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Amber bike lights can improve daytime visibility. This makes sense because white light looks similar to sunlight and amber light stands out more clearly. Being seen sooner means that drivers have more time to react. Possible situations that benefit from improved visibility include users changing lanes, traffic circles, users turning, drivers opening their doors, users waiting at cross streets, and oncoming users passing. Also, amber may be easier on our eyes which can improve safety even more.

The question is whether it's legal to use them in BC? Does the BC Motor Vehicle Act say anything about it?

If it's not legal, then a possible alternative might be to avoid strobe patterns.

Dinotte sells amber bike headlights. http://www.dinottelighting.com/LED_bike_lights/dinotte-daytime-amber-aa-headlight.htm

Video of a Dinotte amber light being used:

From local bike stores, it's getting more common for bike lights to have amber for sides. https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5053-077/Bottle-Blinky-Sidelight https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5055-194/Urban-900-Light

Here's are some custom made ones.

https://www.instructables.com/id/High-Powered-Yellow-Bike-Light-FrontSide-Combo/

  • Your question is specific to Canada, but it could be interesting to expand this globally. – Criggie Dec 27 '17 at 21:56
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BC Canada

https://engineering.ok.ubc.ca/__shared/assets/Bike_Sense-Nov0552189.pdf says

After dark, all cyclists are required by law to have a front white headlight visible for a minimum of 150 metres, a rear red light which should be visible for a minimum of 100 metres, and a rear red reflector visible for 100 metres when directly illuminated by a car headlight. Many rear red bicycle lights sold currently are also designed to function as a reflector and are legally acceptable. Flashing red rear lights are also acceptable. Lights and reflective devices come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, colours, and costs and should be mounted directly on the bicycle.

There's an implication at the end that body-mounted lights are bad, but whether that's law or a suggestion is not stated.

There's no stated restriction on colour. The only mention of flashing relates to the rear light which is permitted.

http://www.icbc.com/road-safety/sharing/Pages/cycling-safety.aspx says

Your bicycle must be equipped with a white headlight visible at 150 metres and a rear red light/reflector visible at 100 metres

https://www.thenoteup.com/single-post/2017/02/28/Helmets-and-bike-lights-BCs-cycling-laws reiterates the same. Neither make mention of flashing fronts.

ANSWER Ambiguous - but you're unlikely to get in trouble for the colour of your lights. Flashing seems to be conspicuously absent for anything but rear lights.

  • Curiously, BC requires helmet usage, and has a $100 fine for not wearing one. I was unaware anywhere but AU and NZ had mandated helmet use. – Criggie Dec 27 '17 at 22:25
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New Zealand

There are no specific restrictions on daytime use for bicycle lights.

At night a bicycle is required to have:

One or two white or yellow headlights that can be seen at night from a distance of 200 metres. Only one of these headlights may flash.

from http://www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/roadcode/cyclist-code/about-equipment/cycle-equipment/

Legal details date from 2011 https://www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/rules/vehicle-lighting-amendment-2011/ Most of the laws talk about motor vehicles including motor cycles but make little mention of human powered cycles.

It is illegal in New Zealand to display a blue light (police only) or green light (doctor/medical private car on emergency) at any time.

ANSWER there is nothing preventing you using an amber light on a bike in NZ at any time of the day or night.

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