Q&A - Lights on Bicycles

CyclistQuestion: I grew up in the Netherlands where riding a bike everywhere is normal. I moved to Vancouver in December, 2009 and have noticed that there is not much safety commonsense with cyclists. My main concern is their "safety" LED lights! They shine them upwards blinding pedestrians and drivers along the way.

In the Netherlands you are taught while growing up to slant your lighting downwards to prevent blinding others in traffic the safety saying is "lighting are to be seen, not to use for vision" I'm not sure I'm contacting the right department about this, but just wanted to make aware that this is a major safety issue and needs attention.

If this is not the right way to go for this topic can you please advise me where I can send the email to?

Answer: This is all that the Motor Vehicle Act has to say about lights on cycles:

Rights and duties of operator of cycle

183 (6) A cycle operated on a highway between 1/2 hour after sunset and 1/2 hour before sunrise must have the following equipment:

(a) a lighted lamp mounted on the front and under normal atmospheric conditions capable of displaying a white light visible at least 150 m in the direction the cycle is pointed;

(b) a red reflector;

(c) a lighted lamp, mounted and visible to the rear, displaying a red light.

(7) Despite any other provision of this Act or the regulations, a cycle may be equipped with a flashing red light.

It would appear that there are two agencies that have some control here, the provincial government and ICBC. You can deal with the government through your MLA and ICBC directly through the contact information on their respective web sites. I have always found ICBC to be responsive, but it's about 50/50 with the government. A lot of e-mail to them seems to simply disappear or be met with canned responses that may or may not be on topic. You would probably have more success dealing with the MLA directly at your local constituency office.

You may also wish to contact the people at HUB. They are attempting to have the provincial rules overhauled.