To ring or not to ring…

Bicycle Indiana recently learned that tucked away on page 269, of an omnibus bill from the 2016 session, was the deletion of the legal requirement for a bell on a bicycle.

bike bell

I ❤ my bike!

The Indiana Code that required this is 9-21-11-8. All that remains of the code is:
A bicycle may not be equipped with and a person may not use upon a bicycle a siren or whistle.

I have no idea why this was changed. Bicycle Indiana wasn’t consulted about this change, nor do I personally know of anyone who this was discussed with.

When I first starting riding road bicycles, it was taboo to put such a hideous piece of equipment on your bicycle, along with the safety reflectors that came with the bicycle – those MUST be removed. 🙂

As I’ve grown in my bicycling lifestyle, I appreciate having a bell on my bike. It is a good way to signal your presence on the trail and on the road. My voice is not as consistent as my bell.

The big question is; do we think this is a good change in our state law? Will it make a difference to anyone? I don’t think that people put bells on the bike to follow the letter of the law. I think they put them on as part of their safety. Should bells be a recommended piece of equipment from the bike shop? Will bell sales decline because they are no longer required by law? Do bells really matter?

I for one, will continue to use my bell, as a gentle signal to other bicyclists, pedestrians, etc. that I am also on the road/trail with them.

–Nancy Tibbett, executive director, Bicycle Indiana

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About Bicycle Indiana

Creating a more bicycle-friendly Indiana.
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