Blue lights make motorcyclists ‘safer’

Blue lights make motorcyclists ‘safer’

Riders in one American state can now add a special blue light to their rear brake light which they say increases awareness and avoids rear-end crashes.

The Illinois chapter of motorcycle rights organisation ABATE (American Bikers Aimed Toward Education) has successfully lobbied the state government to introduce the rule from January 1, 2017.

They believe the blue dot creates a contrast to the usual red lights and draws motorists’ attention.

Lincoln Land Chapter of ABATE Illinois Public Communications Officer Josh Witkowski says it works.

“I was behind one of these bikes while this bill was pending in the legislature, and I was amazed by how quickly it grabs your attention as a motorist — and it’s been a good thing,” he says.

“It’s good for visibility out there on the road, which increases safety and reduces the risk of accidents.

“The faster people can see a motorcycle while it’s on the road, the easier it is for them to see us, the better it is for everybody’s safety. And it reduces accidents out on the road.”Blue lights make motorcyclists ‘safer’

The blue dot in the centre of the red brake light was a stock feature on many cars and some bikes years ago and some modern customs have been bringing it back.

Josh says ABATE functions state to state and he is unaware of any other states attempting to introduce the rule.

Perhaps it is something our motorcycle groups could advocate in Australia, or at least softening the complex and restrictive Australian Design Rules on motorcycle lights so riders can take steps to make themselves more visible.

For anyone interested in adding the lights, you can buy them from JP Cycles or Amazon or customise them yourself as in this video. However, be aware they may be considered illegal in your jurisdiction.

Whether you believe the blue light will actually work or that riders have to take the responsibility to be seen rather than educating motorists to look for riders, this is a great example of motorcycle lobby groups influencing legislature.

Josh says ABATE regularly talk to “our friendly state lawmakers” and get them to write or amend legislation for them based on rider issues.

He says the number of sponsors for the Bill rapidly increased after hundreds of ABATE members from around the state descended on the capitol to talk issues with reps and senators.

6 Comments

  1. This is an idea that might actually work and needs investigating ! There is evidence that adding a small blue light in the center of the brake light and surprisingly also the headlight making it easier for car drivers to easily distinguish a motorcycle from a distance subsequently increasing safety for motorcycle riders .
    Some riders have added these lights to their bikes only to be fined by our authorities
    Riders who have tried these blue lights have found the incidence of cars failing to give way is reduced but returns to normal once the offending light is removed !

  2. As far as I’m aware any kind of blue light on a vehicle other than a police vehicle is totally illegal here in all states of Australia.
    You are barely allowed to have an amber flashing light.

  3. It would be worth a try, as most motorist slow down for a blue light as noticeable when they park on the side of a freeway and everyone slows down to about 70 in a 100 zone. As soon as someone sees a blue light their mindset changes as to be on their best behavior to not be fined for something trivial.

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