Wednesday night means free bike lights
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Wednesday night means free bike lights

An event Wednesday evening will offer local riders free bicycle lights and information on riding safely and legally after dark.

"Light the Night," sponsored by the City of Tucson, PAG and Living Streets Alliance, will take place at 5 p.m. at the corner of North Campbell Avenue and East 3rd Street.

Organizers point out that with sunset falling earlier this time of year, bike riders "need to light themselves up a little earlier to be visible and be in compliance with traffic laws."

Those without lights can be ticketed and fined $184 for not riding with a front headlight or rear reflector.

Organizers will help Tucson cyclists outfit their bikes with lights and reflectors needed for night riding. Sets of front and rear lights will be installed on bikes for free.

Since October 2015, more than 400 light sets and 65 free helmets for youth have been distributed at locations across the metropolitan region.

Volunteers from the Living Streets Alliance will install the lights, as well as distribute safe bicycling tips and information about laws related to cyclists. Helping to hand out the lights will be Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, PAG Director Farhad Moghimi and Tucson Police Department motorcycle sergeants.

Each month at different locations across the region, teams of volunteers will distribute free front and rear light sets to people on bikes spotted riding without them. Volunteers will also have a number of free bicycle helmets available for youth under 18 and safety education material available in both Spanish and English.

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According to the most recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 69 percent of bicyclist fatalities in 2012 in the United States were in urban areas, and 48 percent of bicyclist deaths occurred between 4 p.m. and midnight, organizers said in a news release.

Arizona state law requires that a bicycle operated at night have a white light on its front that is visible from 500 feet, as well as a red reflector visible from 50-300 feet, or a red light viewable from at least 500 feet.

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