Flashing Bicycle Lights

Question

Dave asked:  I use a front white flashing light as a daytime running light.  Do state/city rules prohibit flashing white lights after dark?  (I also have flashing amber side lights and red rear lights)

Answer

Bicycles can be equipped with lights in addition to those required.

s. 316.2065 – Bicycle Regulations

(7) Every bicycle in use between sunset and sunrise shall be equipped with a lamp on the front exhibiting a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front and a lamp and reflector on the rear each exhibiting a red light visible from a distance of 600 feet to the rear. A bicycle or its rider may be equipped with lights or reflectors in addition to those required by this section.

The statutes do not specify what those additional lights can be except possibly as follows. Those in this statute do not seem to be applicable to your question unless they are considered clearance lamps, which must be certain colors.

s. 316.224 – Color of Clearance Lamps, Identification Lamps ….

(1) Front clearance lamps, identification lamps, and those marker lamps and reflectors mounted on the front or on the side near the front of a vehicle shall display or reflect an amber color.

(2) Rear clearance lamps, identification lamps, and those marker lamps and reflectors mounted on the rear or on the sides near the rear of a vehicle shall display or reflect a red color.

(3) All lighting devices and reflectors mounted on the rear of any vehicle shall display or reflect a red color, except the stop light or other signal device, which may be red, amber, or yellow ….

Clearly, blue lights and red lights visible forward of the vehicle are not legal, but there is seemingly no prohibition to the use of other color lights.

s. 316.2397 – Certain Lights Prohibited; Exceptions

(1) No person shall drive or move or cause to be moved any vehicle or equipment upon any highway within this state with any lamp or device thereon showing or displaying a red or blue light visible from directly in front thereof except for certain vehicles hereinafter provided.

(2) It is expressly prohibited for any vehicle or equipment, except police vehicles, to show or display blue lights.

Until 2012, flashing lights (blinkies) were technically prohibited but commonly used.  The FBA initiated legislation to change that.  Flashing lights on bicycles are now permitted.

s. 316.2397  Certain Lights Prohibited; Exceptions

(7) Flashing lights are prohibited on vehicles except:

(c) For the lamps authorized under subsections …. s. 316.2065 (Bicycle Regulations) ….  which may flash.

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