook right; oncoming car C that might be about to hook left; etc. If you ride enough, you always know which are the "threat cars", it is almost subconscious. So you lift your head and put the spot on those cars, in the drivers' windshields, for a second or two. It works - you will usually see car A jerk to a stop, car B swerve back toward the center of the lane, car C stop at the limit line.

    I'd suggest trying out the aimed directional light approach, as an alternative to the strobe-everyone approach.
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  8. #83
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbubbles View Post
    Spanninga, Axa, Herrmans, Schmidt. Plenty of $50/$100 or below offerings. The b&m eyc is $80, very reasonable for a dynamo light but not comparable at all to $50 dual xml 1200 lumen lights from China. (The Philips is an ugly-ass light)
    This is good news!

    Quote Originally Posted by mrbubbles View Post
    Cut-off bike lights isn't going to be common in NA simply for the reality that bicycles aren't as respected as a form of transportation compared to western europe. And people balk at spending more than $30 on a bicycle light.
    Are you saying you haven't noticed a trend of cyclists using lights that actually work? If you haven't noticed it yet, you will soon. The fact that we are discussing this on a forum of mostly North Americans means that there are plenty of cyclists who want serious lights. Even the people who think strobing everyone with painful beams is just peachy want serious lights. And willingness to pay is shooting through the clouds by the evidence I'm seeing. In just one year, I've seen dramatic changes in NYC and NJ. Joe Average is now buying wimpy be-seen lights, but the guy just one rank above him is buying wimpy to-see lights, and the next guy up is buying serious to-see lights.

    The lights you mention in your first paragraph were not available here until recently. That's a trend, too.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
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  9. #84
    Senior Member 01 CAt Man Do's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbubbles View Post
    Flashing/strobe lights should be banned for sure. High powered lights don't need strobing lights.
    Not gonna happen. You can't ban something like strobes simply because they are used everywhere. It would cost the governments, municipalities and businesses too much money to replace them. Say what you will but a good strobe light ( not a fast frequency disco-type strobe ) properly used is a very useful tool when it comes to being seen on a bike. The benefits of proper use far out-weigh the negative aspects. When I'm on a bike and in heavy traffic or approaching a dangerous intersection I'm using a slow strobe. If it's full daylight I'll use the brighter strobe in specific moments. For night or dusk I use the smaller 70 lumen blinkie full time. The opponents of "strobe lights" can argue all they want but the fact is that they get the cyclist "SEEN". Anything that might potentially save your skin is not something that should be so easily dismissed. Since I ride bikes on the road on occasion I like the idea of people driving 2 ton death machines being able to see me when I approach.

    About the subject of "cut-offs" for bike lights; I like the idea but it needs to be remembered that lamps that were designed for cut-offs originated for use with cars that have "fixed headlights". Most of those lamps also have high beams so in that sense the driver can use those high beams at will. Not a person that drives that hasn't experienced being "high-beamed".

    Bikes on the other hand don't use fixed lighting per say. Most lamps are adjustable. Even a lamp with a sculpted beam pattern designed for upper cut-off can be aimed higher if the rider chooses to do so. The only way to avoid that would be to design a road lamp that did the same thing that car headlights do...have a lamp with both settings built into the lamp so that the lamp would not need to be re-aimed when more visual distance viewing is needed.

    Fenix has made an attempt at building such a ( battery powered ) lamp but it is lacking in output. A lamp built for true duel beam pattern would need multiple emitters and multiple optics to get true hi-low beam separation. It would also require a special driver set-up to power those emitters. Then to go the full 10 yards you need a way to aim the lamp so the user knows he has it properly dialed in. ( a small included laser should help with this ) All this is doable but would not be cheap to say the least.

    So far no one has made a good attempt at building such a lamp. That might be because designing the optical part of the set-up would be the real problem. Even if you did succeed at building a decent duel beam lamp there are going to be other issues like, "which bikes are most compatible?" and "What are the mounting options?". Than add the fact that MOST users of LED bike lights are quite happy with what they already have. All said, I can understand why no one is really trying real hard to design such a lamp. Why sell a lamp that few people will buy?

  10. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    Are you saying you haven't noticed a trend of cyclists using lights that actually work? If you haven't noticed it yet, you will soon. The fact that we are discussing this on a forum of mostly North Americans means that there are plenty of cyclists who want serious lights. Even the people who think strobing everyone with painful beams is just peachy want serious lights. And willingness to pay is shooting through the clouds by the evidence I'm seeing. In just one year, I've seen dramatic changes in NYC and NJ. Joe Average is now buying wimpy be-seen lights, but the guy just one rank above him is buying wimpy to-see lights, and the next guy up is buying serious to-see lights.

    The lights you mention in your first paragraph were not available here until recently. That's a trend, too.
    The average users don't go on forums to discuss this stuff, they go into a bike shop and buy whoever is working there recommends. The cut-off lights I've mentioned are still mostly unavailable in North America.

    Most average and serious users in NA never heard of lights with cutoff, and the savvy internet shoppers buy the $50 china 1200 lumen specials. I'm talking broad spectrum here, road riders, mountain bikers, commuters, etc. I can sit on a patio near a popular bike commuting route and only in one hand can I count the number of riders using dynamo lights, or lights with cutoffs.

    The trend isn't going to pick up because 1. cyclists are still second class citizens on the road, and 2. bike shops aren't stocking this stuff. I don't care for this stuff either because the cutoff on my b&m iq2 eyc is really sharp and definitive, I ride on the road and I need cars to see me. I still prefer my 1000 lumen diy dynamo lights, it puts a very broad even beam all over the road and lights up street signs better than my iq2 eyc.

    Quote Originally Posted by 01 CAt Man Do View Post
    Not gonna happen. You can't ban something like strobes simply because they are used everywhere.

    People using 200+ lumen flashing lights on a bicycle at night are stupid, they aren't emergency vehicles.

  11. #86
    Senior Member SmallFront's Avatar
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    If they can ban strobing lights on cars other than first responder and LE vehicles, they can ban strobes on bike lights (or if using one on your head). If they can control which way the light is directed in right hand vs left hand drive countries on cars, surely they can ban strobes on a bike. If they can fine you for not having a bell on your bike, or for not having approved lights (they do raids once in a while around here - usually around schools), surely they can legislate against using high powered strobes. Going too fast is also done "everywhere", yet we find it perfectly okay to fine speeders.

    In Australia, at least in NSW, you also have to wear a helmet when riding a bike. If not you will be fined. It has moved the public opinion, even if some still ignores it.

    People also drive drunk less than they used to, even though it was prevalent in so many places back in the day. Legislation and enforcement of said legislation can not only move public opinion, it can also stop offenders, so that next time they might think twice.

  12. #87
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    I agree about second class status of cyclists in North America. Well, I can't speak for Canada, but it sounds similar to the States. I don't mind completely, because if something is illegal but still a good idea, we get away with it. I don't care for bans of anything, nor do I care for legal compulsions such as helmets. As I said recently, the law is a blunt instrument. It leaves too little judgment for the individual.

    You may be proven right that bike shops won't carry cutoff lights, but the stuff they've been carrying lately is of much higher quality than the stuff they carried recently. That's a trend heading in the right direction. Some people won't want to spend more than $20, and the shops will have something to sell them, but lately, people are putting lights on their bikes. That, in and of itself, is a step in the right direction. Who used lights on bikes before? Pretty much no one. It has always been required by law, but that law is never enforced. People do what they want to on their bikes. They want lights. It has nothing to do with the law.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

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  13. #88
    Senior Member SmallFront's Avatar
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    I wasn't saying that having law helmets or something similar was necessarily a good idea, my point was merely to show how flawed the reasoning of "it's impossible to ban X because so many do it" was. (X=driving with sub par or dangerous lighting, without helmets, without seatbelts, with blue lights, with RHD vs LHD lighting on cars, drunk driving, without a license, and so on - all things we in the Western world has legislated on to various degrees).

    Edit:

    Oh, and experiences from the rest of the world shows that compulsory legislation actually does work, even if I would like to think we are all good citizens. This thread and blazing a several hundred lumen headlight into the face of others shows just how not all are acting in the interest of society, but rather will choose to endanger others just so that they can feel safe.
    Last edited by SmallFront; 12-12-13 at 05:59 PM.

  14. #89
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jyl View Post
    A very bright, strobing light gets the attention of everyone in the area, while also annoying everyone.

    A bright, very directional (narrow-beam, spot) light, aimed at a particular person, gets the attention of that person, while sparing everyone else.

    I use the latter. I have a 600-700 lumen spot light on my helmet. In my normal riding position, it points down at the ground about 30-40 feet in front of my bike. But by simply lifting my head, I can put the spot directly on any driver whose attention I want to get. As the beam moves around, it appears to flash, from that driver's perspective.

    Normally, even in heavy traffic, there are only a few cars that are threats to you. Car A on the side street that is creeping out into your street; car B ahead in your lane that might be about to hook right; oncoming car C that might be about to hook left; etc. If you ride enough, you always know which are the "threat cars", it is almost subconscious. So you lift your head and put the spot on those cars, in the drivers' windshields, for a second or two. It works - you will usually see car A jerk to a stop, car B swerve back toward the center of the lane, car C stop at the limit line.

    I'd suggest trying out the aimed directional light approach, as an alternative to the strobe-everyone approach.
    Let's pretend that one of these drivers is proceeding in a proper manner but your subconcious perceives them to be a threat and you blind them enough that they have to make a sudden stop.

    Perhaps the driver who is following does not react quickly enough and rear ends the first.

    Or perhaps the first driver will be so pissed off that he decides that since his car is stopped he will get out of the car and relieve you of your obnoxious lighting.

    I have no problem if that 700 lumen light is fixed to the front of your bike and well aimed... when you put that on your helmet and purposely flash other road users you are being a dick... if you did this while driving a car you could get arrested.

    I run a strobe in the daytime and in traffic and run constant lights at night... I will not run the strobe on the MUPs.

  15. #90
    Senior Member SmallFront's Avatar
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    I'm still waiting for a proper explanation as to how he avoids blinding people while merely looking around in traffic as one does when navigating the streets. Maybe his headlight is so advanced it can read his mind and only turn to "blind" when he wishes it to.

  16. #91
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    The worst part of this is that there's no reason in the world why you shouldn't be able to buy a full cutoff, shaped beam light from a Chinese ebay seller for $30. They aren't made of platinum or anything. It's an LED and a reflector, they're just different shapes. It might be a little harder to machine, so that's why I say $30 when the cheap lights are going for $20 these days.
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  17. #92
    Senior Member SmallFront's Avatar
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    I have mentioned this before, but I'm considering making a "hood" for a light with a round reflector. I had forgotten about it (for a few days), until I noticed that from the side, the red rear of my bike was really, really visible, while my front light (it's just a be-seen light) wasn't. In fact, it seemed practically dead in comparison. With this in mind, I'm thinking of getting something with a round reflector, but it has to have decent sidelights so as to be seen from the side, and for the spill upwards, I'm thinking a small hood (as in a cap) at the front and tapered to the sides will give me the best of both worlds, and I will be able to turn it up for those occassions where that is needed, but in general have the hood on and running at less than max. Obviously, if I do it, I will have to do a lot of trial and error, which keeps me from just going ahead and buying something, especially since the nice ones I have eyed isn't so nice when it comes to light from the side. In fact, it is missing entirely on most.

  18. #93
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    B & M has a glare guard for some of their models- http://www.biketechshop.com/busch-an...ed-p-2325.html.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
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  19. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
    The worst part of this is that there's no reason in the world why you shouldn't be able to buy a full cutoff, shaped beam light from a Chinese ebay seller for $30. They aren't made of platinum or anything. It's an LED and a reflector, they're just different shapes. It might be a little harder to machine, so that's why I say $30 when the cheap lights are going for $20 these days.
    https://dx.com/p/xc-997b-cree-3w-200...-4-x-aa-108640

    $20.

    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...itter-replaced

  20. #95
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmallFront View Post
    I'm still waiting for a proper explanation as to how he avoids blinding people while merely looking around in traffic as one does when navigating the streets. Maybe his headlight is so advanced it can read his mind and only turn to "blind" when he wishes it to.
    Because a 700 lumen light that is 50-100 feet away is not "blinding" if the beam sweeps over you momentarily. We're not talking green laser here, folks. Try it yourself.

    If the beam is continuously held right on someone at 50 feet, yes it would be real annoying. I don't do that. If you ride right up to a car and put the beam in the driver's face at three feet range, yes it is pretty dazzling. I've done that, once, because he'd sideswiped me while honking, just a block previous (apparently didn't think about getting caught at the red light).

    True, a driver who sees my helmet light "head-on" on his face from not too far away, might conceivably hit his brakes. Think about when that might happen, the relative positions of the car and me necessary for it to be so, and whether it might actually be a very good thing (for me) that he hits his brakes.
    Last edited by jyl; 12-13-13 at 11:04 AM.
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  21. #96
    Senior Member 01 CAt Man Do's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbubbles View Post
    ...People using 200+ lumen flashing lights on a bicycle at night are stupid, they aren't emergency vehicles.
    Bubbles, Bubbles, Bubbles...what am I'm going do with you? Oh What the hell, why don't I just cave in and agree with you? Yep, what the hell. See that tow truck going down the road with the exceedingly bright flashing amber light bar? Totally blinding if you get behind one going down the road BUT it's REALLLLLLY ( said with Jim Carey inflection "JCI" ) important that the piece of shuuts car he's dragging behind him not get hit by some moron driving his B'mer home from work.

    Now on the other hand that stupid cyclist... ...Who in the hell does he think he is out there riding on the road with a bright flashing light? Bad enough that we have to put up with his presence on the road but a flashing light? PLEASEEEEE! ( "JCI" ) I suppose he thinks he's protecting his own life. What BS is that? Ha, protect his life, like that is really worth doing. ..............( )

  22. #97
    Senior Member 01 CAt Man Do's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmallFront View Post
    ..Oh, and experiences from the rest of the world shows that compulsory legislation actually does work, even if I would like to think we are all good citizens.
    Yes, it does work. Take the current cell phone laws while driving, everyone always.....um..um...wait a minute....I still see everyone using phones while driving......humm....Okay, lets go with the 55mph speed limit that is something that....uh....uh...well...I'll get back to you with something that works. Let me think on it a while.

    Quote Originally Posted by SmallFront View Post
    ..This thread and blazing a several hundred lumen headlight into the face of others shows just how not all are acting in the interest of society, but rather will choose to endanger others just so that they can feel safe.
    Yes, yes,...how dare those dorky cyclist be so bold to think that they have such freedom that they DARE use a bright flashing light anywhere near our beloved eye balls. SACRILEGE! Sacrilege I say!........................

  23. #98
    Senior Member SmallFront's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jyl View Post
    Because a 700 lumen light that is 50-100 feet away is not "blinding" if the beam sweeps over you momentarily. We're not talking green laser here, folks. Try it yourself.

    If the beam is continuously held right on someone at 50 feet, yes it would be real annoying. I don't do that. If you ride right up to a car and put the beam in the driver's face at three feet range, yes it is pretty dazzling. I've done that, once, because he'd sideswiped me while honking, just a block previous (apparently didn't think about getting caught at the red light).

    True, a driver who sees my helmet light on his face from not too far away, might conceivably hit his brakes. Think about when that might happen, the relative positions of the car and me necessary for it to be so, and whether it might actually be a very good thing (for me) that he hits his brakes.
    Yeah, let's bring such lights to cars too, and have them track the driver's head movement, and let's put them on motorcycles too, so that what ever the motorcyclist it looking at gets a dose of high beam.

    Quote Originally Posted by 01 CAt Man Do View Post
    Yes, it does work. Take the current cell phone laws while driving, everyone always.....um..um...wait a minute....I still see everyone using phones while driving......humm....Okay, lets go with the 55mph speed limit that is something that....uh....uh...well...I'll get back to you with something that works. Let me think on it a while.
    Legislation for both has cut down that behaviour immensily. If you fail to see that, it is willing ignorance on your part. Or perhaps you are arguing that speed limits in general is a stupid idea and that we shouldn't try to make people adhere to them? It seems that that might be the case with you.


    Yes, yes,...how dare those dorky cyclist be so bold to think that they have such freedom that they DARE use a bright flashing light anywhere near our beloved eye balls. SACRILEGE! Sacrilege I say!........................
    It's called respecting your fellow road users and behaving accordingly.
    Last edited by SmallFront; 12-13-13 at 06:42 AM.

  24. #99
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    That's an interesting light. Looks like utter crap compared even to the $25 ebay lights - they use (and come with) 18650 rechargable LiIon packs and charger, that uses AA cells. The beamshots on the 2nd page look pretty bad too. But it's cool that someone's trying. They need to go just a little bit up the scale though.
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    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmallFront View Post
    Yeah, let's bring such lights to cars too, and have them track the driver's head movement, and let's put them on motorcycles too, so that what ever the motorcyclist it looking at gets a dose of high beam.
    Cars don't need such a helmet-light-as-signaling-device, they get seen. Motorcycles might well need them, they are overlooked as often as bicycles.

    One clarification though - the helmet-mounted spot beam does not light up whatever I am "looking at", because my eyes move independently of my head as do yours. Even when I swivel my head from side to side to scan, the spot beam only lights up the ground. To light up a car or driver, I have to deliberately raise my head, almost put my nose in the air.

    Legislation for both has cut down that behaviour immensily. If you fail to see that, it is willing ignorance on your part. Or perhaps you are arguing that speed limits in general is a stupid idea and that we shouldn't try to make people adhere to them? It seems that that might be the case with you.

    Maybe in Copenhagen. In the US where I ride, "distracted driving" as we call it is a big problem and not a declining one.

    It's called respecting your fellow road users and behaving accordingly.
    Maybe I should shoot a video of a typical ride at night using the helmet spot beam I'm describing. I think you'll see it is a selective signaling tool, not a broad annoyance tool like a wide-beam strobing helmet light is.
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