Bicycle safety lights, or the lack of, is a major concern when the nights are warm and teenagers are out and about on their bikes…in the dark.
Common sense should tell parents, grandparents, and all adults that the first bicycle accessory should be a pair of bicycle safety lights. So you’d think…. Just look at the featured image above – the bike on the left has no visible light. Why not?
Why I Need to Vent About Bicycle Safety Lights!
My husband and I were walking our dog, Buddy, last night around 9:30. We were walking on the sidewalk, had flashlights, and pausing for Buddy to check out the scents. I was behind my husband and Buddy when I hear, “Excuse me.” I was startled, turned around and right behind me were three teenage girls continuing to ride their bikes on the sidewalk while ducking the overgrown bushes that cause narrowing of the walkway at that point.
I told them they need to stop and walk around us or go into the street since were were walking in the same direction as the cars were traveling. But, no…they just kept on going as if I was speaking another language. I also shared my grandmotherly advice to Get Lights and a Horn!
About two minutes later, again I hear, “Excuse me.” I turned to find another teenage girl right behind me. I jumped out of the way because she didn’t hesitate, either! My husband, who was not wearing his hearing aides, did not hear or see her. I yelled loudly over the noise of the passing cars for him to don’t move – he was about to take steps in front of the bike immediately behind and to his right.
The clueless young lady turned and gave me a look. I yelled at her, “Not everyone can hear!” And, of course, she just continued on her way.
She had was wearing a black t-shirt and black shorts. Her bike did not have front and back lights, nor were there any reflectors letting cars…or pedestrians…or cyclists…know of her presence. As she cycled off into the darkness ahead, I pointed out to her: “You don’t have reflectors! I hope the cars can see you!”
Parents, Please Make Sure Your Kids are Safe!
- Having a bicycle without bicycle safety lights and/or reflectors is totally unsafe!
- Teenagers riding their bikes after dark are never totally safe!
- Having a cell phone does not make one totally safe!
- No town is totally safe!
So, this morning I sent a text to my daughter and asked her if my 15-year-old granddaughter has lights on her bike. Her answer was, “No, not since her bike was stolen from the front yard. They took the light, basket, and cup holder off before it was recovered.”
I told my daughter what happened last night. Not only were the girls not safe, we weren’t either. If we hadn’t had flashlights, we all could have been injured in some way due to the darkness and their quiet approach.
I was promised my granddaughter would soon have bicycle safety lights, even though she isn’t allowed to ride her bike after dark. Just in case….
Bicycle Safety Rules
Bicycle Safety Rules can be found on many websites, including League of American Cyclists. Their third bicycle safety rule states exactly the points I hope to have made here:
- Be conspicuous – Ride where people can see you and wear bright clothing.
- Use a front white light, red rear light and reflectors when visibility is poor.
- Make eye contact with others.
- Don’t ride on sidewalks.
…not only for their safety, but the safety of others they might meet along the way.
Bicycle Safety Lights
There are so many to choose from, so I am providing a link to Amazon.com’s Best Bike Headlight-Taillight Combinations for your convenience since style and need are usually by individual preference. (I don’t receive any form of compensation if you purchase bicycle safety lights from Amazon.com.)
Stay safe, share some light!