Safety and Education Committee Report

The Green Light for Safety

The amount of light needed for detection by the human eye depends upon its color and shades of green are the most easily recognized. Several states are now equipping their snow plows with green flashing lights and their use has significantly reduced the number of collisions involving these vehicles. Michigan [MDOT] has an excellent video [https://youtu.be/AUCHgrktrK8 or :  http://bit.ly/2oedbl1  on this subject. We should forward this video to those that can make their use legal in our state.

My bicycle is a transportation vehicle that travels over 1,000 mi/yr in the dark. Its lighting system is a work in progress and the latest modification was to wrap the frame tubes with [flashing green] LED rope lights. They take up much less space and make my bike more visible than the [red] traffic wand previously used. Eventually these rope lights will be hardwired into a wiring harness along with my other lights and powered by a [USB] battery pack. Having only one battery to change/recharge instead of 20 will save me a lot of time. For less than $20 I now have enough power to run all the lights and my dashcam.

A reflector only works when a light shines on it and OSHA requires outside workers to be self-illuminated after dark. FHWA only requires reflectors but we should allow [demand?] our public employees to be properly protected. Many articles of [expensive] self-illuminated clothing are now available but my stand alone system [reflective vest and helmet equipped with green rope lights] was less than $10.

Very few bicyclists will be on the road during snow storms but we should be able to use what works best for the conditions present. I've seen nothing that prohibits my vehicle's green lights but I'm sure I'll find out if there is. The lights upon my body are a separate issue and have been found to be legal whenever questioned.

New Hampshire 's bicycle related laws need updating and enforcement of them is ineffective. Making changes to our laws takes time and oftentimes requires knowledge “outside their area of expertise” of those charged with this task. The vehicle code is always changing and addressing the inappropriate laws individually is an exercise in futility. Rather than “reinventing the wheel” we should follow the example set by most other states and allow bicyclists to comply with The Uniform Vehicle Code unless otherwise posted in specific areas or under unique conditions.

Being run down from behind at night is the leading cause of death for unlit bicyclists. Contra-flow cycling is the leading cause of crashes and some sort of impairment is usually found to be a factor. A “zero tolerance” enforcement policy of these “Big Three” is needed to save those “Begging God to Kill Them” [95% of all fatalities] from themselves.

For cyclists that care about safety the addition of green flashing lights is something to consider.

When a problem is properly defined the solution is obvious.

Bill Fisk - Safety and Education

REMINDER: BE SEEN!

Make sure to wear at least one item of reflective outerwear apparel, such as a reflective vest, jacket, or helmet strip, during the period from 1/2 hour after sunset to 1/2 hour before sunrise.

Safety and Education Coordinator


Biking 101