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Bells and Other Audible Devices

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Bells and Other Audible Devices

Old 06-23-15, 11:54 AM
  #1  
Lnewton
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Bells and Other Audible Devices

Hello all. I was looking over my state laws on reflectors and lights when I stumbled across this law:

9‐21‐11‐8
 Bells
 or
 other 
audible 
signal 
devices
 Sec.
8
 A
 person
 may
 not
 ride
 a
 bicycle
 unless
the
 bicycle
 is
 equipped
 with
 a
 bell
 or
 other
device
 capable
 of
 giving 
a
 signal
 audible
 for 
a
distance
 of
 at
least
 one
 hundred 
(100)
 feet.

 A
bicycle
 may
 not
 be
 equipped
 with
 and
 a
person
 may
 not
 use
 upon
 a
 bicycle
 a
 siren
 or
whistle.


So my question is this: what other kinds of audible devices are out there/ would you suggest? Or should I just go get a really flashy bell with streamers and baseball cards for my spokes to match? 😜
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Old 06-23-15, 12:26 PM
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NJ has this requirement, as well as NY, I believe. I've seen little horns, but a bell is so cheap and easy, I'm not sure why you'd use anything else.

I have Mirrcycle Incredibells on three family bikes. Mounted near the shifter so I don't even need to move my hand to ring it.
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Old 06-23-15, 02:21 PM
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A bell is the ticket. They avoid people being confused by 'on your left' and moving left instead of right, they are loud enough to be heard by anyone not wearing earphones and some who are, they are not as startling as air horns or your voice, and they are more pleasant for others within earshot. This is why almost every bike outside of the U.S. has a bell (including many pro racers when not in a race).

Increasing numbers of people here use them as well as all bikeshare bikes having them so people are getting use to them and knowing what to do.
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Old 06-23-15, 03:06 PM
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The morons who make a bell a requirement, haven't been in high-speed traffic. Where the audible capability of a bell. Amounts to the audible capability of a cell phone in a coat/pants' pocket.

I had a horn on my bike. While it may get the attention of the driver. It can startle both the motorist, and the cyclist. I got rid of it. I won't use a bell, either.
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Old 06-23-15, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris516 View Post
I had a horn on my bike. While it may get the attention of the driver. It can startle both the motorist, and the cyclist.
Then you were doing it wrong.

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Old 06-23-15, 03:44 PM
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Vuvuzela or go home.
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Old 06-23-15, 09:22 PM
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I use a metal whistle; it's very loud and remarkably effective at getting the attention of drivers. Not sure if it's legal in California but I haven't found anything so far that says either way.
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Old 06-23-15, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by KD5NRH View Post
Then you were doing it wrong.

Doing what wrong? Every time I used the horn, the sound of it scared me. So much so, I almost crashed. Bye bye horn.
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Old 06-23-15, 09:39 PM
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I swear I've tried bells! I've bought, installed, and tried 3 separate bells. I really want to comply with the legal requirements. I just never seem to get the use or the proper effect from the use. Maybe if I also tried the streamers and baseball cards.
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Old 06-23-15, 10:58 PM
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Can you actually hear those bells at the specified 100 feet?

scott s.
.
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Old 06-23-15, 11:50 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Chris516 View Post
The morons who make a bell a requirement, haven't been in high-speed traffic. Where the audible capability of a bell. Amounts to the audible capability of a cell phone in a coat/pants' pocket.
Seriously?
Bells are for lower speed environments when in close proximity to fellow cyclists or pedestrians. Who the heck would be dopey enough to even think about ringing a bell at a motor vehicle traveling at high speed in traffic?

Its simply a reflection of how and where most people ride bikes.
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Old 06-24-15, 03:51 AM
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Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
Seriously?
Bells are for lower speed environments when in close proximity to fellow cyclists or pedestrians. Who the heck would be dopey enough to even think about ringing a bell at a motor vehicle traveling at high speed in traffic?

Its simply a reflection of how and where most people ride bikes.
More like an assumption.
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Old 06-24-15, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
Seriously?
Bells are for lower speed environments when in close proximity to fellow cyclists or pedestrians. Who the heck would be dopey enough to even think about ringing a bell at a motor vehicle traveling at high speed in traffic?

Its simply a reflection of how and where most people ride bikes.
so whats the point?
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Old 06-24-15, 08:31 AM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by Chris516 View Post
More like an assumption.
So it would be less moronic to base rules and regulations on atypical behavior?
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Old 06-24-15, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by scott967 View Post
Can you actually hear those bells at the specified 100 feet?

scott s.
.
Sure, if you are out walking, on a quiet day...
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Old 06-24-15, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
Seriously?
Bells are for lower speed environments when in close proximity to fellow cyclists or pedestrians. Who the heck would be dopey enough to even think about ringing a bell at a motor vehicle traveling at high speed in traffic?

Its simply a reflection of how and where most people ride bikes.
Agreed. Where I ride there are no pedestrians and rarely other cyclists, just motor vehicles and farming equipment. I wonder how effective my little bell will be to the guy driving the tractor, versus just using my voice (assuming I have the breath, I am pretty new to this).

But I suppose it is better to stick the bell on the bike rather than risk a lawyer saying I was not following all the legal safety requirements.
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Old 06-24-15, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Hokiedad4 View Post
NJ has this requirement, as well as NY, I believe. I've seen little horns, but a bell is so cheap and easy, I'm not sure why you'd use anything else.

I have Mirrcycle Incredibells on three family bikes. Mounted near the shifter so I don't even need to move my hand to ring it.
+1

I've got an Incredibell on my Trek DS. It's tiny; it mounts right next to the shifter so you don't even have to move your hand, just reach over with your thumb and flick the lever a couple of times.

It's loud enough that even many people jogging with headphones/earbuds can hear it.
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Old 06-24-15, 10:04 AM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
Seriously?
Bells are for lower speed environments when in close proximity to fellow cyclists or pedestrians. Who the heck would be dopey enough to even think about ringing a bell at a motor vehicle traveling at high speed in traffic?

Its simply a reflection of how and where most people ride bikes.
+100

Bells work 99% of the time with pedestrians. Maybe with LOW speed traffic when windows open.
Only a dope would ride without a bell.
OYL = WTF most of the time.
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Old 06-24-15, 10:07 AM
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Old 06-24-15, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
So it would be less moronic to base rules and regulations on atypical behavior?
Bells work well on a sidewalk. But they don't work well in hi-speed traffic. The requirement for a bell. Is invariably saying two things

1. Get off the road
2. Stay on the sidewalk.

Neither of which I will do.
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Old 06-24-15, 11:23 AM
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I learn something new everyday. I like to take the road when the conditions are reasonable (cars cannot do 70mph, not more than two lanes, etc.) but had assumed I was at the mercy of car drivers seeing me rather than hearing me.
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Old 06-24-15, 11:46 AM
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TL;DR: If you ride paths/trails ever, get a bell. Weapon of choice: PDW Alexander Graham Bell. Loud, good tone, excellent mounting.

A bell is a necessity on MUPs and trails, worthless on the road. But I spend time on paths and trails. Do you have any idea how many little dogs and normal-sized joggers I would have run down without the bell? The joggers have all got their earplugs in, but the bell gets through 90% of the time, and they get out of the way. When the trail gets near any dog parks, I know the retractable leashes will be out in force, and I just jingle like an ice cream man until I'm safely away.

Also useful against the folks just out riding on a nice day, tooling along with the paperboy swerve, using the entire trail, at 8mph. Oh, and the Low-Speed Lycra crowd, riding double and triple wide, in their own world-- I've had to bell them while approaching from the opposite direction, which just boggles my mind.
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Old 06-24-15, 11:54 AM
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The bell laws are about warning pedestrians, not motorists who'll never hear them when driving with windows closed and the stereo blaring. To me, they're an example of "appendix" laws, written during a bygone era, and not worth keeping on the books anymore. Here in NY they're not enforced, except maybe during crackdown when someone may be stopped for something else.
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Old 06-24-15, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris516 View Post
Bells work well on a sidewalk. But they don't work well in hi-speed traffic. The requirement for a bell. Is invariably saying two things

1. Get off the road
2. Stay on the sidewalk.

Neither of which I will do.
Your riding practices and environment don't reflect what's typical for everyone, therefore are irrelevant in deciding what should or should not be considered basic requirements.
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Old 06-24-15, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
Your riding practices and environment don't reflect what's typical for everyone, therefore are irrelevant in deciding what should or should not be considered basic requirements.
The requirement doesn't specify, just applying to those that ride only on the sidewalk.

So, By not having a bell. I am invariably committing a traffic infraction. C'est la vie

I won't use one.
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