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Cyclists urged to be safe and be seen with shorter days ahead

Cyclists urged to be safe and be seen with shorter days ahead

With the end of Daylight Saving, the NZ Transport Agency and NZ Police are urging cyclists to ‘be bright’ and be seen on the road this autumn.

The agencies kick off the Be Bright campaign this weekend, encouraging cyclists to make sure they have suitable lights on their bikes and always wear high-visibility clothing at dawn, dusk and in bad weather.

“One of the best ways for cyclists to improve their own safety is to wear high-visibility clothing and invest in good quality lights for both the front and rear of their bike,” says NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) safety director Ernst Zollner.

The campaign runs until 30 June and will include roadside checkpoints for cyclists, roving cycle-light ambassadors, competitions and giveaways on popular cycle commuting routes in Auckland, Rotorua, Palmerston North, Wellington, Nelson, and Dunedin.

Police are urging motorists to be on the lookout for cyclists, especially when visibility is poor, around dusk, dawn and in bad weather. Drivers need to take extra care at these times to look for cyclists and cyclists need to take responsibility for their own safety by ensuring they can be seen and are riding safely for the conditions.

Mr Zollner said the NZTA was concerned with the number of recent cycle fatalities and serious injuries.

“As we head into winter, we are reminding both motorists and cyclists of the importance of sharing the road. It’s especially important that drivers give cyclists plenty of room when passing – we recommend 1.5 metres.

“Safety is a shared responsibility for everyone who uses the road, and we need to make sure we look out for each other.”


Key statistics and facts

There are many cycle lights on the market – some are designed to help cyclists be seen by other road users during times of low light, and some lights are designed to help cyclists see where they are going, like a headlight.

When considering cycle lights it is important to be mindful that:

• Headlights should be attached to handlebars and pointing down.

• Your lights can be a hazard if used incorrectly. You must not use vehicle lighting equipment in such a way that it dazzles, confuses, or distracts so as to endanger the safety of other road users.

• Correct use of cycle lighting will make your cycling experience safer and more enjoyable, while ensuring other motorcyclists are not at risk.
The following key points have also been updated in the Road Code for cyclists as below:

A. A red or yellow rear reflector that is visible from a distance of 100 metres when light shines on it.

B. Good brakes on the front and back wheels (or, if the cycle was made before 1 January 1988, a good brake on the back wheel).
When cycling at night or when visibility is poor, cycles must have the following:

C. One or more steady or flashing rear-facing red lights that can be seen at night from a distance of 100 metres.

D. One or two white or yellow headlights that can be seen at night from a distance of 100 metres. Only one of these headlights may flash.

E. Pedal reflectors on the forward and rearward facing surfaces of each pedal. If the cycle does not have these the cyclist must be wearing reflective material.

Penalties for not being visible:
• The fine for no lights on your bike is $55
• The fine for no tail light on your bike is $55
• The fine for no red reflector or tape is $55

Did you know?
• It costs around $25 to $60 for a set of lights.
• For $22 you can buy a high-visibility back pack cover, two slap bands, reflective stickers, an LED bag clip and spoke reflectors from the Bike Wise online shop.


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