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Can You Ride a Bike at Night Without Lights

can you ride a bike at night without lights

The best thing about riding a bike is that it allows you to use it any day. You can use it early in the morning before the sun shows up or use it during the night. But how important is using a bike light during the night?

Can you ride a bike at night without lights? Actually, it is only safe to ride your bike at night with the help of bike lights. Proper lighting is essential when dealing with other road users. Bike lights will help you to become more visible on the road, which also helps in enhancing your safety.

It is All About Safety

is it illegal to ride a bike without lights

The truth is, it is only safe to ride a bike at night with the proper lighting. Dealing with road traffic will require you to be visible during the night. Bike lights are not only mandatory at night, but it also provides a lot of functionalities when biking in the dark.

Bike lights are also essential when navigating bridges and tunnels that are dark and have little visibility. Furthermore, as a responsible bike rider, it is your obligation to be visible to other road users all the time. This rule applies to everyone who is using the road.

Having properly-equipped lights on your bike is a part of the safety measure that you can do aside from wearing the helmet, knee pads, and elbow pads. But the most crucial thing when driving in the dark is proper lighting.

The biker’s safety is the most significant consequence when not using bike lights. A study conducted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission states that 46% of all cycling fatalities usually happen at night, with 8% of the bikers being involved in collisions with properly-equipped bike lights.

This study shows that most of the accidents that happen on the road are caused by the lack of visibility from the bikers. It also indicates the importance of using bike lights when biking in the dark.

Is it Illegal to Ride a Bike Without Lights

what is the fine for riding a bike without lights

Bike Reflectors as Required by Law

The federal regulation states that new bicycles and mountain bikes must be built with and sold with bike reflectors. Riding in the dark with reflectors on the bike is not legal. For this reason, do not remove all the reflectors in a new bike, such as the amber pedal reflector, the clear front reflector, and the red rear reflector.

Bike Lights as Required by Law

To be specific about it, there are no federal regulations that require manufacturers to put active lighting on bikes. So, it is expected that new bikes will have no lighting. However, for your safety, the bikers must enhance their visibility with headlights and taillights for their safety.

Please note that bike lights will help the biker when biking in the dark and also let you see road hazards ahead. When it comes to bike lights, you need to check on the state regulations in the state you are living in regarding the headlight bike requirement.

Some states require bikers to install white headlights on their bike when riding in the dark. These headlights should extend at least 500 feet ahead to help bikers see what lies ahead. As far as tail lights are concerned, it is required to use tail lights colored in red.

In addition, using a helmet with a rear red light is also an excellent alternative for bikers. This equipment can enhance the biker’s safety when biking in the dark.

What is the fine for riding a bike without lights?

The fine of riding without a bike light during the night varies from one place to the other. It all depends on the traffic rules and regulations between states. For example, in Oregon, bikes must have active and passive lighting.

Active lighting are those bike lights we installed on our bicycles to allow you to see what lies ahead on a dark road. On the other hand, passive lighting is those reflective materials or reflectors we use on the bike. This lighting will support or supplement the active light we use on the bike.

If a biker is riding at night or in any other limited visibility conditions, law enforcement in your place can apprehend you and write you a traffic ticket. This action is for the violation of bicycle equipment requirements.

When a biker is ticketed, the fine for the biker ranges from $60 to a maximum of $250. And an additional $110 fine that you will need to pay to settle the citation without you appearing in court. Some states allow bikers to attend traffic school in exchange for paying fines for traffic violations.


Can you ride a bike at night without lights? The answer is negative. You cannot ride a bike without light because it is too dangerous. If you want to be safe on the road, your bike must be appropriately equipped with bike lights to enhance your road visibility from other users. Second, the law states it is not allowed to bike in the bark without a bike light. So, expect a fine for violating the law when a traffic enforcer catches you on the road.

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