Cupid Gives Columbia Bicyclists Coupons for Free Taillights

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COLUMBIA - Just in time for Valentine's Day, "Cupid" is giving out coupons to Columbia bicyclists for a free bike taillight.

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GetAbout Columbia, a collaboration between Columbia's Parks and Recreation and Public Works Department, left coupons on bikes all around Columbia Thursday afternoon.

The coupon can be traded in for a bike taillight.

The taillight flashes a bright, red light and is meant to bring awareness to an often forgotten city ordinance.

It says every person with a bike on a street or a highway around sunset or sunrise must have a front facing lamp on the front or carried by the rider, a rear-facing red reflector, colorless or amber reflectors on both front and rear surfaces of all pedals, and a side-facing colorless or amber reflector on each side of a wheel.

Janet Godon, the outreach coordinator for GetAbout Columbia, said bicyclists that don't follow the rules have been creating issues.

"We really want cyclists to ride in a safe and responsible manner," she said. "It's very difficult to see cyclists when they are riding at night without a light."

Godon said bicyclists often misinterpret the motives for having safety bike lights.

"A lot of people think that your lights are for you to see the ground before you," she said. "But it's really for motor vehicle drivers and other cyclists to see you coming."

Bicyclists that fail to meet state bike laws, can be ticketed.

GetAbout Columbia will pass out the coupons again on Friday.