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Letter: Require bicyclists to have headlights

Greg Dengler

I ride my bicycle almost every day and many of my bike rides include riding along public roadways.

A primary objective of every ride is to return home safely without accident or injury. A key part of that objective is to be seen by motorists while riding along public roadways.

Two recent motor vehicle-bicycle fatalities happened in the early in the morning. One accident was on Highway 965 down near the Iowa River and the other happened about two miles east of the Missouri River.

In both cases the motorist did not see the bicyclist before hitting them. The fact the motorist did not see the bicyclist is important in determining how to avoid similar accidents in the future. No amount of legislation will prevent motor vehicle collisions with bicyclists if the motorist does not see the bicycle.

In Iowa, motorists are required to have their lights on when driving public roadways from a half-hour before sunset to a half-hour after sunrise to make them visible to other motorists. Bicycles, which are less visible than motor vehicles, should be required to have head/taillights on and clearly visible when biking on public roadways at these times, too. If bicyclists riding public roadways in early morning and late evening hours had head-tail lights on and clearly visible this would remove the “I didn’t see them” factor and go a long ways toward eliminating these accidents in the future.

Greg Dengler

Cedar Rapids

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