City of Madison Logo
Use a light at night

Be bright: Use lights & reflectors at night


  • A white headlight & red rear reflector are required by law.

  • Additional lights & reflectors can be used as well.

  • Add lights & reflectors to outline your body & identify yourself as a person.

  • Lights & reflectors that move (leg bands, pedal reflectors) catch a driver's attention.

See & Be seen when bicycling at night
Nighttime bicycle riding can be fun and enjoyable. Before heading out at night make sure your lights and reflectors are in good condition.

  • A bright white light on the front of your bike helps you see and be seen by others, and is required by law.

  • A red rear reflector is also required. Flashing red lights can be used as well.

  • A flashing light is better at getting the driver's attention, while a solid light makes it easier for drivers to judge your speed and distance.

  • Adding reflective leg bands, lights that move or flash and wearing a reflective vest or other clothing will help to identify you as a bicyclist to other drivers.

  • Your front light should also allow you to see the road far enough ahead to avoid a hazard. At 15mph, you should be able to see at least 35-50 feet in front of you, and even farther under more adverse road or weather conditions.

  • You need lights on paths and sidewalks as well, so you can see and be seen by other bicyclists, pedestrians and cross traffic.

Remember, there is no such thing as being too visible or too bright when bicycling at night!
Wear your helmet

Bicycle Registration reduces theft

Registering your bike greatly increases the likelihood your bike will be returned to you if recovered.
Plan your Ride
Bike image - 2013: 46 miles of paths, 112 miles of lanes, 7 miles of curb lanes, 116 miles of routes