INDEPENDENT NEWS

1000s of cyclists will unknowingly break law this weekend

Published: Tue 22 Oct 2019 10:36 AM
As we approach another Labour Day holiday weekend, road safety will once again be in all our minds. As you drive around the country every day and as you will see over the Labour Day weekend, lots of decent Kiwi folks are unknowingly breaking the law. More importantly, they are putting their families at risk from a rear end shunt. As cycling becomes more and more popular, the problem can only increase.
This is a story of two Kiwi blokes doing their bit for road safety and cyclists. Murray Butcher and Alan McGee had a close call on the Desert Road when a family in a car in front of them hadn’t realised their lights were obscured by the bikes they were carrying. Murray and Alan were travelling at a safe distance, way behind the car, but any closer and it could have been a serious accident.
In a typically Kiwi way, they set about fixing the problem of obscuring lights when families carry bikes at the backs of their cars. Murray Butcher, an engineer, designed a plug-in light panel for cars, which easily slots onto bike racks and meets NZTA requirements. Alan McGee, a retired university lecturer, investigated the laws related to carrying bikes and whether people knew them. He was surprised to find that 96% of people surveyed, who carry bikes on the back of their cars, didn’t know they were putting their families at risk of an accident and breaking the law.
“Our greatest wish is to drive around the country and see families who carry bikes, using our panel, protecting themselves against a rear end shunt, avoiding fines and demerit points and being fully aware of the law” says McGee.
To get the safety message out there
We have an educational website www.safelite.co.nz and Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/safelitenewzealand/ Our Labour Weekend Road Cyclist Safety Campaign will run from now, through to the end of the police recording period after Labour Day. We have substantially reduced the price of our Safelite panel to help Kiwi families be safe, be seen and be legal over the Labour weekend.

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