Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

Are reflectors required if I have reflective tape?

Notices
Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

Are reflectors required if I have reflective tape?

Old 05-17-13, 09:24 PM
  #1  
vol
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 3,781
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked 13 Times in 8 Posts
Are reflectors required if I have reflective tape?

If my bike has reflective tape covered most of its frame, does that meet the requirement of using reflective devices, so I don't need either front or rear reflectors?
vol is offline  
Old 05-17-13, 09:49 PM
  #2  
Bluish Green
Bicycle Commuter
 
Bluish Green's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Springfield, IL
Posts: 726
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
It probably depends on your local (ie. State, if you are in USA) vehicle code. IIRC, here in Illinois, a red reflector on the rear of the bicycle is required, so even though my bike frames are loaded with retroreflective tape, I still use a PDW Radbot 1000 on the rear that includes a red reflector, to meet the minimum in our State vehicle code. Plus, they are a good idea anyways. The front reflector is more of a pain to keep mounted for me, since I have other devices vying for bar space (bell, two headlights, etc.). I recommend you research local vehicle code. Don't give any lawyer any ammo to come after you in any cases, etc.
Bluish Green is offline  
Old 05-17-13, 09:54 PM
  #3  
vol
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 3,781
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked 13 Times in 8 Posts
Thank you. I'm in NY. I'll look up the code.
vol is offline  
Old 05-18-13, 06:06 AM
  #4  
Matariki
Not quite there yet
 
Matariki's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Monkey Bottom, NC
Posts: 1,000

Bikes: A bunch of old steel bikes + an ICE trike

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Just curious: Has anyone actually been singled out and cited only because they did not have proper reflectors? I wonder how they interpret whether a device satisfies the requirement. I really do not like the look of the standard reflector equipment on my bike; however I do have one reflector integrated with my rack mounted dyno tail light. I run two headlights in front and in addition to the continuous tail light in the back, I have 3 led blinkers (one on my helmet, one on my belt and one on the seat post). My tires have reflective strips, I use reflective leg bands and also a hi-vis vest with reflective strips. I am still a scofflaw though because most of the reflective gear is on me. I don't plan to worry, though.

Is there any evidence that reflectors contribute to visibility in the daylight?
Matariki is offline  
Old 05-18-13, 07:56 AM
  #5  
zacster
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Brooklyn NY
Posts: 7,103

Bikes: Kuota Kredo/Chorus, Trek 7000 commuter, Trek 8000 MTB and a few others

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
Liked 233 Times in 186 Posts
The laws were written so long ago that they don't take modern technology into account. We have reflective garments (there was a fashion show last night at the Trans Alt after work party), we have lights that will blind you if you look straight into them, we can string LEDs around a bike, and we have little ding-ding bells that are totally ineffective. The law just requires a light and a bell at night without any specifications.

And then there are the delivery guys on e-bikes, which for some reason never seem to have lights even though they already have power supplies. And since these are also new technology there aren't specific laws for them, although I don't think they are truly street legal. That hasn't stopped them from being used. It was bad enough that the delivery guys were all over on bikes, now they are all over on powered vehicles, going wrong way, on sidewalks, through lights etc... and bicyclists will be lumped together with them.
zacster is offline  
Old 05-18-13, 08:00 AM
  #6  
kenji666
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: On yer left
Posts: 1,646
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Reflectors are housed in plastic, so they are more durable, whereas tape can peel off.
kenji666 is offline  
Old 05-18-13, 09:55 AM
  #7  
fietsbob
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 43,598

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 197 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7607 Post(s)
Liked 1,289 Times in 808 Posts
the regulations read about 'visibility from a (certain) distance' you might run a test with a friend ,
in their car, at that measured distance.. to see if your reflective tape job is compliant.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 05-22-13, 09:49 PM
  #8  
The Human Car
-=Barry=-
 
The Human Car's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Baltimore, MD +/- ~100 miles
Posts: 4,077
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I'll note that with the police you should be fine in avoiding a ticket but if an accident happens they could go all legal screwy with you. Some states specify the color (generally red) so that needs to be done. Some states specify which standard the reflector must meet and the bicycle standard (CPSC) is not as good as other reflectors which means better reflectors are not technically legal in some states (I doubt the police know this but you never know.)

For some FYI https://www.bikexprt.com/bicycle/reflectors/reflperf.htm
__________________
Cycling Advocate
https://BaltimoreSpokes.org
. . . o
. . /L
=()>()
The Human Car is offline  
Old 05-22-13, 11:39 PM
  #9  
fietsbob
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 43,598

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 197 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7607 Post(s)
Liked 1,289 Times in 808 Posts
Of course A battery powered Active light + the passive reflector will be better ..

You will perhaps avoid citations as the PD is occupied with more glamorous high speed chases, to bother..
fietsbob is offline  
Old 05-23-13, 11:46 PM
  #10  
tdister
Just a geek
 
tdister's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: NorCal
Posts: 537

Bikes: LHT, Pacer

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Plastic reflectors works better when riding in mist too.

It looks like the state laws allow you to just have a decent light with no mention of rear reflectors except for new bike sales. NYC requires both reflector and lights when riding at night. As others have said, I would imagine the tape would keep you from getting hassled but may not cover you in case of an accident.

State requirements https://ypdcrime.com/vt/article34.htm#t1236.
NYC https://bikingrules.org/rules/rulesoftheroad
tdister is offline  
Old 05-24-13, 11:45 PM
  #11  
Medic Zero
Senior Member
 
Medic Zero's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Vancouver,Washington
Posts: 2,286

Bikes: Old steel GT's, for touring and commuting

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by zacster View Post
The laws were written so long ago that they don't take modern technology into account. We have reflective garments (there was a fashion show last night at the Trans Alt after work party), we have lights that will blind you if you look straight into them, we can string LEDs around a bike, and we have little ding-ding bells that are totally ineffective. The law just requires a light and a bell at night without any specifications.

And then there are the delivery guys on e-bikes, which for some reason never seem to have lights even though they already have power supplies. And since these are also new technology there aren't specific laws for them, although I don't think they are truly street legal. That hasn't stopped them from being used. It was bad enough that the delivery guys were all over on bikes, now they are all over on powered vehicles, going wrong way, on sidewalks, through lights etc... and bicyclists will be lumped together with them.
I disagree about bells being ineffective. They're great for letting pedestrians know you are approaching and to let other cyclists know you are passing.
Medic Zero is offline  
Old 05-25-13, 07:23 AM
  #12  
tsl
Plays in traffic
 
tsl's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 6,967

Bikes: 1996 Litespeed Classic, 2006 Trek Portland, 2013 Ribble Winter/Audax, 2016 Giant Talon 4

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 70 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by vol View Post
Thank you. I'm in NY. I'll look up the code.
https://www.dot.ny.gov/display/progr...fety_laws/laws

See Section 1236.
tsl is offline  
Old 05-28-13, 12:02 PM
  #13  
rumrunn6
Senior Member
 
rumrunn6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: 25 miles northwest of Boston
Posts: 24,862

Bikes: Bottecchia Sprint, GT Timberline 29r

Mentioned: 103 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3722 Post(s)
Liked 846 Times in 590 Posts
oh well, get the reflectors then ...
rumrunn6 is offline  
Old 05-28-13, 01:55 PM
  #14  
noglider 
aka Tom Reingold
 
noglider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: High Falls, NY, USA
Posts: 39,499

Bikes: 1962 Rudge Sports, 1971 Raleigh Super Course, 1971 Raleigh Pro Track, 1974 Raleigh International, 1975 Viscount Fixie, 1982 McLean, 1996 Lemond (Ti), 2002 Burley Zydeco tandem

Mentioned: 480 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6670 Post(s)
Liked 1,248 Times in 811 Posts
I do what keeps me safe, whether it's legal or not. I don't expect to be cited for improper equipment.
__________________
Tom Reingold, tom@noglider.com
New York City and High Falls, NY
Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.” — Elizabeth West, US author

Please email me rather than PM'ing me. Thanks.
noglider is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
TXBDan
Commuting
52
01-29-20 09:17 AM
Ceribee
Advocacy & Safety
3
06-22-18 10:32 AM
forresto
Commuting
10
05-24-17 10:29 AM
Chesha Neko
Commuting
1
05-01-12 12:49 AM
sknhgy
General Cycling Discussion
14
12-24-11 06:36 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.