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SALT LAKE CITY — With an end to daylight saving time, it gets dark not long after 5 p.m., and pedestrians and cyclists without lights and reflective gear become nearly impossible to spot by motorists.
In Utah, there are three times as many bike fatalities after sunset as there are in the daylight, and a coalition of transportation organizations is working to change that.
For a third year, Salt Lake City Transportation partnered with Bike Utah, University of Utah Commuter Services and UTA to give out free bicycle lights.
Alexander Martinez was grateful. He rides several miles a day.
"It just boosts me up a little bit, gives me faith that there are still good people out here,” Martinez said.
"A bike, for a lot of people, is their only mode of transportation,” said Salt Lake City Transportation Planner Alexis Verson. “They have to use it at night sometimes; they want to be safe.”
It's not only a good idea, it’s state law. If you're riding in the dark, or in times of low visibility, your bike must have a white headlight, a red taillight or reflectors visible from at least 500 feet.
"Visibility increases two or three times if you have lights,” Verson said.
The lights were given out at a special event on Salt Lake City’s west side Monday evening, but there are still some available. Anyone interested in receiving a free bike light should send an email to email@example.com.