Safety campaign ‘Lights the Night’ for bicyclists

The Campus Areas Transportation Study (CATS) Education Subcommittee is sponsoring a ‘Light the Night’ Bike Light Distribution Campaign. On Thursday, Sept. 15, from 4 to 8 p.m. teams of volunteers and law enforcement officials will install bicycle lights, educate bicyclists about the laws that require bikes to have lights at night and provide information on safe riding during the day and night.

Bicycle lights will be installed two locations on the University of Illinois campus: Wright and Green near the Alma Mater statue and Lincoln Avenue and Illinois Street near Illinois Street Residence Hall.

Bicyclists operating bikes without lights will be encouraged to have a light installed at these locations. Bicycles will be equipped with a “Blinky” safety set of front and rear lights at each location. Lights will be installed only on bicycles without lights.

The distribution campaign seeks to improve the visibility of bicyclists at night while educating riders about the safety benefits of a bicycle light and the requirement for a front and rear light under Illinois law. The law states that every bicycle when in use at nighttime must be equipped with a front lamp that emits a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet, and with a red reflector on the rear visible from 100-600 feet.

With daylight hours shrinking, and Daylight Savings Time approaching, the CATS Education Subcommittee thinks it an ideal time to remind bicyclists of the need for front and rear bike lights in low light conditions.

The CATS Education Subcommittee is composed of representatives of the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District, City of Urbana, City of Champaign,and the University of Illinois. Other organizations involved include The Bike Project of Urbana-Champaign, Champaign County Bikes, C-U Safe Routes to School Project, and Planet Bike.