Would coloured lights on motorcycles make riders more visible and therefore safer?
That’s the reasoning behind the US state of Wisconsin passing a bill in the state Assembly to allow coloured lights on motorcycles.
When we travelled through the US last year, we noticed a lot of riders with auxiliary lights on their bikes, not necessarily to throw more light on the road ahead, but to be seen.
Of course, they are “look at me” fashion accessories, rather than safety lights, but they still attract the attention of other road users and could prevent riders falling into motorists’ blind spot and prevent SMIDSY (sorry mate, I didn’t see you) crashes.
Who cares what the reasoning is; if it attracts more attention and saves lives, then why shouldn’t it be allowed? Not my cup of tea, but if you like it and it’s safe, why not?
Laws in many jurisdictions prevent riders and drivers from having lights and indicators on their motor vehicle other than white, red or amber.
While it would be confusing if indicators and stop lights were replaced by other colours, allowing riders to fit coloured lights in other positions could be seen as a safety device.
In the case of Wisconsin, riders can use any colour of lights, so long as they shine down and don’t flash or rotate, which seems like a reasonable position.
The bill’s Assembly sponsor, Republican John Jagler of Watertown, says coloured LED lights are becoming more popular on motorcycles and he introduced the bill at the request of a constituent who was fined for violating light prohibitions. He says more lights will increase motorcycle visibility.
While the bill has passed the Wisconsin Assembly, it is yet to go to the Senate for final approval.
It will be interesting to see if the law leads to a lower incidence of SMIDSY crashes.