California Vehicle Code, from section 21201:
(d) A bicycle operated during darkness upon a highway, a sidewalk
where bicycle operation is not prohibited by the local jurisdiction,
or a bikeway, as defined in Section 890.4 of the Streets and Highways
Code, shall be equipped with all of the following:
(1) A lamp emitting a white light that, while the bicycle is in
motion, illuminates the highway, sidewalk, or bikeway in front of the
bicyclist and is visible from a distance of 300 feet in front and
from the sides of the bicycle.
(2) A red reflector on the rear that shall be visible from a
distance of 500 feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful
upper beams of headlamps on a motor vehicle.
(3) A white or yellow reflector on each pedal, shoe, or ankle
visible from the front and rear of the bicycle from a distance of 200
(4) A white or yellow reflector on each side forward of the center
of the bicycle, and a white or red reflector on each side to the
rear of the center of the bicycle, except that bicycles that are
equipped with reflectorized tires on the front and the rear need not
be equipped with these side reflectors.
The reflectors and reflectorized tires shall be of a type meeting
requirements established by the department.
(e) A lamp or lamp combination, emitting a white light, attached
to the operator and visible from a distance of 300 feet in front and
from the sides of the bicycle, may be used in lieu of the lamp
required by paragraph (1) of subdivision (d).
The CVC requires a lot of worthless reflectors but does NOT specifically require a blinking red light.
04.5.09 - 11:06 pm
Yes, a rear light is helpful, but according to the vehicle code, it's a bogus ticket.
Even still, it should just be a fix it ticket, correct? Like, get the light and show em it's fixed and I think they discard the ticket...right? Same with car headlights (My left lamp went out recently and I was worried about getting a ticket, but it's replaced now!).
I dunno what you can do about "sticking it to the man" (I sort of feel like you should because that cop is ignorant). I can ask my dad about it if you want me to.
04.6.09 - 9:43 am
What does the tix cite the code that you violated?
As been pointed out already, you don't need a rear light, as strange as that is. Also if you look at the codes, all you need to be legal is something like a 1 inch square piece of reflecting tape for the front and back or each side of the bike, a piece on the front and back of the shoe, pedal or ankle, and a red reflector for the back. All this except the red reflector can be had with a roll of reflective tape found at the 99 cent store.
Really I would spend the money and get a nice bright flashing red light. Bike Planet one seems to be the fav with many ridazz.
04.6.09 - 1:17 pm