A collaboration with the Southern California Association of Governments
Bright Lights of Costa Mesa (Luces Brillantes de Costa Mesa) began as a collaboration between CMABS and the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) to distribute free bicycle lights and education cards to commuters and students on the Westside during the Summer of 2022. We hope to keep the momentum built during this campaign going!
Thanks to a GO Human Mini Grant from SCAG, CMABS purchased pairs of white and red bicycle lights and gave them away FOR FREE at several distribution events, including street distributions, distributions at schools and colleges, and distributions at special events. We also gave away free information cards to let everyone know why it is so important to use bike lights. We are proud to report that we gave away over a thousand pairs of lights during our Summer 2022 campaign!!
Why Bike Lights?
The most dangerous time to ride a bike is at night. Not only are the most cars and bicyclists are on the road, bicyclists are especially difficult to see if they are not using lights, reflectors or reflective clothing. According to the NHTSA, a majority of bicycle road fatalities have occurred at dawn, dusk or at night, and the most dangerous time to bicycle is from 3-6pm on a weekday, and 6-9pm on the weekend.
Adding bike lights is a simple way to improve safety by making bicyclists easier to see. But adding even inexpensive lights can be a barrier for many bicyclists if they don't have the time or the resources to add them. Few bicycles come equipped with lights by default, and with time changes and fluctuating weather, it is easy to be caught out after dark without expecting it.
Bike lights are also required by law. When bicyclists were asked by the LA Bicycle Coalition during its Operation Firefly light distribution event whether they knew bicycle lights were required by law, only 2% of bicyclists surveyed knew all the legal requirements for riding at night. California Vehicle Code Section 21201(d) requires all bicycles operated on California streets to be equipped with a white light visible at least 300 feet from the front and side, and a red reflector or red light visible at least 500 feet from the rear.
How Does It Work?
Volunteers will gather in the early evening at key intersections in the Westside of Costa Mesa that have been identified by the community and the Costa Mesa Police Department as having particularly high bicycle traffic. The goal will be to ask as many bicyclists as possible to stop and, if they choose, to install simple push-button lights on their bicycles. Bilingual English and Spanish information cards will be distributed along with the lights. The hope is to reach as many bicycle commuters as possible during the Summer months so that, when the time changes and it gets dark earlier in the Fall, these bicyclists will be ready to ride safely.
How Do I Get Involved?
The Summer 2022 distribution campaign is over! Thanks to everyone's hard work, we were able to distribute over a thousand pairs of bicycle lights for free to the Westside Costa Mesa community! Stay tuned to this page and follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@cmbetterstreets) to hear about our upcoming bike light distribution campaigns.