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  1. #1
    vol
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    Is reflector required for DAYTIME by NY state law?

    Are reflectors required for daytime in New York?

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    vol
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    I found the answer for myself:

    "(e) Every bicycle when in use during the period from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise shall be equipped with reflective devices or material meeting the standards established by rules and regulations promulgated by the commissioner; provided, however, that such standards shall not be inconsistent with or otherwise conflict with the requirements of subdivisions (a) and (d) of this Section."

    (a) Every bicycle when in use during the period from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise shall be equipped with a lamp on the front which shall emit a white light visible during hours of darkness from a distance of at least five hundred feet to the front and with a red light visible to the rear for three hundred feet. Effective July first, nineteen hundred seventy-six, at least one of these lights shall be visible for two hundred feet from each side.

    So if I have a red taillight installed on my bike that makes it impossible to install a reflector, then it's OK, seems? (above underlined part)

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    Senior Member jeneralist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vol View Post
    So if I have a red taillight installed on my bike that makes it impossible to install a reflector, then it's OK, seems? (above underlined part)
    I would read it as, if you have a red taillight that makes it impossible to install a reflector, you need a different taillight. The standard that you need a taillight does not conflict with the requirement that you need some sort of reflective material. The underlined part of section (e) means that when the commissioner makes whatever rules he chooses to make, those rules don't trump sections (a) and (d).

    If section (a) says you need a belt, and section (e) says you need suspenders, you need a belt and suspenders.
    - Jeneralist

    See video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gv4CrEEg_N4 to see me in the Outrageous Outfit Challenge for the MS Society; or go straight to http://goo.gl/bALZDg to donate

  4. #4
    Car-Free Flatlander Stacy's Avatar
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    Back when I first got my bike and read all the fine print I learned that some lights qualify as reflectors and some don't. In New York State, I believe, all bicycles must be sold with front and rear reflectors, reflective pedals, and reflectors on the wheels or tires. However cyclists aren't necessarily required to maintain those reflectors. One of my wheel reflectors fell off years ago, along with my pedal reflectors and nobody sells replacements in this city.

    If you happen to get ticketed for not having a reflector I believe you can purchase one after the fact and then get the ticket dismissed with proof of purchase.

    See:
    http://bikingrules.org/rules/rulesoftheroad#vtl1236
    http://www.bicycledefensefund.org/

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    vol
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    Quote Originally Posted by vol View Post
    "(e) Every bicycle when in use during the period from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise shall be equipped with reflective devices or material meeting the standards established by rules and regulations promulgated by the commissioner; provided, however, that such standards shall not be inconsistent with or otherwise conflict with the requirements of subdivisions (a) and (d) of this Section."
    Just would like to clarify: If I have white reflectors on the wheels, but no red tail reflector, will I meet this requirement? (It doesn't say which part of the bike to equip reflectors)

    Also, why does it require both a taillight and a tail reflector at the same time between dusk and dawn? "(e) Bicycles must have a white headlight, a red taillight and reflectors between dusk and dawn." If the taillight is on, what's the point of tail reflector?
    Last edited by vol; 10-31-12 at 12:31 AM.

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    One reason, is that your taillight may have a dead battery or be close to dead (amazing how many riders ride with a rear light and nearly dead battery). Taillights can also fail from water ingress or damage; reflectors tend to be somewhat more resilient to water damage and frequently to physical damage.
    Some taillights such as the B&M Toplight, Planet Bike Rack Blinky 5 and others have built in reflectors.

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    You do, of course, need to read the full text of the law to see if there are any other locations where reflector locations are defined.
    Even if you do find that a rear reflector isn't specifically listed it's still a good idea to have one.
    If you are in NYC, having a rear reflector (don't forget your bell) may help you keep being ticketed by an over-zealous cop whose had a bad day.

  8. #8
    vol
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    The problem is where I could put a rear reflector, I have my taillight. Sometimes I use more than 1 taillight. But yes, NY cops are unpredictable as to when and who they'll choose as their victim.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vol View Post
    The problem is where I could put a rear reflector, I have my taillight. Sometimes I use more than 1 taillight. But yes, NY cops are unpredictable as to when and who they'll choose as their victim.
    They make a dime size tail light that straps to any vertical bar on a bike. I have 4 taillights and a reflector on the back of my bike, and a white light and reflector ot the front. It's easier to buy them now then after you get hit. It never occurred to me there was a law. I just want to be seen. I guess I need to find spoke reflectors.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ran Rider View Post
    They make a dime size tail light that straps to any vertical bar on a bike. I have 4 taillights and a reflector on the back of my bike, and a white light and reflector ot the front. It's easier to buy them now then after you get hit. It never occurred to me there was a law. I just want to be seen. I guess I need to find spoke reflectors.
    That's no guarantee you won't be hit. I had a rear light (with reflector) in broad daylight, was wearing a safety vest, had the sun at my back, was in a bike lane, was making a left turn, with the light in my favor. I was still rear ended by a car.

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    True, there is no guarantee you won't be hit, but why not take simple precautions. A bike crossed an intersection in front of me with lights in his spokes. It was at night, so it was quite dark out. I was amazed at how visible he was, and plan to buy myself a set. For $20.00 or so it seems foolish not to.

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    I should also tell you I live in the country where there is a whole lot of nothing. I ride 3 hours at a time and usually have less than a half dozen cars pass me. Your lights and reflectors may be lost in big city traffict. There are no street lights where I live. If you're not lit up you are unseen. Even with all my lights I watch any cars coming up from behind in my mirror to make sure they are giving me room. I have ridden off the road to give a driver who wasn't moving over room.

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