Mandatory Bike Lights On OC Roads Considered

OCEAN CITY – A committee in Ocean City is moving forward with plans to submit a recommendation requiring lights on all bikes traveling the resort’s roads.

In a Coastal Resources Legislative Committee, or Green Team, meeting Wednesday, Gail Blazer, the town’s environmental engineer, relayed ongoing efforts to amend an ordinance that would mandate lights on all bikes traveling along all roadways in Ocean City.

Blazer said the town currently has an ordinance that requires lights on bikes traveling along highways, but does not include all roadways.

“It doesn’t say all streets, allies, roadways or even city roads,” she said.

The goal, Blazer explained, would be to change the ordinance to include all roadways in town.

Blazer said recent incidents in Ocean City, including a hit-and-run collision that claimed the life of a J-1 visa student last month, prompted action from the committee.

“In the meantime, we’ve had a tragedy and we think it’s timely to get something written up,” she said.

Blazer suggested the committee recommend the ordinance change to another committee, such as the Police Commission.

“I don’t think it’s the Green Team that would change that ordinance,” she said, “but we can make a recommendation from here to that committee.”

Blazer said the committees would have to get the police department on board with enforcing the ordinance on all streets in town before any changes take place.

Councilman Tony DeLuca, liaison for the Green Team, encouraged the police department’s input. He also expressed an interest in finding grants to purchase the lights for those without one.

“If they don’t have one, we’ll install it,” he said.

While the Green Team has no plans to draft the ordinance change, Blazer said the committees would work together to find grants and work with local law enforcement.

DeLuca stressed the importance of having lights on bikes in town.

“The Walmart reflectors just don’t cut it,” he said.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.