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Legal question about lights

Old 09-03-17, 12:46 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
I could mount a Luxor light atop my helmet and virtually no one would notice.
Well you've made my point. Directional lights avoid some of the problems of lighting up your surroundings and therefore don't affect your night vision as much. Now of course if you take that directional light and point it as something that reflects most of it back at you, that's a problem.

A luxor light from my perspective is directional.
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Old 09-03-17, 12:53 PM
  #27  
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I'm hosing out around 1000 lumens (forward) when riding in the dark (350 on the bars, 650 on the helmet.) Lord help the night vision of any poor soul who is coming directly at me. I run my Hotshot PRO on steady, so it's only 90lm lighting up everything for 50 feet behind me in a soft red. Red is better for night vision, but you're gonna get a big dot in your vision anyway. All the lamps are very directional.

Luxor lights aside, if I had a string of LEDs on my back, no one could see it.
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Old 09-03-17, 06:18 PM
  #28  
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I'll start looking for LEDs.

The reason I was concerned is because I know vehicles can't have rear white lights but I don't know if the law was written narrowly for motorized vehicles or broadly for all vehicles. I'll keep using what I have for now....and start looking at a brighter front light.
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Old 09-03-17, 06:30 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by rachel120 View Post
I'll start looking for LEDs.

The reason I was concerned is because I know vehicles can't have rear white lights but I don't know if the law was written narrowly for motorized vehicles or broadly for all vehicles. I'll keep using what I have for now....and start looking at a brighter front light.
With respect, you're obsessing over nothing.

Consider -- while cars can't have rear racing white lights -- as vehicle lights, there's no law that prevents someone from having some sort of decorative lights on the rear deck, and visible from the rear. Likewise, your backpack, lit or not isn't covered by any kind of law, so do whatever you wish and don't worry about what nobody else is going to either.

As for buying LEDs vs. using what you have, consider that you already own these, so using them won't cost you a cent. IF you are unhappy with battery life, then you might consider buying LEDs or replacing them with another idea (or nothing).
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Old 09-04-17, 11:18 AM
  #30  
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I once saw a kid with those shoes that flash red lights when you step walking down a dark road once.


Everyone going to and coming from the bar looked nervous.
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Old 09-04-17, 01:24 PM
  #31  
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if you're worried dab a little red nail polish on them
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Old 09-04-17, 01:52 PM
  #32  
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Don't ever ask police in California about the laws regarding bike lights. They have NO clue. In fact, they have no clue about anything bike law related.
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Old 09-04-17, 03:43 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by KingCat View Post
Don't ever ask police in California about the laws regarding bike lights. They have NO clue. In fact, they have no clue about anything bike law related.
Sure, just ask total strangers on the Internet who are self-styled experts on the law and law enforcement; these characters with attitude overload are anxious to provide clues about everything.
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Old 09-06-17, 07:12 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by rachel120 View Post
I just hope that will fly by a judge if it is illegal and I do get a citation. "But your honor, the state police told me I could..."
I'll promise you that officer won't show up to A. Testify on your behalf and B. Tell the judge he's wrong.

Don't know what state you are in but for instance, I can google "NC Bicycle Laws" and get plenty of info. I'd suggest finding out for yourself what your State Statutes are. In the end, any state's laws and statutes are interpreted by the State Attorney General's office, and by extension, the local DA's office and court systems.

Cops aren't paid to interpret the laws. Sure, they SHOULD be knowledgeable, some are and many think they ARE, but that doesn't mean they all are.

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Old 09-06-17, 09:33 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by rachel120 View Post
happy there's less of a chance of scraping my corpse off the road.
I get the sense that's how it's looked at where I live. I run stop signs and red lights with some regularity (but only if it's clear for a long way). Occasionally I notice a cop in the distance and they've never hassled me.
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Old 09-06-17, 10:02 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by WNCGoater View Post
I'll promise you that officer won't show up to A. Testify on your behalf and B. Tell the judge he's wrong.

Don't know what state you are in but for instance, I can google "NC Bicycle Laws" and get plenty of info. I'd suggest finding out for yourself what your State Statutes are. In the end, any state's laws and statutes are interpreted by the State Attorney General's office, and by extension, the local DA's office and court systems.

Cops aren't paid to interpret the laws. Sure, they SHOULD be knowledgeable, some are and many think they ARE, but that doesn't mean they all are.
In addition, drivers' (and cyclists') knowledge of the fine points of traffic law give no indication, let alone guarantee that such laws will be obeyed by the same people.

Does anyone on this thread, or anywhere for that matter, actually think that drivers are not aware of the traffic laws concerning speeding, drunk driving, illegal parking or a host of other traffic laws that they violate often, if not everyday?
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Old 09-06-17, 10:05 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by WNCGoater View Post
I'll promise you that officer won't show up to A. Testify on your behalf and B. Tell the judge he's wrong.
No problem, she can tell them that she got the OK from somebody on an Internet discussion group.
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Old 09-06-17, 02:35 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Sure, just ask total strangers on the Internet who are self-styled experts on the law and law enforcement; these characters with attitude overload are anxious to provide clues about everything.
Um, I used to work in law enforcement. I know what I'm talking about.
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Old 09-06-17, 02:39 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
No problem, she can tell them that she got the OK from somebody on an Internet discussion group.
She actually stated that she got the OK from someone at the police department. What she should have done was got his name and noted the date & time she talked to him just in case it would ever have to go to court, which I think is unlikely.

I mean, really, it's not like she's shining a 1,000,000 candlepower spotlight backwards from her bike, it's just little white battery powered Christmas lights. I really doubt any cop would write a ticket for that.
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Old 09-07-17, 07:58 AM
  #40  
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Folks roll all over Detroit with their bikes decked out in any number of flashing colored lights at night, without issue. Some of the light displays are quite the works of art.

You should be fine.
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Old 09-07-17, 08:19 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Milton Keynes View Post
She actually stated that she got the OK from someone at the police department. What she should have done was got his name and noted the date & time she talked to him just in case it would ever have to go to court, which I think is unlikely.
Talking to an officer on the phone won't cut the mustard IF she is ticked and goes to court. She needs to either follow the law for her area OR get a signed document from the police stating the lights are okay to use. Some larger departments will have a traffic division. If I were her, I'd go there, ask them to inspect the lights and if they give the thumbs up, ask for signed documentation stating such.

I do agree though, the officers name and date and time would be helpful but still not 100%. 6 months from now the officer might not even be able to recall the conversation.

Saying someone from the police department told me it was okay won't work IF ticketed and it goes to court.

My .02
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Old 09-07-17, 11:29 AM
  #42  
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Someone a while back in this thread came up with the most correct answer. And that is the laws on lights generally only deal with the lights that are required to be used while biking. I've never seen any that say you cannot use something.

However it would be unsafe to use lighting that will impair your vision or the vision of oncoming or overtaking traffic.
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Old 09-07-17, 11:47 AM
  #43  
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I just got a reflective jacket but here in southern California the heat is strong even at night
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Old 09-07-17, 12:08 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Someone a while back in this thread came up with the most correct answer. And that is the laws on lights generally only deal with the lights that are required to be used while biking. I've never seen any that say you cannot use something.

However it would be unsafe to use lighting that will impair your vision or the vision of oncoming or overtaking traffic.
That is incorrect. There are indeed laws that restrict what can be used. Best advice is to consult the local law as it's written. That law, as written, will be one of very few defenses in court.
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Old 09-07-17, 12:41 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by raqball View Post
That is incorrect. There are indeed laws that restrict what can be used. Best advice is to consult the local law as it's written. That law, as written, will be one of very few defenses in court.
The OP is asking about what are essentially decorative lights on a backpack. I challenge you to find ANY laws that would apply to that.

Yes, there may be laws that cover blue strobes, or insanely bright or blinding lights, but that's not what we're talking about here.

What saddens me about the thread is what it says about our culture, where so many worry about, or assume there would be laws covering all kinds of minor aspects of daily life.

We're talking about a legal non-issue, worst case unlikely scenario, a cop decides to cite the OP, to do so, he'd have to list the SPECIFIC code violation, then a judge would have to concur, then assess a fine. The chances of this chain of events happening are infinitesimal, and the reality is that no cop would ever cite it, nor would any judge levy a fine.
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Old 09-07-17, 12:53 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by raqball View Post
Saying someone from the police department told me it was okay won't work IF ticketed and it goes to court.
But asking the cop to cite the specific traffic ordinance which says you can't have lights on a backpack while riding a bicycle will get the ticket thrown out of court.
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Old 09-07-17, 02:01 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by raqball View Post
That is incorrect. There are indeed laws that restrict what can be used. Best advice is to consult the local law as it's written. That law, as written, will be one of very few defenses in court.
Show me the laws.

Like I said I've not seen them.
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Old 09-07-17, 03:23 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Milton Keynes View Post
But asking the cop to cite the specific traffic ordinance which says you can't have lights on a backpack while riding a bicycle will get the ticket thrown out of court.
Sure IF the officer later testifies to that or the OP can show the law as it's written. If the officer gives her a local code and she can find it and reference it then true.

Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Show me the laws.

Like I said I've not seen them.
So because you've not seen them they don't exist? Love internet law professors...

Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
The OP is asking about what are essentially decorative lights on a backpack. I challenge you to find ANY laws that would apply to that.

Yes, there may be laws that cover blue strobes, or insanely bright or blinding lights, but that's not what we're talking about here.

What saddens me about the thread is what it says about our culture, where so many worry about, or assume there would be laws covering all kinds of minor aspects of daily life.

We're talking about a legal non-issue, worst case unlikely scenario, a cop decides to cite the OP, to do so, he'd have to list the SPECIFIC code violation, then a judge would have to concur, then assess a fine. The chances of this chain of events happening are infinitesimal, and the reality is that no cop would ever cite it, nor would any judge levy a fine.
Really? I suggest you do a little more research. And for what it's worth, not everyone lives in the USA. Every jurisdiction on the planet will have different laws. Some random person telling them it's fine on the internet is meaningless in court. An officer telling you over the phone that it's okay is meaningless UNLESS that officer later testifies to that fact.

The OP can be prudent and check local laws or listen to internet attorneys and hope she is never ticked for it, IF it's illegal in her area.

OP, I'd suggest you research your local laws. Maybe even find a bike kitchen in your area or a cycling club as both of those would be knowledgeable about the local laws in your area. You can also ask the local PD for the laws that cover lights (if there even are any where you live) and get them to give you the code so you can reference it..

Last edited by raqball; 09-07-17 at 03:39 PM. Reason: add quotes
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Old 09-07-17, 03:36 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by raqball View Post
Absolutely false unless the officer testifies to that or the OP can show the law as it's written.
The officer has to cite exactly which traffic ordinance is being violated on the ticket, and in my state at least there's nothing against having a lighted backpack on a bicycle.

So because you've not seen them they don't exist? Love internet law professors...
It's up to the court to prove guilt, you're not guilty until proven innocent. So if nobody can cite one law against having a lighted backpack then we must assume it's legal.
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Old 09-07-17, 03:37 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by raqball View Post
Love internet law professors...

Really? I suggest you do a little more research. And for what it's worth, not everyone lives in the USA. Every jurisdiction on the planet will have different laws. Some random person telling them it's fine on the internet is meaningless in court. An officer telling you over the phone that it's okay is meaningless UNLESS that officer later testifies to that fact.
If you are going to call someone out. You need to come up with the proofs you say are there. I'm not going to search for you.

My advice still stands until you prove you are a better internet law professor.

What you can do in court is not the issue here. Common sense generally will keep you out of court.
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