Bike Bakersfield’s annual Project Light Up The Night is back to usher in daylight savings, with the sun setting early this time of year it is important that all active transportation users be visible on the roadway.
Each year, Bike Bakersfield holds Project Light Up the Night to raise awareness and encourage cyclists, pedestrians, scooterists, and skaters to actively wear lights and reflective clothing to increase their chances of being seen by drivers during evening, dusk, and dark hours.
Stay up to date on all things Project Light Up The Night on the Bike Bakersfield Facebook page.
Project Light Up the Night occurs on the following dates and locations.
- Nov. 7, 6-8 p.m.: Beach Park near the bike path
- Nov. 14, 6-8 p.m.: McKinley Elementary School
- Nov. 21, 3-6 p.m.: David Nelson Pocket Park
- Nov. 27, 6-8 p.m.: Arvin – Location TBA
Sponsors of the program include the Kern Wheelmen, Chain Cohn Stiles, Kern Family Health Care, and Pocrass and De Los Reyes, LLP. The event on Nov. 21 is in partnership with the Apple Core Project. Bike Bakersfield is continually looking for sponsors to help purchase enough lights that will last until the end of the year, as well as volunteers to help distribute light sets.
In 2018 there were 70 collisions involving pedestrians and/or cyclists reported in Bakersfield and 128 in the county that occurred in dark or evening conditions, both in the presence and absence of street lights, according to traffic collision data collected through UC Berkeley’s Traffic Injury Mapping System (TIMS). More accident data from TIMS below.
The majority of accidents involving bikes/pedestrians reported were clustered during after school pick-up times and into the evening on weekdays, and late night during the weekends. Many of these cases could have been helped in some way by a simple light attached to the rider or walker. Even a small red light will shine to drivers behind the wheel and encourage them to slow down.
The CA Vehicle Code 21201 states that all cyclists need:
- “A lamp emitting a white light that…illuminates the highway, sidewalk, or bikeway in front of the bicyclist and is visible from a distance of 300 feet…
- A red reflector or a solid or flashing red light with a built-in reflector on the rear…”
Because of this, Bike Bakersfield encourages any cyclist to have a white front and a red rear light, and the best ones are rechargeable with a phone charger. Being visible to motorists is a key part of staying safe while riding a bicycle on the road, and bright LED lights like those distributed through Project Light Up the Night will let drivers know you’re there.
Project Light Up the Night is made possible by generous sponsors, and a partnership with the Bakersfield City Parks and Recreation Department.
Please note that only one set of lights will be given per person to receive lights.
2018 Traffic Reports Involving Bicyclists and/or Pedestrians in Kern County and Bakersfield
|Number of Bike/Ped Victims reported||Pedestrian Victims||Cyclist Victims||Victim Fatalities||Victims in the dark, evening||Victims Seriously Injured||Victims 14 years and under||Victims 15-19 years|
|Bakersfield: 380,874 (42% of county population)||222||150||63||8||70||38||25||28|
Source: 2018 Data from Traffic Injury Mapping System (UC Berkeley); US Census Bureau