Sunday, September 15, 2013

IIWK: I've Got The Jingle All Ready

If you're out at night, wear lights.

I can't count the number of times I'm out on my bicycle at night (which is lit up better than most Christmas trees), and cross paths with someone wearing nothing. No lights, no reflective tape, not even any light-colored clothing.

Really, reflective patches on coats and clothing really aren't enough any more. First off, when they wear or get dirty, they stop reflecting. Secondly, if you're not moving fast enough, or you're moving too fast, or if the available light doesn't catch the right angle, the light is reflected in the wrong direction. Thirdly, there has to be light for them to work, and there isn't always.

Lights are not as expensive as they used to be. Lights do not get as hot as they used to, or consume as much electricity as they used to. Lights are relatively cheap, light-weight enough (pun not intended) that you could forget they're there, durable enough that you can wear them under all sorts of circumstances, and low-powered enough that you'd be inclined to forget the last time you changed the battery.

I'll concede that it's one thing if you're just walking down your driveway to pick up the mail or to grab something in you're car, but if you're leaving the property, even if you're just walking down the street, an accident is something that's likely to happen. 

It needs to be a ticket-able or fine-able offense, to not wear lights (or have them turned off) while out at night. It's that simple, and it needs to apply as much to bicyclists, roller-bladers, pedestrians, and anyone else spending time outside at night as it does for motorized vehicles.

In the spirit of Burning Man: Don't be a darktard.

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