Nelson City Council staff and Nelson Police are collaborating this week to push the message home to cyclists how extremely vulnerable they are if not well lit while riding.
The Police will initially be distributing free lights and high visibility vests supplied by Council, but will then move on to fining unlit cyclists.
Council’s Road Safety Adviser Margaret Parfitt says even if cyclists meet the legal requirements with a front and rear light, it still may not be enough.
“Flashing lights are more visible than static ones because they distinguish cyclists from other lights, while reflective clothing gives added protection,” she says.
After the stocks of lights and vests are exhausted Police will continue to be out dawn and dusk but will be handing out infringement notices to unlit cyclists – a $110 fine.
Margaret asks cyclists to think about all the costs involved.
“It’s $40 for a set of good lights, verses $110 for a ticket which equates to $55 per light, or $5,000 per day to keep someone on life support in hospital.”
Traffic Sergeant John Maxwell says Nelson and Tasman have too many crashes involving cyclists and anything we can do to reduce their risk is welcomed.
John says during the campaign there may be some scope to give cyclists a chance to have lights fitted and infringement notices cancelled during a short amnesty period.
“The Police support any initiative that increases visibility of cyclists to drivers. The shorter days in the winter make it the worst time of year for cyclists.”