As an experienced bicyclist who has ridden on country roads and city streets over different terrains in North Carolina, I am favorably impressed with DOT’s recommendations. As a car driver and bicyclist, I agree completely with seven of the eight recommendations. However, the bike-light recommendation needs revision. The rear-light regulation should require red or blinking-white-and-red lights visible at night from at least 400 feet behind the bike and a front steady or blinking white light visible at least 800 feet in front of the bike.
Cars driven at 45 mph cover 66 feet per second; at 60 mph, they cover 88 feet per second. This revision would allow drivers more time to make safety decisions about upright bicyclists or injured bicyclists lying in the road. There is also the issue of side-view visibility. Bicyclists riding at dusk or night should wear reflective clothing visible from 300 feet away in all directions. (“Night” should be defined as beginning at sunset and ending at sunrise.)