Wyoming Bill Would Make Cyclists Wear Neon

Bike groups criticize proposal

Feb 12, 2015
Outside Magazine
road bicycle urban bike street

The bill would require cyclists to wear at least 200 square inches of fluorescent orange, green, or pink clothing.    Oran Viriyincy/Flickr

Under a bill introduced in the Wyoming legislature in late January, cyclists in the state would be required to wear reflective neon, carry government-issued IDs, and mount rear lights on their bikes. If enacted, the bill would take effect July 1.

House Bill HB0206 has six co-sponsors and very specifically mandates that cyclists on roadways “shall wear not less than 200 square inches of high visibility fluorescent orange, green, or pink color clothing visible from the front and rear of the bicycle.” The rear “light-emitting device” would have to be something like a strobe or flashing light. The government-issued photo ID can be anything from a passport to a driver’s license.

Brian Schilling, coodinator for Jackson Hole Community Pathways, likes having cyclists equip their bikes with rear lights because they’re cheap and have a long battery life. But the neon-attire requirement is too much, he said. “I think that’s a little onerous,” he told the Jackson Hole News and Guide. “My five-year-old kid, I don’t think her entire surface area is 200 inches.”

“This is a deeply concerning bill,” Wyoming Pathways executive director Tim Young told the News and Guide. “This is an inappropriate way to look at bike legislation in Wyoming.” He also wondered whether legislators would also force pedestrians to carry ID and wear neon clothing on public streets.

The six co-sponsors haven’t commented on the bill at this time.

“As far as the actual threat posed to public safety, a far greater good would be achieved by focusing on risky behaviors of motorists,” Schilling told the News and Guide. “Since they are operating vehicles with far greater potential for causing injury or death, they also have greater responsibility for safe operation of those vehicles.”

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