Portland Police have been giving out warnings and bike lights for the past week to those cyclists they catch without a front white light – but they’re about to run out, and when that happens, they’ll start giving out tickets instead.
Or much worse – not using bike lights at night is a great way to get hit by a car or another bicyclist. (We think this RiverCity Bicycles ad makes the point quite nicely.) Many people think that the rear light is the most important, but they are wrong – most crashes involve a bicyclist hit from the side or the front, NOT from the back. Front lights are the most important.
Some people also seem to think that a helmet is essential, but that lights are optional. In fact, lights are even more important because they prevent crashes – once a helmet comes into play and saves your life, you’re already in a crash because something else has gone terribly wrong. Don’t let that something else be your invisibility! Use lights AND wear a helmet.
Good bike lights can be purchased at any of these local bike shops (and BTA members get 10% off); since replacing batteries can be a drag, consider a bigger investment in rechargeable batteries and a charger (this is a good holiday or birthday gift too) to save money in the long run.