Accessories: Noise Makers, Lights, and Reflectors

Can I have an air horn or other noise-making device on my bicycle?

You may use any noise device except sirens or whistles (373.05).

When is my bicycle required to be equipped with reflectors and lights?

Bicycles are required to have reflectors or lights:

  • From sunset to sunrise (337.02a1).
  • When fog, snow, smoke, or other unfavorable atmospheric conditions make it difficult to see objects 1,000 feet ahead (337.02a2).
  • Whenever precipitation requires motorists to use their windshield wipers (337.02a3). Under these conditions, however, law enforcement may not stop bicyclists or issue a ticket (337.02d).
Am I required to have a front headlight on my bicycle, under the conditions listed above?

Yes, bicycles must have a headlight (373.06a1). A white reflector does not substitute for a headlight.

Am I required to have a rear reflector or rear light, under the conditions listed above?

Yes, either reflectors or lights may be used (373.06a2). If you’re using a rear light, you’re not required to have a rear reflector in addition (373.06a3).

If I am riding with adequately working lights, do I still need to use reflectors?

No, you do not need reflectors if you’re using front and rear lights that work adequately (373.06).

What constitutes an “adequately working” light?

An adequately working front headlight is one that is visible of at least 500 feet in front, and 300 feet to the sides of the bicycle (373.06a1). The law does not specify if headlights must be either flashing or steady. For the rear, flashing or steady lights that can be seen from a distance of 500 feet are considered adequate (373.06a3).

Am I permitted to use red lights in front, or white lights in the rear of my bicycle?

No, this is illegal. Only white lights can be used on the front of your bike, and red lights for the rear (373.06b).

Am I required to have lights and reflectors under dry, daylight conditions?

There is no law requiring reflectors or lights between sunrise to sunset, and when visibility is adequate.

Other Bicycle Law Sections: