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Virginia Highway Safety Office News Releases

Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Media Contact: Brandy Brubaker
Department of Motor Vehicles
(804) 367-6834

DMV Encourages Bicyclists to Maximize Visibility
Use Lights, Reflectors and Bright Colors to Be Seen When Riding

RICHMOND - The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) encourages bicyclists to make themselves - and their movements - visible to motorists, day or night.

Visibility is this month's theme in DMV's summer bicycle safety campaign. The campaign, dubbed "Show the World," comes in anticipation of Richmond 2015, a nine-day cycling competition expected to bring 450,000 spectators and 1,000 athletes from all over the world to Central Virginia. The event, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Road World Championships, will take place from September 19-27.

Twelve bicyclists were killed in crashes in Virginia last year. Half of these deaths occurred as a result of crashes in the six-hour time span between 6 p.m. and midnight.

DMV invites bicyclists to help draw attention to this important safety topic by sharing photos on social media of how they make themselves visible when riding in their communities. To be included on DMV social media (VirginiaDMV), use #SafetyLooksGoodOnYou on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

"Put on your brightest t-shirt and some bike reflectors and lights and help us 'Show the World' how Richmond values bicycle safety," said DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb, the Governor's Highway Safety Representative. "Being seen on a bicycle is a critical part of safe riding -- the brighter the better."

To increase visibility, DMV's Virginia Highway Safety Office (VAHSO) encourages bicyclists to choose bright-colored, reflective clothing.

Headlights, taillights, and reflectors are great ways to make a bicycle more noticeable, particularly at night. According to state code, every bicycle must be equipped with a white headlight and a red reflector when operated from sunset to sunrise. In addition, a bicycle or its rider must be equipped with a red taillight when traveling on a roadway with a speed limit of at least 35 mph during the same hours.

VAHSO also recommends using the concept of biomotion to increase visibility day or night. A bicyclist should affix reflective lights on moving parts of the body and the bike, like your knees or ankles and your bike's spokes or pedals. Studies have shown that biomotion helps drivers more quickly distinguish an approaching object as a moving person rather than a stationary reflective sign or other road marker.

Children still have time to join in the "Show the World" campaign by coloring a Snap Dragon bicycle safety coloring page available at Snap Dragon, DMV's mascot, is wearing a helmet to promote bicycle safety. Parents can mail their children's coloring pages by July 31 to DMV, Communications Office, P.O. Box 27412, Richmond, VA 23269. They will be displayed at the Richmond Central Customer Service Center, 2300 West Broad Street, during the months of August and September.

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