Young cyclists urged to brighten up

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.

20 April 2007

Young cyclists urged to brighten up

"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 then wait."

"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 Mr Noon.

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)
  • 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

For more information contact

Mike Noon
Motoring Affairs, General Manager
New Zealand Automobile Association
T. +64 4 931 9984
M. +64 21 659 704


Stephen McKernon
Media and Marketing Co-ordinator
Cycling Advocates' Network (CAN) - A Voice for Kiwi Cyclists
M. +64 21 450 021


The New Zealand Automobile Association is an incorporated society with over one million members. It represents the interests of road users who collectively pay over $2 billion in taxes each year through fuels excise, road user charges and GST.

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