Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Bikes: 2011 Cannondale Supersix 5, heavily upgraded 2000 Trek XO-1, Specialized Carve Expert 2013, 89 Trek 330 FG conversion, unknown 80s Basso road frame frankenbike
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If you want to be road legal at night, you can meet these requirements with retroreflective material on your shoes: "A white or yellow reflector on each pedal, shoe, or ankle visible from the front and rear of the bicycle from a distance of 200 feet."
Many (most?) cycling shoes come with some retroreflective material in the back. If you added some retroreflective tape to the front this would make it road legal. Some tape on the fork and the seat stays or reflective tires (like Schwalbe marathons) takes care of the other reflector requirements.
Of course what actually keeps you safe is lights, and to a lesser extent high visibility clothing. This is all aside from good riding practices, which are the most important.
My impression is that it's very rare for someone to be cited for anything other than (still pretty rarely) a lack of a front light.
Here's an article about why reflector laws are stupid: http://sheldonbrown.com/reflectors.html