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The Red Rear Light bill requires a rear red light from 30 minutes before sunset until 30 minutes after sunrise. The current law requires a front white light and a rear red light or rear reflector.
Lights at night greatly increase visibility of cyclists to motorists. A BikeTexas review of 317 Texas DPS bicyclist fatality records for the period 2002-08 revealed that approximately 52% of bicycle fatalities occurred in low-light or dark conditions. BikeTexas supports the basic intent of this bill, but will work to modify some of the language to standardize the bill with the “nighttime” requirement for other vehicles as stated in the Texas Transportation Code.
As with the Complete Streets and Safe Passing bills, BikeTexas sees great value in the educational opportunities afforded by this bill. We will continue to work with legislators and public safety departments across Texas to make sure they understand the needs of cyclists in Texas. Basic bike lights have become more inexpensive over recent years and are even distributed through give-away programs.
This bill has been filed by San Antonio Representative Joe Farias as HB 307.
This article by Bicycling Magazine discusses the importance of lights for cyclists.