With the days getting shorter, and more of us walking or riding at dawn, dusk, or just plain night, visibility becomes even more important. This is the first of a two-part article on making sure you can be seen at night.
After reading this article, and watching the interview, I really wanted to give bicycle patrol officer Paul Helminiak credit for making police bicycles safer. But I couldn’t. Not really.
He figured out that flashing LED lights mounted fore and aft on patrol bicycles would make them more visible at night. What were they using before? Because if you want to be seen at night, some blinking lights is not enough. Besides the fact that they also need lights on the side, as well as reflective material on the frame and wheels, they might want to take a few hints from the 3M™ No White At Night Video:
Proper reflective clothing requires no batteries that might die, no wires or connectors that can wear out, and no switches subject to malfunction. Not only is the reflective material more easily seen from a distance, but by placing it at key areas, (such as along the side of shorts, pants, socks, and shoes) the motion of a cyclist is translated by the brain as a human, and not just a flashing light.
Scotchlite™ Reflective Material would make these bicycle patrol officers (as well as regular commuters/enthusiasts) more visible at at night, early morning, and in poor weather. This would make a significant contribution to the safety of anyone out in low light conditions. So while I applaud officer Helminiak for taking the time to think outside the box, he needs to finish his homework. If 3M™ isn’t already an OEM supplier to whoever makes the uniforms for officers on bicycles, they should be. And once the uniforms are sorted out, it’s time to apply some Scotchlite™ reflective tape to the frames. The finishing touch? Either more Scotchlite™ tape on the wheels, or splurge for some bling, and cover them in rimSkin, for serious visibility.
Yeah, that’s how I’d roll.