Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Importance of Bike Lights and Fake Crack

According to a news report from WOWT, an Omaha cyclist was recently pulled over by police for not using lights as specified by Nebraska state law (Section 60-6,318). The statute states that when riding at night, a cyclist must equip the bike with a front facing light that is visible from 500 feet. A rear light is optional, but the bike must have a red reflector meeting certain DMV standards.

According to the report, the cyclist was pacing nervously, and when asked if he was hiding anything, invited the police officers to search him where they found 1.1 grams of crack cocaine and 0.8 grams of "fake crack."

The cyclist was arrested on charges of possessing crack cocaine, and for not having the required light.

The lessons to be learned here are:
  • Use a good headlight on your bike when riding at night. It will help you see, help you be seen, and avoid traffic tickets.
  • Optionally, consider using a headlight or flasher even during the day. Being seen during the day is a good thing.
  • Consider a red rear light and/or flasher, but don't remove your reflector. It's the law, plus there are cases where a reflector will be seen where a light won't be. If you plan to ride frequently in the dark hours, consider even more reflective surfaces.
  • Exercise your constitutional rights. Don't invite the police to search you (even if you have nothing to hide). Remain friendly and polite.
  • Carry only "fake crack." The real stuff will get you into trouble.

2 comments:

brady said...

That fella was arrested right off of the north route for the UP lunch riders. We ride quickly through that area.

The tip on more reflective surfaces is not only simple to implement, but it's also cost effective ($5). I've recently incorporated this to my helmet for additional visibility. Thanks for the suggestion.

Brett said...

Come on, Brady, where am I going to get $5 for reflective gear, I spent all my money on crack.