"Light the Night" encourages bike safety with bike light giveaway

VIDEO: "Light the Night" encourages bike safety with bike light giveaway
Published: Jan. 27, 2017 at 8:53 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 28, 2017 at 12:16 AM EST
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Source: WCSC
Source: WCSC

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Charleston Moves hosted its bi-annual event and education campaign called "Light the Night 3.0."

It's a nonprofit organization that advocates for "enhanced conditions for walking and riding a bike in Charleston County."

The group gave away free bike lights for the first 1,500 people who came out. It's in partnership with the Eastside Community Development Corporation. The giveaway took place at Eastside's Hampstead Square at the corner of Columbus St. and America St.

Walter Boags regularly travels by bike.

"My favorite light malfunctioned on Monday...I was glad to see that this was available," Boags said.

Boags says it's important for bicyclists to wear their lights. State law make it a requirement,  a red one goes in the back and a white one goes in the front.

"I collided with someone who didn't have lights and didn't pay attention, mine were flashing and 'bam,' and that was on the Cooper River Bridge." he said.

They were okay, but that's not always the case especially if it's an accident involving a car.

In 2014, 726 bicyclists were killed in crashes with motor vehicles according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. At least three people were killed in our area last year.

Savannah Brennan is the interim executive director, of Charleston Moves. She's in the fight for pedestrian and bicyclist friendly roads with a mission to educate.

"Pedestrians and bicyclists are just as important and they're the vulnerable road users in our system so we need to recognize that," Brennan said.

She says today was not only about lights, but also about educating bicyclists. Brennan commutes to work on her bike.

"We hear a lot about what bicyclists shouldn't be doing getting in the way of cars, so it's important to know what we are allowed to do," Brennan said.

Some of their rights are listed on spoke cards the group handed out at the event. For example, bicyclists can ride in the lane to avoid debris or a car door, they can ride two abreast, and they must obey stop signs and red lights.

"I hope that our elected officials are listening I hope that they recognize that most constituents are asking for safe access," Brennan said.

While there have been several discussions in the community on ways to make the roads safer, Brennan and Boags would like to see action.

"There's a lot of room for improvement like bike lanes that actually continue instead of suddenly disappear at the convenience of cars," Boags said.

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