Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Daylight "savings" and ninja drivers

So we pushed the hands of the clock back the last weekend. And now, I am still trying to grasp the benefits of it. I can't see any.

Sure, it is brighter on the way to work. I only need to run the little blinking red light at the rear rack of my bike. That's enough for cars to see me. But on the way back home it is completely dark now. Just last week I could still have some daylight, now it's gone. Four months of darkness ahead.

I have read and heard so many times about it - when it gets dark turn on your lights. It is dangerous to ride your bike ninja-style, i.e. lights out. This statement has even more meaning once days get shorter, just like now, in early November.
Bike ninjas (Source: YehudaMoon)

One day the last week, before the time change, I was riding my bike home, as usual. I left work after 5 p.m. and it was obvious to me that I had to turn my lights on. The sky was cloudy and grey and I had only about an hour before it got completely dark. I passed only maybe 2 other cyclists on the way. Both had lights on as well. Great!

Not so great and very difficult to understand was the number of ninja-drivers on the road. Considering the late hour, complete overcast and general low visibility, it should be clear to them that turning on their headlights is as important as fastening their seat belts. I understand that there is no law, based on which police could stop those drivers and ticket them (unlike in Sweden, Poland and many other countries). But if you drive your car and it gets dark, please turn on the headlights! It doesn't matter that you can still see the road. What if others can't see you?

Just thought I would share this, since there is a lot of talk everywhere how bad cyclists are not using any lights on their bikes. Judging on what I see around me - drivers are much worse. Statistically, many more of them drive ninja-style than cyclists. And if you're a cyclist, turn on your lights too. Those reflective accessories you have on you or your bike are not good enough. Especially, with ninja-drivers around.

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