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Light up and be seen this winter

19 May 2008

Light up and be seen this winter

Winter is just weeks away, and this can mean dark and dangerous roads for the city’s cyclists. The Council is urging cyclists to take care by using reflective gear and lights and are helping out by providing discounted vouchers.

This week, Council road safety officers and the Police will stop cyclists on main roads throughout the city to discuss visibility issues. The road safety team are also handing out vouchers for local bike shops which offer a 20 percent discount on lights and reflective safety gear.

The Council’s Urban Development and Transport Portfolio Leader, Councillor Andy Foster says the Council is committed to reminding people to use adequate lighting and reflective gear on their bikes.

“Unfortunately there are still cyclists who choose to ride their bike in the dark without lights. Very simply this is dangerous. It makes it very difficult for them to be seen by drivers, even when you can see them, and greatly increases the risk of accidents.

“While we support cycling as a great way to keep fit and be more mindful of the environment, cyclists must take responsibility for their visibility to other traffic and pedestrians and use lights at the front and back of their bikes,” he says.

There is a higher than average incidence of bike accidents after dark in Wellington City. The most recent figures show that 25 percent of crashes involving cyclists in Wellington happen after dark, compared with the national average of 17 percent.

The revised Road Code (2007 edition) requires all bicycles to have a steady or flashing rear-facing red light that can be seen from a distance of 100 metres and one or two steady or flashing white or yellow headlights that can be seen from a distance of 100 metres. Pedal reflectors or reflective clothing must also be used.

Even during the day, cyclists should wear lights and reflective gear if it is gloomy – and make sure they can be seen from front, back and sides. They should also remember to check their batteries regularly.

If you need a bike light and would like a voucher, please call the Council on 499 4444.


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