The end of Daylight Savings Time at 2 a.m. on Sunday means night will fall an hour earlier. To keep bike riders out of the dark – and potentially out of law enforcement’s grasp – both the Santa Barbara Police Department and the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition will be handing out free bike lights starting Monday. “The idea came from a group of riders brainstorming how to improve cyclist safety in the winter,” said Ed France, S.B. Bike’s executive director. “I think this effectively builds on both the efforts of our Iluminando la Noche effort and SBPD’s bicycle safety efforts.”
Riders should be aware that there are two ways to collect these illuminating gifts. One is to attend any of four bike-light giveaways next week; the other is to be stopped by an officer for riding at night without a light. The offense could earn the cyclist a citation, but the officer might also hand over a bike light, if it seems warranted.
S.B. Bike’s giveaways start at 4:30 p.m. with the first taking place in Carpinteria on Monday, November 7 by Carp’s library (5141 Carpinteria Ave.). The next takes place near Santa Barbara’s Westside Neighborhood Clinic (628 West Micheltorena Street) on Wednesday, November 9. On Thursday, lights will be given away at Goleta’s Community Center (5679 Hollister Ave.). Friday sees the program back in Santa Barbara on the Eastside at Milpas and Yanonali streets.
The police effort takes place wherever cyclists are missing the legally required white light in the front and red reflector in the back. For even better visibility, S.B. Bike’s Ed France suggests a red light at the back of the bike. The Cop-a-Light program is funded by S.B. Bike and Measure A.