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Portland (OR) police distribute bicycle lights

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Portland (OR) police distribute bicycle lights

Old 11-28-05, 01:53 PM
  #1  
Itsjustb
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Portland (OR) police distribute bicycle lights

On yesterday's "CBS News Sunday Morning" one segment was on 3 "good news" stories generally unreported by the media. One of them was this, something I haven't seen reported here on BF:

Light-Up For Safety

Portland, Ore. has more bike commuters than any other city in America. That is fine by day, but dangerous come night.

The problem, Hartman reports, is that many bicyclists don't have lights even though it's Oregon law.

Normally, riding without lights would be a $94 citation, but not long ago, traffic division Sgt. Bill Sinnet had a bright idea.

"For a while we're going to go ahead here and do something like this and try something different to raise awareness about safety issues, something more than just giving someone a ticket," Sinnet says.

He issued cops a new tool in their battle over bike lights.

He issued them bike lights.

Even the batteries are included.

On the first night of the program, officer Ron Hosely installed six sets of lights on five bikes.

It's really a win-win, even for taxpayers. The lights cost just $10 a set, a fraction of what it would cost to litigate a citation and the public relations value is immeasurable. [end of story]

Hearing this story really helped brighten (pun intended) my day.
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Old 11-28-05, 02:02 PM
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Good for them. Maybe more departments should follow their lead.

However, how much does a $10 set usually help? I suppose it is far better than nothing.
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Old 11-28-05, 02:03 PM
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I didn't know about this. it's great to hear that the police are taking positive action about the lights. I've noticed too many people riding in the dark not only without lights but also without helmet

Last edited by peregrine; 11-28-05 at 03:59 PM.
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Old 11-28-05, 02:33 PM
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As much as I like it when people are nice to cyclists, I'm a bit leery of any program that encourages people to not be responsible for their personal safety. What next, fixing faulty brakes or worn out headsets -- both extremely dangerous, easy to fix, and as cheap as this new light? Besides, the effect of this program might well be to give free flashlights away to people who won't use 'em.

Legal or not, riding without lights in the dark is both dangerous and stupid. When cars are breaking the law in a dangerous and stupid way, I find myself hoping the cops will ticket them. I'm a fan of equal treatment.
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Old 11-28-05, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by peregrine
I didn't know about this. it's great to hear that the police is taking positive action about the lights. I've noticed too many people riding in the dark not only without lights but also without helmet
No *****. I think they should hang out on springwater corridor to catch all the no-lighters. Not only do they come in shady mtb types, but even lycra boys with their fast selves >:| Not very amusing when I only notice them 10 feet in front of me... kinda scary, honestly.

but yes... we'll see how this approach works. Maybe I'll ride my grocery bike around my neighborhood without lights just to score some! *snicker*

I keeed.
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Old 11-28-05, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by banerjek
both extremely dangerous, easy to fix, and as cheap as this new light?

Besides, the effect of this program might well be to give free flashlights away to people who won't use 'em.
But no lights on a bike is more 'hazardous' to motor vehicle drivers than no brakes on a bike as a motorist could hit unlit cyclist (and not be at fault) but suffer a great deal of emotional pain, lawyers, etc.

Maybe a way to fix the "giving away to those that wont use" is to make the 2nd offense double the fine instead of a 2nd free light.

Al
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Old 11-28-05, 03:30 PM
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If unlit cyclists are so hard to see, then how come I see so many of them?

Al
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Old 11-28-05, 04:12 PM
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Complaints about cops ticketing bikes, now complaints about not ticketing bikes.
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Old 11-28-05, 05:22 PM
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It's a nice thing and probably cost effective since the city can probably buy a whole batch of bike lights for much less money than it costs to mop up one motorist assault on a cyclist. I do, however, agree with the idea of writing tickets for lightless night riding. I used to work in a bike store and know from experience how many people who could easily afford good lights and visible clothing are too cheap, stupid, or vain to buy and use them. Yes, lights cost and weigh something. Yes, not everyone looks good in neon jackets. But if you have more brain cells than a one celled animal does you will be capable of looking past these little obstacles.
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Old 11-28-05, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by SpokesInMyPoop
No *****. I think they should hang out on springwater corridor to catch all the no-lighters. Not only do they come in shady mtb types, but even lycra boys with their fast selves >:| Not very amusing when I only notice them 10 feet in front of me... kinda scary, honestly.

but yes... we'll see how this approach works. Maybe I'll ride my grocery bike around my neighborhood without lights just to score some! *snicker*

I keeed.
ha ha, yeah, how long are they doing this? i'll be back in another month or so....ha ha.

again, "keeeding". but i do like free things.
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Old 11-28-05, 07:39 PM
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Actually, this was already being done in Portland by private citizens, now the cops have come along and taken all the credit. I say, give credit where credit is due - the Get Lit program at Shift to Bikes:

http://www.shift2bikes.org/index.shtml

"It's been a great year for Get Lit. Over 500 sets of lights were installed at various locations around Portland this year! The need still exists, with more & more bikers on the streets everyday. Yea!

We all encounter bikers without lights, and many without the means to purchase them.

Get Lit helps promote a safe & positive image for cycling, by being visible at night. And it has been influencial. The Portland Police have taken heed of the Get Lit Program and has begun handing out (more than just tickets) bike lights too. The plus side is the more the bicycles with lights, the better it is for everyone, cars and cyclists alike.

Dat is offering his seed donation of $500 again this year. A big, "Thanks Dat!"

A donation of $100 buys $340 worth of lights, plus about $35 is generated from donations at light giveaways. The $375 of value is nearly 4 times the amount that is donated. So you can see, no matter the size of your donation, the money you give grows. A lot! All donations are tax-deductible.

Two ways to donate:
PayPal
(top right of this screen)


Postal
Get Lit
c/o Jeff Bernards
2138 SE 76th
Portland, OR 97215.

Make checks payable to "City Repair Project," and in the memo write: "Get Lit"
And Thanks for all you do!"
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Old 10-09-06, 01:11 AM
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Bump
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Old 10-09-06, 08:14 AM
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How come one of the guys got two lights?
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Old 10-09-06, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by sbhikes
How come one of the guys got two lights?
I started to bring this up to.

Ron Hosely installed six sets of lights on five bikes.

Is there now five bikes with six sets of lights on each one?
Or is there one bike with 2 sets.
Or did Ron keep one set for himself?
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Old 10-09-06, 10:42 PM
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This sounds like a good program. If it saves the taxpayers money, promotes safety, and hopefully educates a few people, then it's worth a try. A ticket is only going to make somebody angry and take money out of their pocket that could go towards a light.

Maybe the best thing would be to issue the tickets, but then cancel them if the "dark rider" can show proof of purchase and installment of a bike light. Under that model, they could give free lights to riders that can show financial hardship.

The problem is that a lot of people are just going to ride without lights anyway. I almost ran over a inline skater with my car several years ago. He was wearing all black and skating in the lane on an unlit section of road. I think he was training for the Darwin Awards.

A lot of people are very stubborn about their illogical and unsafe behavior. America's Funniest Home Videos wouldn't exist without these people. "HEY, watch this!"

Originally Posted by sbhikes
How come one of the guys got two lights?
It was a tandem!
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Old 10-10-06, 03:13 PM
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I think it's a good program no matter who does it, funds it, or even takes the credit for it. If it means more people will see cyclists, then it's good!
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Old 10-10-06, 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by banerjek
As much as I like it when people are nice to cyclists, I'm a bit leery of any program that encourages people to not be responsible for their personal safety. What next, fixing faulty brakes or worn out headsets -- both extremely dangerous, easy to fix, and as cheap as this new light? Besides, the effect of this program might well be to give free flashlights away to people who won't use 'em.

Legal or not, riding without lights in the dark is both dangerous and stupid. When cars are breaking the law in a dangerous and stupid way, I find myself hoping the cops will ticket them. I'm a fan of equal treatment.

Yeah, the cops did this in Chicago a couple of months ago.

And I was like, "What? They're distributing inexpensive but valuable equipment to people who may need it, and encouraging positive, constructive interaction between police officers and a wide variety of cyclists? How dare they?"

Responsibility for personal safety should always be a matter of getting online and debating the relative merits of dynohubs and rechargeable battery-pack systems. Simple, cheap and effective community initiatives have no place in bicycle advocacy!
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Old 10-10-06, 11:38 PM
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I'd go a few days without a light so I could then have four or five. MUAHAHAHA
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Old 10-11-06, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by kill.cactus
I'd go a few days without a light so I could then have four or five. MUAHAHAHA
I bet they still write you a warning. Repeat offenders might just get a ticket.
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Old 10-11-06, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by sbhikes
How come one of the guys got two lights?
Guy is a commuter... one light to go to work and one to go back home.
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Old 10-12-06, 12:54 PM
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did anyone notice this thread is almost a year old?
maybe the guy got 2 likes because he was the only one without a rear blinkie? i think its good they actually installed them for the rider, cuz if the rider didn't want it and they just gave it to them he might never get around to installing it, but if its already there he might as well keep it, and since its already there he might as well use it, then he might later down the road say "hey i need a better light" and get a nice one for better visibility and safety.
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