New Zealand’s motoring and cycling organisations have joined forces to
urge young cyclists to brighten up and to urge motorists to make space for cyclists.
"With the return of students to schools and universities, plus the onset
of winter, cyclists should brighten up for morning, afternoon, evening, and
bad weather riding. High-visibility riding gear and brighter lights are cheap
and popular, and every cyclist should use them," says Cycling Advocates'
Network (CAN) spokesperson Stephen McKernon.
Mike Noon, the AA’s General Manager for Motoring Affairs, says “drivers
need to be alert for cyclists, especially at intersections. At this time of
year we all need to make a special effort to look out for cyclists - give them
at least one and a half metres when overtaking, and if it's not safe to pass
"Motorists and cyclists both have rights and responsibilities on the roads.
They both have a right to safe and enjoyable travel, and both have a responsibility
to understand and respond positively to each other’s needs," says
42 per cent of cyclist casualties in 2005 were aged under 24, and 60 per cent
of cyclist crashes took place at driveways and intersections, according to Ministry
of Transport statistics.
The Road Code says that when riding at night (from 30 minutes after sunset
until 30 minutes before sunrise) bicycles must have:
- a red or yellow reflector at the back of the bike;
- a steady or flashing rear-facing red light that can be seen at night from
a distance of 100 metres;
- one or two white or yellow headlights that can be seen at night from a distance
of 100 metres (one of these forward facing lights may flash); and
- yellow pedal reflectors or the rider must be wearing reflective material.
The Road Code also advises motorists to:
- allow at least 1.5 metres between them and a cyclist when passing;
- wait for a clear space before passing a cyclist on a narrow road;
- at intersections, apply the same rules to cyclists as they would to any
other vehicle on the road;
- only drive across a cycle lane when entering or leaving side roads, driveways
or parking spaces;
- give way to cyclists if crossing a cycle lane; and
- take extra care around young cyclists.
Further information on sharing the road with cyclists and the rules for cyclists
can be found in The official New Zealand Road Code, available at all AA Centres
or online at www.landtransport.govt.nz/roadcode