Lighting regulations, front and rear.
Federal Law authorizing modulators.
California & other States.
How pulsing light affects humans.
Also see Part 6 of: http://bmwmotorcycletech.info/lamps.htm
© Copyright 2019, R. Fleischer
Headlight modulators are, or can be controversial, with differing viewpoints & arguments for & against. Some find modulators annoying. I believe that is, perhaps not always, folks seeing OTHER folks' modulators, not their own. Some are concerned about oncoming drivers fixating on one's modulating headlight & aiming for them, this seems to come from the idea that a motorcyclist tends to ride to wherever they fixate on. Studies have shown that adding lights at the rear (& in some instances the sides) of motorcycles makes them more visible and recognized earlier. For the rear, the lights should be red & as differentiated as possible between Run & Brake. Bright clothing, greenish-yellowish helmets, etc. ...all have been shown to reduce accidents. I see no one arguing about 'fixating' on THEM.
Whether or not to install a headlight modulator on YOUR bike, is a personal choice; the USA government has not made them mandatory. My comments in this article apply to the USA, as headlight modulators may not be legal in some other Countries.
There ARE reasons that motorcycles are specified, since 1978 in California, & specified in many other States, to automatically, upon ignition turn-on, to power headlights ON, without having to manually turn the headlight(s) on. State law & Federal law are not necessarily the same thing, but, typically, Federal law supersedes. In this instance, always on headlights after a certain year model does apply. There is also an argument about certain cars, such as late models, having constant-on headlights ...the argument usually is negative, as motorcyclists want only themselves to have such lights, to differentiate between them and cars. That's a decent argument, but tends to favor modulators in use during the daytime.
Many safety agencies ...and other studies, ...have proven that safety is enhanced for motorcyclists having modulated headlights ...as the pulsing light attracts attention, particularly important to a motorcyclist, who wants, or should want, an oncoming driver to notice & recognize that a motorcycle is there. This has been shown to reduce left-turn accidents, & in general, reduce most biking accidents. Studies have also proven that bright clothing and certain colors of helmets help reduce accidents considerably. I conducted experiments with various lights. I did a lot of experiments with various reflective stripes on my sidecar rig. I did experiments while riding my two-wheeler too (LOTS of experiments). I additionally did experiments while wearing my white helmet and also with my fluorescent yellow-greenish intensely colored helmet, & have put an article on this subject here: http://bmwmotorcycletech.info/recog-safety.htm
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