Good lighting plays a big part in keeping bicyclists safe on Michigan roads. About 48% of bicyclist fatalities were reported in dark conditions, and Michigan law requires a white front bike light and red rear reflector, although a red light is preferred, for people riding after dark. Unfortunately, not every Michigan bicyclist can afford the lights they need.
Launched in 2023 with funding through the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning and support from the DALMAC Fund, LMB is distributing bike light sets to bicyclists in need. Each set includes a white light for the path ahead and a red light for the rear. The Spok 50 USB Bike Light Set is lightweight, easy to attach, long-lasting (2.5-14 hours per charge), and USB-rechargeable, with multiple steady or flashing modes. The Shiner 70 USB Bike Light Set is also USB-rechargable, easy to attach, and lasts 2.5-12 hours depending on light mode.
In it’s first year LMB’s Bike Lights for Michigan Nights (Light Love) Program distributed over 960 light sets and literature explaining the benefits of active lighting for bicyclists as well as pedestrians. These “toolkits” were distributed in 12 communities throughout Michigan by 22 distinct organizations with the primary focus on getting the lights into the hands of “invisible cyclists”; we define these cyclists who depend on bicycling as their primary mode of transportation due to social and economical constraints. These organizations included police agencies, local neighborhood community groups, bicycle co-ops/shops, and homeless shelters.
In 2024, we will have expanded our program to translate our active lighting literature into Spanish and Arabic and distribute 2000 light sets.
We ask two things in return for receiving the lights:
1) You distribute the supplied Active Lighting literature with the lights
2) You share your story and photos about who you gave the lights to and how you went about doing so.
Click the button below to apply:
*We will continue to give out rounds of lights on a rolling basis. The next round of lights will not be distributed until early 2024.
Please feel free to direct any questions regarding this important program to LMB Education Director, Jeff Carek, at [email protected].
From Jeff & Melissa Zawisza with Recycle a Bicycle – TART Trails:
Just wanted to drop a note to thank the League of Michigan Bicyclist for the lights and literature supplied to us back in June. We provided the lights and literature to our clients who received free bikes this summer. For many of our clients, their bicycle is their main means of transportation and they really appreciated receiving the lights. Enclosed are 3 pages of notes from our clients expressing their gratitude to LMB.
There is no question that RaB would be very interested in participating in future programs to keep bicyclists visible on the road.
Recycle a Bicycle works with the local agencies to give bikes to economically disadvantaged individuals who need transportation. Last year we gave away 188 bikes and to date we are up 30% this year. With each bike we provide a bike lock and lights to keep the bikes secure and our clients visible. RaB also provides free repairs to keep the bikes on the road for as long as the clients need them.
We have repeatedly heard how appreciated the lights were to keep them safe. As an example, C, one of our clients rides her bike every day to get to work. She brings her bike in regularly for maintenance and said that she really appreciated the rechargeable lights to keep her visible – especially on the way home after her afternoon/evening shift.
For most of our clients, their bike is their main means of transportation. With the days getting shorter, lights to keep them visible is even more important. With a week left to our fiscal year, we have given away over 220 bikes with locks, lights, and free repairs.
As a side note, our supplier for the other lights that we give out was out of stock for much of the spring and summer. The LMB lights came in just in time. We really appreciate all the support.
From Cheboygan County Sheriff’s Department (Sheriff Timothy Cook) and Jim Conboy from Rotary Club of Cheboygan:
Cheboygan County-Sheriff Timothy Cook and Rotary Club of Cheboygan member and avid bicyclist, Jim Conboy, teamed up this summer to provide 25 free sets of lights to cyclists riding in dark conditions.
Sheriff Cook shared that when distributing the lights, “deputies would make contact with a cyclist without lights and assist by putting the lights on the bikes.” Most of these contacts were in the morning or evening hours. Bicycling during these times is often the only way to and from work or appointments for these cyclists, who were grateful to receive lights from the deputies.
One of the recipients, Craig Tarvis, thanked Deputy Hutchison for his bike lights. “I appreciate that I was able to receive the lights, I use my bike a lot to get around town.”
“It is an important safety program and my hope is Rotary can continue to partner with LMB and work with other departments to pass out more lights,” said Conboy.
From NORTE Youth Cycling Executive Director, Jill Sill:
Our friends at Norte Youth Cycling were a huge help in
getting some of these lights distributed. Jill Sill, Executive Director at Norte, shared “as we head into October and daylight decreases, the need
for these lights increases day by day. It was a joy to share these with members of our community. We share your focus on safety and these little lights make a BIG difference.” Norte was able to pass these lights out on several different occasions, including while providing their free community bike valet services and recent free bike TuneUp at Carson Square. Thanks to Norte for sharing what an impact these lights are having!
From Ethelyn Carroll, President of United Block Club Council:
The United Block Club Council participated at the Midwest Joe Louis Greenway opening on Halloween in Detroit and gave out bike lights and other treats. “Your bike lights went fast. The United Block Club Council table had books, candy, and the bike lights. Let’s do it again! Thank you so much.”