29 Mar 2013

Laser Lite Lane: A Tail Light with Lasers

3-Mode 4-LED Red Laser Bicycle Cycling Rear Tail Light 

First, the good news - there's more visibility available for the 'nite riders' with the new bike tail lights that work by projecting two red laser beams onto the ground on either side of the bike. The width of the "lane" can be roughly between two to four feet depending on how the lite is angled from under your seat post. You can choose from two modes, steady lines or flashing beams. It also includes a conventional LED that has three flashing modes.

Now, if you are wondering about how the laser tail light is different from any regular tail light, let me answer that for you. For one, the illumination of the red laser lane clearly marks a space or boundary between the cyclist and any vehicle that's coming from behind and helps them to pass the cyclist more safely at night. Also, it marks a safe following distance for the other cyclists. 

However, should that make the cyclist feel completely safe? Now, this is where the concern steps in, as what tends to happen with add on safety aids is that the cyclists start to get complacent. They feel that since they are riding with something like a laser lite lane marker for instance, they are visible for miles around and so they drop their guard. Well, while the visibility of the cyclist does increase for the vehicles that are following a short distance away, it's not so in the case of the vehicles that are far behind or those that are immediately upon them. Also, let's not forget that the drivers look up at the traffic in front of them and not down at the road where the lasers lines are being illuminated. 

My take on the laser tail light is that it's a good add on safety aid that improves the visibility for cyclists at night. However, it should not make the cyclists forget any of the safety precautions, which include following the traffic rules along with the essentials of wearing a reflective vest, a helmet with a reflective strip and a good headlight while riding at night.