Lights Required?


Robert asked: Does the state of Florida require lights, front & back, on a bicycle. If so, why don’t the manufacturers have them on when they are sold to the public?


Lights are required on bicycles during hours of darkness or inclement weather. If a bicycle is only used in daylight hours, the added expense would likely not be justified.

Please see this post for the details and applicable laws:

1 Comment on “Lights Required?

  1. Some European countries do require a bicycle to be equipped with front and rear lights when manufactured and/or sold (see section on “Legal requirements” at In the US, the Consumer Products Safety Commission’ standard for bicycles (–Manufacturing/Business-Education/Business-Guidance/Bicycle-Requirements/ ) requires front and rear reflectors, but not lights.

    When the standard was developed in the 1970s, bicycle manufacturers opposed inclusion of a lighting requirement for fear of lawsuits if lamps failed and concern that lamps would be impractical for riders of children’s bicycles, which at that time were still a very large portion of the US bicycle market.

    Even if bicycles sold in shops were equipped with lamps, any battery-powered headlamp (or taillight) would dim and fail after some period of use if the owner didn’t replace or recharge the batteries as needed. In the 1970s, LED lighting technology and higher-capacity batteries that have considerably extended bicycle lamp run times were still in the future; dynamo-powered lights that drew their power from pedaling action were available but tended to be much more limited in the illumination they could provided. The CPSC decided a reflector requirement would be sufficient, even though reflectors can fail to be detected for various reasons and do nothing to illuminate a rider’s path under dark conditions.

    Thus, the burden of equipping a bicycle used after dark with functioning lamps rests with the user.

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