The City of Fort Wayne is promoting the use of bicycle lights by giving away 100 bike light sets on September 23, 2015. At approximately 7:00 p.m., a Fort Wayne Police bicycle patrol officer, City Community Development and Public Works staff, and Parkview trauma employees will hand out free bike lights at the downtown Allen County Public Library and Foster Park.
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, there were 618 bicycling deaths in the U.S. in 2010, and nearly one-third of those fatalities occurred at dark, between the hours of 8 p.m. and 4 a.m. According to Indiana Code, bike lights are required when riding anytime between when riding a half-hour after sunset and half-hour before sunrise in the State and Fort Wayne. A white light visible from at least 500 feet is required on the front of the bike and a red rear light or deflector visible from at least 500 feet is required on the rear of the bike.
The purpose of the light giveaway is to educate cyclists about how to be safe when riding. Bike lights help riders see the roadway, and also help motorists see the cyclist. Cyclists must use lights at night but are encouraged to use them in the daytime as well. They should also take care to ensure that long coats, bags or equipment don’t obstruct lights from the view of motorists.
In order to receive the free lights, residents must have their bike with them; each person will only receive one set. In addition to giving away the lights, City and Parkview staff will properly install the lights on bicycles and offer safety tips for cyclists. Funding for the lights was provided in part by Bicycle Indiana.