WV retailer leads charge for LED lights on motorcycle frames

Publish Date: 
Dec 2, 2013

MARTINSBURG, W.V. - A retailer and rider is working with state legistlators to pass a bill that would allow LED lighting on motorcycle frames to make them more visible at night.

Bob Cunningham, who owns B&R Motorcycle shop, is working with West Virginia Delegate John Overington to move the bill. Overington, also a rider, got it through the state house last year, but the bill stalled in the state senate as budget bills took precedence.

Overington will reintroduce the bill, HB 2477, next year. He plans to work with delegates on the Roads and Transportation Committee on getting the bill acknowledged early on the agenda. Delegates who ride motorcyles co-sponsored the bill and show bipartisan support. Overington told the Martinsburg Journal-News.

Cunningham said he has had one accident in the 40 years that he has been riding. He sought to change the law after he received a traffic ticket for riding while using aftermarket LED lighting on his 105th anniversary Harley-Davidson Slider Glide custom.

He gathered more than 1,000 signatures for a petition in support of the bill and provided Overington with a sample of lighting parts in different colors and a portable battery, which Overington used for a demonstration for delegates.

In the proposed bill, the auxiliary lighting would be optional, and white and amber lights would be used so motorists would not confuse the LED lighting with emergency vehicles. The additional lighting costs about $50 to $300, depending on the type of lighting and installation.

"I've spent a number of years riding motorcycles," Overington said. "We all know that there often is a visibility problem of auto drivers not seeing motorcyclists. This would enhance our visibility and, therefore, our safety on motorcycles."

If the bill passes, Cunningham would like to work with Overington to push to make adding lights of any color legal or adapt motorcycle laws similar to those in force in Maryland, as long as they do not distract other drivers.

Posted  by Holly Wagner