We have an urgent issue. Rep. Wills (R-Dickinson) added an amendment to the standard penalties bill HF422 requiring a red light during daylight hours on roads more than 45 mph. We oppose this amendment.
The bill was pulled from the debate today but appears to be heading towards passage in the Iowa House WITH the amendment. Unless they hear from enough people like you who oppose this law. Don't wait.
Take Action: Contact Your Rep. IA Representative (name) & Rep. Wills to ask them to pull this amendment and pass the original HF422. Click https://p2a.co/U9PowI5 to take action.
It is important to note - we aren't against lights on bikes. We are opposed to a law requiring them.
While the safety of bicyclists on the road is important, making a law to require lights on bicycles during the daytime is not the solution. In fact, such a law could have several negative consequences.
First, it shifts liability to the bicyclist, even if they are otherwise lawfully operating their bike. The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled that a bike without a light at night is liable for a crash, which essentially blames the victim. This is unfair and unjust, as it places an undue burden on the bicyclist to ensure their safety.
Second, Iowa is hosting the 50th RAGBRAI with possibly 100,000 bicyclists from around the world, and this law has not been enacted in any other state. Requiring bike lights during daylight hours in Iowa would create confusion and inconvenience for many of these bicyclists, who may not be aware of the law or have the necessary equipment to comply with it.
Third, requiring bike lights during daylight hours would make it more difficult for people to take up bicycling as a means of transportation. Many people already rely on bicycles as their primary mode of transportation because they cannot afford a car, and this law would add an additional financial burden for those who cannot afford to purchase bike lights or rechargeable batteries.
Fourth, lights that are able to overcome ambient daylight and be visible to 300 feet are expensive and not readily available in rural Iowa. This means that many people would not be able to comply with the law, even if they wanted to.
Finally, studies have shown that the effectiveness of requiring bike lights during daylight hours in preventing crashes is questionable. Automobiles no longer have daytime running lights because they were not proven to be effective, and there is no reason to believe that requiring bike lights during daylight hours would be any different.
It is important to note that we are not opposed to bike lights, and they can be an important safety measure for bicyclists. However, making it a law to require bike lights during daylight hours is not the solution. It places an undue burden on bicyclists, may discourage people from taking up bicycling as a means of transportation, and has not been proven to be an effective safety measure. Instead, we should focus on promoting education and awareness about sharing the road with bicyclists, as well as investing in infrastructure that makes bicycling safer and more accessible for all.
HF 422 Bill verbiage
Red Light Amendment #1
Red Light Amendment #2
In 2018, the "Kill Bill" amendment was to have cyclists wear 144 Sq. inches of Hi-Vis clothing https://www.bikeiowa.com/Feature/1677
In 2007, the "Kill Bill" amendment was to require every cyclist would have to have an orange safety flag while riding on roads. https://www.bikeiowa.com/Feature/726