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Shorter days are coming – get your lights right

17 March 2005

Shorter days are coming – get your lights right

With the end of daylight savings this Sunday (20 March), Land Transport New Zealand is reminding drivers and cyclists to ‘get their lights right’.

Proper lighting is essential for all road users to see and be seen. Keeping vehicle headlights in good condition makes it easier for drivers to see cyclists (and pedestrians). Cyclists need to comply with their lighting requirements make sure they are visible to drivers.

A survey of New Zealand car owners shows that nearly 20% never check the condition of their headlights. Making sure your headlights and taillights work properly could prevent a serious crash. A recent analysis of crash statistics shows that problems with vehicle lighting equipment contributed to 35 deaths and more than 400 injuries from 1997 to 2003. Common problems include missing lights, lights being fitted incorrectly or the wrong type of light being fitted.

Vehicles with too many lights can also cause crashes by dazzling other road users. Land Transport New Zealand has produced a new brochure which sets out guidelines and legal requirements for fitting and using additional vehicle lighting, such as fog lamps, work lamps and cosmetic lights. The brochure can be found online at www.landtransport.govt.nz/vehicle-safety/get-your-lights-right.html. Copies of the brochure can also be ordered by calling 0800 699 000.

If you’re a cyclist you also need lights and reflectors on your bike to make sure you can be seen by others. Legally you must have lights on your bike at night, and reflectors any time you ride on the road. When you ride at night your bike must have a rear-facing red light and a forward-facing white light. Both of these lights must be able to be seen from a distance of 100 metres.


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