Be Bright on Your Bike

By: Community Officer Erik Pearce

The UW-Madison Police Department wants you to “Be Bright” on your bike at night.   

Did you know: all cyclists must have a white front light visible from at least 500 feet away and a red rear reflector (or red light) visible to others between 50 and 500 feet? These lights are required if you ride on a street, path, or a sidewalk. Proper lighting helps you see, and be seen — it’s essential to safe cycling! Failing to have proper lighting could result in a $162 fine — but worse, it could lead to a crash.

Thanks to a recent partnership with the City of Madison, UWPD conducted random patrols on campus streets and bike paths this fall. We stopped bicyclists at night that didn’t have appropriate lighting and educated the rider about bike light laws. Instead of a fine, as part of our “Be Bright” initiative, we installed a free set of lights on the rider’s bike.

If you choose to bike in Madison and on campus, please:

  • Have appropriate bike lights
  • Stop at stop signs and red lights
  • Yield to pedestrians
  • Wear a bike helmet

Being “bright” means more than lighting — it means being smart when you ride!