Cyclists urged to brighten up as shorter days arrive


With the end of daylight savings and autumn settling in, the NZ Transport Agency and New Zealand Police are reminding cyclists to keep safe by brightening up on the roads.

In a bid to reduce cycling casualties the two agencies are introducing new a pilot campaign called Be Bright, which encourages cyclists to have suitable lights on their bikes and wear high-visibility clothing during low-light periods, such as at dawn and dusk, and in poor weather.

“One of the most important things cyclists can do to improve their own safety is to invest in high-visibility clothing and good quality front and rear lights,” says NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) General Manager Access and Use Celia Patrick.

The campaign will be run in Auckland, Wellington, Tauranga, Palmerston North and Nelson.  Each area will run its own unique campaign that will involve a combination of media and ‘on the ground’ promotions.  On the ground promotions include roving police and Be Bright ambassadors, who will target cyclists on popular commuting routes, at cyclist checkpoints and popular bike events.

Ms Patrick said it was also important for motorists to be on the lookout for cyclists.

”The combination of autumn weather conditions with decreasing daylight hours means all road users need to take extra care, especially around dusk, dawn and in weather when visibility is poor.”

The NZTA is promoting safer cycling under the national ‘Safer Journeys’ strategy to reduce the crash risk for cyclists, while at the same time encouraging an increase in cycling through safer roading infrastructure.

Notes to editors

Local Be Bright contacts

Focus areas Key contacts
Auckland region Brian Horspool, Auckland Transport,
Wellington region (incl Hutt City, Wellington City and Kapiti) Claire Pascoe, Greater Wellington Regional Council,
Simon Kennett, Greater Wellington Regional Council,
Palmerston North Kathy McMillan, Sport Manawatu,
Tauranga Karen Smith, Tauranga City Council,
Bruce Galloway, Tauranga City Council,
Nelson Margaret Parfitt, Nelson City Council,
NZ Police Trevor Pullen, NZ Police,

Key statistics and facts

Cyclists are required by law to have:

  • a red or yellow rear reflector that is visible from a distance of 100 metres when light shines on it
  • yellow pedal reflectors, or if their bike does not have these, the cyclist must be wearing reflective material
  • when light is dim or dark, one or more steady or flashing rear-facing bike lights and one or two white or yellow headlights that can be seen at night from a distance of 100m.  If the cycle is fitted with one headlamp, that headlamp may be flashing.  If fitted with two headlamps, only one of the headlamps may be flashing.

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 $30 to $60 for a set of lights
  • An average of over 300 cyclists require hospitalisation each year
  • An average of ten cyclists die due to road accidents each year
  • Seventy three percent of all hospitalised cyclists are male
  • Seventy six percent of cyclists involved in police-reported crashes are male
  • Between 2005 and 2009, approximately nine in every ten reported cyclist casualties occurred on urban roads (roads with a speed limit of 70kph or less)
  • Over half of all cyclist casualties occur on major urban roads (typically busy arterials), rather than on the minor urban roads.