If you’re an avid bicyclist or use a bike as daily transportation, you may have asked yourself, “Can you have red and blue lights on your bike?” By law, you aren’t allowed to display both lights on your bike without authorization.
This article will discuss the significance of red and blue lights. Read on for informative details about who can use the light combination and the differences.
What to Know About Red and Blue Bicycle Lights
Some states have outlawed red and blue light combinations on bicycles. Whether flashing or steady, they can cause traffic issues and confuse drivers, pedestrians, police officers, and paramedics. They can cause motorists to question if you’re a cyclist or are on patrol, especially when displayed on your bike.
The light combination is usually associated with law enforcement, fire trucks, and patrol vehicles. However, a couple of theories are related to the origin.
Red is designed to alert drivers but can also be ignored because many vehicle taillights are the same color. Blue can have various meanings depending on specific situations.
Some individuals struggle to identify red but have no issues seeing blue clearly. In contrast, others can’t see blue but can see red when the color is a vivid shade due to its long wavelength. It disperses less and reaches the eyes quickly in adverse weather conditions such as snow, heavy rain, and fog.
Red Flashing Lights
A red bike light can improve your visibility and highlight your location. It also allows pedestrians and other bicyclists to identify you accurately, especially without risking their vision in the dark or during night hours. In addition, the lights indicate that you comply with specific guidelines instead of biking without taking precautions.
On the other hand, some individuals may still question why you have red flashing lights on your bike. Since police officers are known to have such light fixtures on their mountain patrol bicycles, you can be mistaken as an officer or stopped due to confusion.
Blue Flashing Lights
Blue flashing lights must be visible from a distance despite the time of day the police are traveling. They also must be visible despite the time of day. Another theory is that a red light shows that police are responding to an emergency.
In contrast, the blue light is designed to attract the attention of other officers in the area. It can also cause drivers to stop automatically because their conditioned to do so.
Traditionally, a blue flashing light is considered a caution, which our brains have developed to notice immediately. It doesn’t signal a “stop” and usually indicates that cops are making their presence known, and other motorists must steer clear. Therefore, a blue flashing light on your bike may cause the opposite reaction due to its close association with law enforcement and rescue vehicles.
By law, blue flashing lights are complementary and create contrast. It also indicates that drivers may more quickly discern that you aren’t a patrol officer.
Red Steady Lights
Red steady bike light rules are the same as red traffic lights, which signal drivers and other cyclists to stop. You must be cautious and be prepared to stop should an issue occur.
Blue Steady Lights
Blue steady lights indicate police presence from a distance. Officers usually want to draw attention or search for someone when they turn on their lights. The safety measure lets drivers and pedestrians know there is an active emergency in the area.
Drivers are required to follow particular guidelines related to steady blue lights. They must stop, pull over, or take other appropriate actions according to specific rules. Traffic officials are authoritative over any law, and you must follow their directions despite a dim light setting.
Who Can Use Red and Blue Lights On Their Bicycles?
Police officers can use red and blue strobe LED lights on their bicycles during the summer. Although the lights are required for patrol, putting them on your bike would be a choice that may have benefits and also disadvantages. You must remember what they signify and how other individuals may respond or react if they see the lights on your bike.
Peace officials also have red and blue flashing lights that signal an emergency. It also warns motorists to pull to the right side of a street, allowing them to pass. They may also use the lights to keep traffic in order.
Some blue lights can be installed on the front of a bicycle, but only occasionally. Also, it cannot rotate, oscillate, revolve, or exhibit other movements similar to lights on police patrol cars and bike lighting or emergency vehicle lights. If you choose to use blue lighting on your bike, you can dim the intensity to ensure it doesn’t attract the wrong attention, especially from the police.
Blue lights can cause many issues while cycling. Therefore, you must remember that they are a courtesy allowed for law enforcement, firefighters, and paramedics to use.
Some believe that banning cyclists from placing a blue light on their bikes is unfair and unnecessary. They also express dissatisfaction and attempt to downplay their use of blue lights. Unfortunately, they don’t consider what they must know before they rush to place blue lights on their bicycles.
There are exceptions depending on a particular rule and authorization. If you can prove that you can use the red and blue light combination, you must show evidence that you’re entitled to the privilege. You would likely be among a small group of individuals allowed to use the lights on your bike.
Asking a question such as “Can you have red and blue lights on your bike?” is crucial to determine if you should use the combination on your bicycle, mainly when considering adverse reactions and issues. The lights are banned in specific states and violate regulations and laws. However, you can think about other ways to display both lights, even if you’re strategic about their placement.