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New state law promotes cyclist safety

Posted November 10

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— Current state law requires cyclists have a white headlight when biking at night. But starting Dec. 1, at night cyclists will be required to use a red rear light or wear reflective clothing.

In 2013 alone, crashes killed 22 cyclists in North Carolina. One of the most important aspects of bicycle safety is visibility. With the sun setting earlier, cyclists are harder to see during the evening commute.

North Carolina State University student Brian Leonardo said he uses a front light and a rear red light when he's out after dark. It's safer, and soon, it will be the state law.

“If I'm ever on the road, I’m going to be easily seen. I don't have to worry about being hit from behind when I don't know it,” Leonardo said. “Overall I feel pretty safe. I enjoy biking around here,” Leonardo said.

“There have been a lot of people, including myself, almost hit riding our bikes,” said Katherine Molin, transportation demand management coordinator for the city of Raleigh.

Molin promotes transportation alternatives for Raleigh.

She and other city employees are spending time informing cyclists about the new law and including a coupon for a 15 percent discount on lights and reflective clothing at some local bike and running shops.

“It's just a good education opportunity for us to get those people lit up,” Molin said.

Leonardo said his lights make him feel safer and it's a good idea to make them mandatory.

“On the street, it's needed. It protects the safety of the drivers and the cyclists,” he said

Molin said local shops are offering those discounts voluntarily, and the city isn't subsidizing the offer.

5 Comments

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  • John White Nov 11, 6:28 a.m.
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    Wow I guess drivers never run stop signs red lights, or fail to yield. Let see I've been hit by a driver that ran a stop sign, I've been hit by a driver running a red light. Those oh so perfect drivers never break laws. I am sure they don't speed either. They also never drive without a license(DWLR) . Nope drivers are perfect. They also always stop when they hit something! You people crack me up.

  • Norman Lewis Nov 11, 12:17 a.m.
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    Taxes, road use fees etc are not the real issue. Bicyclists that run stop signs, red lights and fail to yield to drivers having the right of way are the real problem. Whining about being hit by a car driver is USUALLY a result of the bicyclist doing something that would result in a traffic ticket being issued to a driver. Also, riding 2 and 3 wide in a busy traffic lane is not only very foolish but dangerous also.

  • John White Nov 10, 9:28 p.m.
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    Ignorance they already have since gas taxes DO NOT PAY FOR ROADS

    https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/10/driving-true-costs/412237/
    http://frontiergroup.org/reports/fg/who-pays-roads
    http://taxfoundation.org/article/gasoline-taxes-and-tolls-pay-only-third-state-local-road-spending

    Maybe drivers should stop the they don't pay for the roads. Neither do drivers we all pay via other taxes.

  • Jim Frei Nov 10, 9:06 p.m.
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    Bicyclists should be required to have a big reflective tag on their rear indicating they have paid a road use tax.

  • John White Nov 10, 8:36 p.m.
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    We need better laws with stiffer penalties for aggressive driving around cyclists and when a cyclist gets hit. Lights are all good but when a driver hits a cyclist while on their stupid cell phone and you have video evidence of this act they should be charged with assault with a deadly weapon not failure to reduce speed! I never ride without two cameras. It helps but still motorists get away with too much. Let's not even get into how little a driver needs in insurance it does not even cover hospital bills. Suddenly you are stuck with the bills loss of income and the driver goes home and sleeps while you suffer with sleepless nights and months of therapy.