TITLE 92: TRANSPORTATION
CHAPTER I: DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
SUBCHAPTER e: TRAFFIC SAFETY (EXCEPT HAZARDOUS MATERIALS)
PART 426 BICYCLE REFLEX REFLECTOR REQUIREMENTS
SECTION 426.5 INTRODUCTION
Section 426.5 Introduction
a) From a review of the history of reflectors and their use in highway traffic and the specific use of the term reflex reflector in Section 11-1507, the Department of Transportation has interpreted the term reflex reflector to mean a reflective device which reflects visible light – and with respect to that spectral range of the incident light which it does reflect (at any given orientation of the source and reflector) – reflects substantially all of the light back in the direction of the incident source, independent of the relative positioning of the source with respect to the reflector.
b) We do not believe that the Legislature intended to limit the type of material which could be used to make reflex reflectors for use in fulfilling the requirements of Section 11-1507. We do believe that the Legislature did intend to exclude non-rigid reflecting materials such as tapes, sheetings, etc. These materials may or may not be reflex reflectors in the sense defined above depending upon how they are mounted at the time such determination is made. Our approval must be made with respect to devices which meet performance specifications which are independent of how the device is ultimately mounted on the bicycle. That is, the performance requirements of the device when mounted on the bicycle must be the same as those of the unmounted device in the laboratory under similar conditions. Therefore, as a practical matter reflective material such as tapes, sheetings, etc., cannot be considered for approval in connection with Section 11-1507, in their unmodified, manufactured state. This fact does not, however, preclude the use of these materials as a component of a reflective device, which if otherwise meeting the requirements of this rule, will be approved.
c) The term visible from a distance of ... 500 feet is the only statutory performance requirement indicated by the statute (200 feet in the case of pedal reflectors). It is our interpretation that a prime intent of this statute was to make, to the extent physically possible, all reflectors used in the traffic mix alike as far as visual performance requirements are concerned. Therefore, the bicycle reflectors should be visible at 500 feet to the same degree as reflectors required to be used on vehicles which use public highways.
d) For this reason, we are adopting at this time the federal requirements for reflection used on motor vehicles.
e) Because of size limitation imposed on bicycle pedal reflectors, the Legislature statutorily set a less vigorous standard requiring a bicycle pedal reflector to be visible only from 200 feet. In this regard, we have interpreted the legislation to mean that pedal reflectors must perform photometrically at 200 feet just like the other reflectors perform at 500 feet.
f) Since reflector usage will have a degrading effect on the visual performance of reflectors, it is necessary that reflectors meet reasonable mechanical tests in order to assure that normal wear and tear over the lifetime of a reflector will not degrade the reflector to such an extent as to cause its visual performance characteristics to fall below those originally established. It is for this reason that certain mechanical tests are required in the rule as part of the performance requirements of reflectors even though the statute itself only indicated a visual performance standard.
g) It should be noted that Section 11-1507 only fixes the kinds of reflectors which can be used for fulfilling the requirements of Section 11-1507 itself. Section 11-1507 does not preclude the use (in addition to approved reflectors) of other types of reflectors (e.g. sheeting, different colors, etc.) or the use of lower performance reflectors. It merely requires that only approved reflectors can be used in fulfilling the requirements of Section 11-507.
h) No standards are set and this rule does not address factors concerning other types of reflectors, but only reflectors which can be used in meeting the mandates of Section 11-1507.