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Why StVZO ? (German Road Traffic Licensing Regulations) (StraßenVerkehrs-Zulassungs-Ordnung)
Current LED technology enables bike lights to put out an unbelievable amount of light.
If you have been driving after dark and encountered a cyclist with one of the powerful lights I am sure you will understand the need for some kind of regulation.
It would be easy to put the blame on the powerful Cree LED's but it's not the powerful LED that is causing the blinding effect but the fault is actually in the reflector or lens. As with modern cars fitted with HID/LED lights, a strong cutoff is needed to keep the light aimed at the ground where you need it and not up in the sky. You can compare this with your 'low beam' or 'dipped beam' on your car. It dips right below the hood of oncoming traffic to avoid blinding other traffic. Most bike lights act as high beam because of the simple reflectors. Unlike cars, bikes do not have a regulation for beam patterns in most countries. This is where the German StVZO regulation comes into play.
StVZO To The Rescue!
StVZO requires lights to have a minimum brightness and a beam pattern that has a horizontal cutoff. The brightness must be below a certain value for a certain height to protect the eyes of oncoming traffic. Because blinking lights make it hard to judge speed and distance, STvZO regulations prohibit these too for road use.
What can I do?
We advise cyclists that utilise the public roads to choose for a StVZO approved light (like the FXR-01 or FXR-04 set).
If you are a mountainbiker we advise you to at least carry an approved light in your backpack for when you have to use public roads to get home.
Remember, it's not only for other people's safety but for your personal safety as well!
What are your thoughts on regulation? Necessary or bullsh*t?