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Why a San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, and San Diego bicycle rider must use a light on the front of his bicycle

As bicycle accident lawyers who have 24 offices throughout California and handle at any one time 75 bicycle injury accident claims, we often see night accidents with our cyclist client cited for not having a light. Every cyclist must know that California Vehicle Code Section 21201 requires that any bicycle being operated during a time of ‘darkness’, must be equipped with a white light on the front of the bicycle that is visible for 300 feet. All of the bike lights that you can purchase in any bicycle store or online are easily visible for 300 feet plus.

The same vehicle code section requires reflectors on the pedals and the rear of the bike. If you are thinking ‘What does darkness mean?’, it is also defined by California Vehicle Code Section 280, which states it is that time beginning one-half hour after sunset or any other time when visibility is insufficient to ‘render clearly discernible any person or vehicle on the highway at a distance of 1000 feet.’ This could occur even before 30 minutes after sunset. The police officer knows this code section and can cite a bicyclist because of fog, mist, obstruction of trees, anything that could impair light and visibility.

Be careful out there. It’s bad enough that bicyclists are vulnerable at night when we ride. Let’s not make it more difficult by not having a light. The cyclist has to do everything to stay as visible as possible to everyone around them, especially cars, trucks, taxi cabs, etc.

When you bike at night, please have additional flashing lights, reflectorized shoes and even even a bright reflective vest.

The bicycle accident lawyers at Nadrich & Cohen have handled countless bike accident cases, including Bay Area and San Francisco bicycle accident cases, San Bernardino bicycle accident cases, Sacramento bicycle accident cases, Davis bicycle accident cases, Oakland bicycle accident cases, Los Angeles bicycle accident cases throughout the state.

If you were in a bicycle accident or if your loved one was in such an accident, please contact one of our bicycle accident specialists at Nadrich & Cohen at 800-718-4658 for free legal advice.

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