BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The streets of Baton Rouge are a little brighter at night, thanks to a partnership between Bike Baton Rouge and the Baton Rouge Police Department.
"We are proud to be in partnership with Bike Baton Rouge and partaking in this outreach program," said Baton Rouge Police Chief Carl Dabadie Jr. "Getting the proper equipment and knowledge to individuals riding bicycles throughout our community is vital to a rider's safety."
On Friday, May 20, Bike Baton Rouge donated 100 front and rear taillights to the police department. The light packet includes a pamphlet with the rules of the road and general safety tips.
"The first shipment we used was for the Mayor's fitness event down at City Park and we met all ages of riders from beginner to very experienced bike riders," said Sgt Kyle Callihan, an officer with the Baton Rouge Police Department assigned to the bike division. "The remainder was brought downtown. We have a growing nightlife on Third Street. We were able to pass out the remainder to those who decide to ride bikes. We found them to not have proper lights, so we educated them and passed out the lights."
Because riding without lights is illegal, officers could have issued a ticket. However, the donation came with a little stipulation – no ticket.
"BRPD uniformed officers will give out the lights and issue a warning, explaining that it is against the law and how unsafe it is to ride at night without reflective gear and proper lighting," said Cpl. L'Jean McKneeley.
The program has been such a success that a second order of 100 lights has already been delivered, thanks to a generous donation from Doug Ramsey and Danita LeBlanc.
"At this rate, however, those won't last very long," said Mika Torkkola, President of Bike Baton Rouge.
A portion of the lights will be available at a Bake to School safety event hosted by Lexlee's Kids being held at Cortana Mall.
"If you want a light and want to come out and get some education on how ride properly and how to share the road with motor vehicles on June 25 at Cortana mall from 9 to noon," said Sgt. Callihan. "I'd like to see you there."