Winter Riding Tips: Lights Please

Lights Please!



Hey friends, happy fall! Hard to believe it’s already November.  We have been so fortunate (unless you’re hungry for ski season!) not to have a first freeze or snow just yet, so the leaves have been hanging in there and we have had the glorious opportunity to enjoy those colors even longer this year!

The time changes this weekend, and with the “fall back,” comes darker bike commutes!

On that note, let me address bike lights.  I have been regularly riding to a new local brewery here in Golden (literally- faster to ride than drive there!) and as I’ve parted ways with my friends in the evenings, they’ve all commented about my bright bike lights:

Oh, I didn’t know that bike lights were required!”

Short answer: Yes, bike lights are mandatory, from sunset to sunrise (Here in CO and in most other states, too).  Specifically, cyclists need a white light on the front and a red reflector (I recommend a light) on the back.  Cyclists also need to be reflective to the sides! (So check those high-viz options or add reflective tape if you are not visible from the sides).

Here’s why this matters:

1) You need to see where you are riding, and what you are riding over!  Riding in the dark, unable to see your path, is not good.  It’s dangerous.


2) Other road users need to see you!  Folks joke about “bike ninjas,” as in, those cyclists wearing all dark colors with zero lights or reflective gear, but it’s not funny at all.  Cars cannot be expected to avoid cyclists they cannot see.  The law requires cyclists to use lights because as a vehicle, you are expected to be visible at night just like cars are required to use their lights at night.


*So -Will an officer ticket you if they observe you riding without lights?  Maybe.  The bigger issue is that if you are hit by a car while riding in the dark, and you don’t have appropriate lights on your bike/person, you may be considered at fault or partially at fault, even if you were doing everything else right. Don’t put yourself at risk!


Full original blog post here.

This article has been reposted from the Hottman Law Office website here.  With her office based in Golden,  Megan Hottman is an avid cyclist and advocate of cycling law.


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