Hotspur - Like I said before I understand not wanting to get hurt when you hit someone.
I use a headlamp type light :
http://www.joejoetheclown.com/bman04/ph ... to_99.html
instead of a bike light exactly so I can spot short rebar, if not a whole person, as I race across the playa. Head lamps can give you more control if thats what you want.
My one contention is that one of the biggest reason I come to the playa is to take risks that I'm not allowed to take at home. AND to be around people willing to live in a time & place that isn't made "safe" for them by others.
I understand that perhaps people only want to take calculated risks or risks while doing something worth getting hurt while experiencing. To that end, I think this is a problem that can be handled without heckling, giving out lights, or even worrying about unlit people. (Not that I'm saying you shouldn't try those methods.) Even fast moving bikes can be seen with a headlamp. I find other unlit bikes much less distressing than holes & unmarked rebar which are very hard to spot.
Mind you - if you're impaired & riding fast & someone else is unlit & riding fast - potential crash for sure.
Diane - You make a good point about us rallying around the raped or robbed. However, I can see a unlit person coming if I want to. If they are hell bent on riding fast & hitting someone - they'll hit you lit or not.
So are others lights the real problem then? Maybe the problem is really someone who messed up, riding fast and recklessly - who would likely hit you anyway.
I spent alot of time touching art car passengers, pedestrians, & other bikers that where that close to me as I rode by - and yelling "got you!" or "tag!"
Only tangentially related:
Frankly the whole fire monitoring/pyro pass is an another element of making us "safe" (that I realize might be necessary for the event to be permitted) is just plain sad. Its Burning Man - and you can't burn things without jumping through infinite hoops. I will guarantee we will be burning things (without leaving burn scars) but probably not following all the rules. I want the danger back. I want to be able to blow things up - without creating a formal perimeter - just common sense - if you don't want to die - back the fuck up - you tell people - light it - & let them sort themselves out after that.
Every single year I witness or know someone who sustains injuries that require serious medical attention: 3rd degree burns, giant gashes, breaks, things that need stitches. I take it as a matter of fact & eventuality. I realize that doesn't mean we shouldn't try not to get hurt - but it doesn't seem like such a big deal. I don't know one person who was seriously injured that tried to create rules, monitor others, or sue the Org because of their injury. Each of them heals & comes back next year.
I realize everyone draws the line for risk & safety at different places.
This isn't black and white - totally safety or constantly risking death.
This is just my random 2 cents on this.