Fla. Lawmakers Consider Bill to Require Headlights on Bikes

Michael Bellow's about to take on a new hobby - cycling. On his shopping list: bike, helmet, spare tire, maybe a water bottle. But he didn't even think to pick up a headlight for night riding until we told him the law requires it.

"I was not aware that I have to buy a headlight, but I'm just getting into it, so I'm just trying to find out everything that I need to do in order to begin mountain biking," he said.

Even many pros don't know that not having a light can earn you a verbal warning from law enforcement, and under a new bill they'd be allowed to issue a
$15 fine.

Bike shop owner Joe Mezzina calls it long overdue.

"It'll be dark by 5:30, 6:00 in another month, and people who do commute, or the people who just like to go riding after work, they need to have a light."

They're fine in the sunshine, but it's moonlight that'll make every one of these headlight-deficient bikes illegal. The problem...there's no penalty, and the result has become all too obvious.

Last year, more than 4,500 bikers were involved in non-fatal accidents in Florida, many of them at night

Dave Northway's not just a police officer, but also an avid cyclist.

"I would hope that your safety would be worth the, I guess it's $15 for this ticket," he said. "I would hope that that amount of money would be worth your life, actually, because getting hit by a car is a very dangerous thing."

Turning what can be a fun and healthy pastime into a deadly choice.

The legislation would still give officers the option of issuing verbal warnings for first offenders. After that, they could begin issuing fines.

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