Allowing bicycles to be fitted with stop lamps and direction-indicator lamps is a good idea, say cyclists.
Cycling Advocates Network spokesman Patrick Morgan says updating the rules around bicycle lights makes sense.
"With bright LEDs and powerful batteries, modern bike lights are better than ever. Allowing stop lights and turn indicators on bikes is a sensible move, but these are no substitute for clear hand signals, using lots of eye contact with other road users, and safe riding habits."
Advances in lighting technology mean that stop lamp and indicator systems are now available for
bicycles. The Road User Rule currently specifically prohibits such systems, but it is proposed that this provision be removed as there is no reason for retaining it.
Radio Live interview
did a 2 minute interview with Maggie Barry on Radio Live, and took a call from NZPA.
and DomPost: Cyclists welcome lighting changes
Cyclists are welcoming a move to allow bikes to be fitted with stop lights and indicators, but are warning they will be no substitute for safe riding habits.
Stop and indicator lights are currently prohibited on bicycles, but would be allowed under proposed changes to vehicle lighting rules.
The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) said the current ban was out of step with international practice and recent advances in lighting technology for bicycles.
The lights would increase the visibility and safety of cyclists, particularly in darkness or low visibility.
They would not be compulsory and cyclists could still indicate their intentions by hand.
Cycling Advocates Network spokesman Patrick Morgan said cyclists thought the move was a good idea.
"With bright LEDs and powerful batteries, modern bike lights are better than ever," he said.
"Allowing stop lights and turn indicators on bikes is a sensible move, but these are no substitute for clear hand signals, using lots of eye contact with other road users, and safe riding habits."
An average of 10 cyclists are killed and about 750 injured in crashes every year.
The proposal is among a number the NZTA has put forward for public consultation.
Among the changes is a proposal to make stop and indicator lights compulsory on all new light trailers registered from April 12, 2012.
The lights are not currently required if the driver's hand signals are visible.
Other changes would bring vehicle lighting rules in line with international standards and allow for new technologies.
Public submissions close November 5.
Timaru Herald: Cyclists doubtful on indicators
Think bike accessories, think drink bottle holders, cycle computers - indicators and brake lights?
If a change to the Land Transport Rule; Vehicle lighting Amendment (2001) goes through as proposed, indicators and brake lights could become the latest bicycle accessories.
At present it is illegal to have stop and direction-indicator lamps on bikes, but the proposed change would reverse that. Yet it is not a move that excited Timaru bike shop operators yesterday.
Both Andrew Lawry, of The Cyclery, and Graeme Howes, of Avanti Plus Howes Cycles, recall brake lights and indicators that were available 20-plus years ago.
The indicators were sold as a bolt-on kitset and were battery operated. Mr Lawry described them as "messy and troublesome".
The brake lights were around about 10 years ago but, not being good sellers, ended up in the specials bin. One type of light was attached to the brake cable while another was built in to the brake shoe.
Unless the indicators were self-cancelling, Mr Lawry suggested they could actually be dangerous, with motorists expecting a cyclist to make a turn, when they had done so earlier but then failed to cancel the signal.
While he had nothing against brake lights in principle, Darren Gelson, of Bike Inc, said any such light would need to be independent of the front or rear lights. It would also need to be bright enough to be seen.
Indicators are now permitted
They were made legal a couple of years ago. Ah yes...here's the rule amendment that allows them.