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Red Lights on Front of Bike

Old 11-30-19, 03:46 PM
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Red Lights on Front of Bike

Should I have one of these? I passed two guys this morning who had red headlights of some kind on their bars. Are we supposed to be doing that?
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Old 11-30-19, 03:55 PM
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No. Red lights belong on the rear of the bike.
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Old 11-30-19, 04:34 PM
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Red or blue lights on the front of your bicycle are probably illegal in many areas. Your vehicle code probably says white bicycle headlights are required.
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Old 11-30-19, 06:30 PM
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bad BAD idea. also probably illegal.
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Old 11-30-19, 07:45 PM
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Somebody will think they are looking at the rear of the bike. Dangerous.
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Old 11-30-19, 08:57 PM
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They DO have white blinky lights...
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Old 12-01-19, 04:36 AM
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Red lights in front are illegal in many places. So are other colors that aren't white on front and red on back. Blinking lights are also illegal on bikes in some places. Even turning signal lights.
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Old 12-01-19, 01:08 PM
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I've seen folks with red lights in front. I've also seen people with white lights in back. I've even seen people with both of these. I have no idea what they are thinking. What message are they trying to convey?
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Old 12-01-19, 01:55 PM
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Red lights on the front = bad, but they definitely catch your attention.
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Old 12-01-19, 02:10 PM
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ORS 815.280 Violation of bicycle equipment requirements

2.c.C "The lighting equipment must show a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front of the bicycle."

3. "Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to prohibit the use of additional parts and accessories on any bicycle consistent with this section."

Law does not state any specific regulations concerning additional front lights.

Soooo, as long as one has a white light that is visible from 500', anything else is up to legal interpretation.

https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/815.280

Last edited by 44.5mph; 12-01-19 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 12-01-19, 10:49 PM
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You forget that People are trying to Keep Portland Weird.
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Old 12-02-19, 01:00 AM
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Yeah, but that's not even an original slogan. We stole it from Austin. We should get our own. Keep PDX Cycling!
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Old 12-02-19, 04:52 AM
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Originally Posted by 44.5mph View Post

ORS 815.280 Violation of bicycle equipment requirements

2.c.C "The lighting equipment must show a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front of the bicycle."

3. "Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to prohibit the use of additional parts and accessories on any bicycle consistent with this section."

Law does not state any specific regulations concerning additional front lights.

Soooo, as long as one has a white light that is visible from 500', anything else is up to legal interpretation.

https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/815.280
I don't know what the other parts of the section say, but just these 2 lines could mean that all front facing lights need to be white. Sentence 2 could be plural. Sentence 3 "Consistent with this section" could refer to sentence 2. It's all up to interpretation.
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Old 12-02-19, 12:19 PM
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"a white light" is singular.
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Old 12-02-19, 02:45 PM
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Some of these laws need to be changed. For example, the laws that you can't use anything in addition to the legally required lights are dumb. Distraction? I don't buy it. Also, some European countries don't allow flashing lights. I'm not convinced this is a distraction. Oddly enough, I don't use the flashing mode on a headlight, but I should, because I definitely notice flashing lights before steady lights.
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Old 12-02-19, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by 44.5mph View Post
"a white light" is singular.
"lighting equipment" could be singular or plural. Each equipment only needs to display a single white light. Therefore, there could be a plural amount of white lights, if you have multiple equipment.
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Old 12-02-19, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by 44.5mph View Post
Law does not state any specific regulations concerning additional front lights.
Soooo, as long as one has a white light that is visible from 500', anything else is up to legal interpretation.
The law doesn't prohibit other lights, but given other traffic laws, it's not likely that red lights in the front are going to be legally acceptable.

Even if it's legal (which is kind of a stretch), it doesn't seem to make much sense to make yourself look your front looks like the rear of a vehicle.

That is, the legality is moot.

Last edited by njkayaker; 12-02-19 at 06:06 PM.
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Old 12-02-19, 06:19 PM
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Well, I am no cycling law lawyer, but all I know is that I was confused when the red lights kept getting apparently closer and closer.
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Old 12-02-19, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by bpcyclist View Post
I passed two guys this morning who had red headlights of some kind on their bars. Are we supposed to be doing that?
You saw two cyclists do this? In Portland? Do people ride bikes in Portland?

If you saw people jumping off a bridge, would you think you were supposed to do the same?

Last edited by njkayaker; 12-02-19 at 06:25 PM.
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Old 12-02-19, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
You saw two cyclists do this? In Portland? Do people ride bikes in Portland?

If you saw people jumping off a bridge, would you think you were supposed to do the same?
Analogizing a suicide attempt to cyclists having (apparently) the wrong lights on their bicycle bars is beyond me. You are operating on a higher level than me.
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Old 12-02-19, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by bpcyclist View Post
Analogizing a suicide attempt to cyclists having (apparently) the wrong lights on their bicycle bars is beyond me. You are operating on a higher level than me.
It's an exaggeration but the analogy is apt. It's a handful of people doing a more or less risky/nutty thing.
​​
The standard use of red lights on a vehicle (including bicycles) is at the rear. This use is world-wide.

You should be familiar with the standard use.

​​​​​​You saw two people do something contrary to a bazillion examples of the well-known use. And you wonder whether "we are supposed to do the same".

That doesn't make any sense.
​​​

Last edited by njkayaker; 12-02-19 at 07:27 PM.
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Old 12-02-19, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
It's an exaggeration but the analogy is apt. It's a handful of people doing a more or less risky/nutty thing.
​​
The standard use of red lights on a vehicle (including bicycles) is at the rear. This use is world-wide.

You should be familiar with the standard use.

​​​​​​You saw two people do something contrary to a bazillion examples of the well-known use. And you wonder whether "we are supposed to do the same".

That doesn't make any sense.
​​​
Well, then, try this on for not making sense. This is the second time this year that I have seen this (total of three cyclists) in Portland. I blew the first one off as some kind of weirdo, although he was on a pretty nice Kona. Seeing it again just did not make sense to me.Two expensively clad maybe fiftiesish riders with seemingly all the right gear plus the prior experience got me wondering--did I miss something recent at light safety school? Some new development in safety I totally did not get the memo on? I had no idea.

I don't have time to read everything that comes out on cycling safety. With apologies. It was an honest request for help. Your need to point out that you believe I am not making sense, which I believe is actually code for something more along the lines of You're an idiot, is fully noted and filed. Message received. Totally, like, got it. But as Voltaire quite rightly said: "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
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Old 12-02-19, 10:54 PM
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I saw a guy with a red light on the front and a white light on the back of his bike. I asked him why he did that, and he said he didn't know and he hadn't thought about whether it was proper or improper.
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Old 12-03-19, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by bpcyclist View Post
Well, then, try this on for not making sense. This is the second time this year that I have seen this (total of three cyclists) in Portland. I blew the first one off as some kind of weirdo, although he was on a pretty nice Kona. Seeing it again just did not make sense to me.Two expensively clad maybe fiftiesish riders with seemingly all the right gear plus the prior experience got me wondering--did I miss something recent at light safety school? Some new development in safety I totally did not get the memo on? I had no idea.
Three people. There are many, many others with equally "nice" bikes and "all the right gear plus the prior experience" who don't do this. And you completely ignore them. Why?
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Old 12-03-19, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
Three people. There are many, many others with equally "nice" bikes and "all the right gear plus the prior experience" who don't do this. And you completely ignore them. Why?
I think you are misunderstanding bpcyclist. He's not saying it's a good idea. He's observing something and finding it weird and asking if anyone here thinks it's a good idea. Not surprisingly, no one here endorses the idea.
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