Bike wise

Be Bright - put lights on your bike

It is time to get high-vis and put lights on your bike

Cyclists’ visibility to other road users, especially during times of low light, is an essential part of cyclists’ safety.  Wearing bright, reflective and high-visibility clothing, and using front and rear bike lights, are simple ways for cyclists to improve their visibility.

Together with Consumer NZ, the Greater Wellington Regional Council has tested a selection of bike lights (all under $100) and reflective garments for effectiveness.  View the full test results here.

Be Bright is an initiative of Bike Wise and the NZ Police and is designed to increase awareness of the importance of using bike lights and wearing high-visibility clothing.  In 2014, the campaign launch will coincide with the end of Daylight Saving on 6 April. The campaign will run until the end of June.

Last year campaigns included roadside checkpoints for cyclists, roving cycle-light ambassadors, competitions and giveaways on popular cycle commuting routes in Tauranga, Western Bay of Plenty, Auckland, Rotorua, Palmerston North, Wellington, Nelson, and Dunedin. 

I want to run a Be Bright campaign - what help can I get?

Register your Be Bright campaign and get a FREE Bike Wise cycle-safety goodies box worth $330 (stocks are limited).

Be Bright 'how to' guide (532 KB).  Use the Be Bright ‘how to’ guide to help organise your campaign.  Your campaign could include local media, roadside checkpoints for cyclists, roving cycle-light ambassadors, competitions or giveaways.

Be Bright editable templates (1 MB).  Use the Be Bright ‘Swiss cheese’ media release and templates to tailor make your campaign.

Shop with Bike Wise and buy great value cycle-safety goodies for your campaign.

Survey cyclists during your campaign.  All surveys go in the draw to win one of eight $150 Avanti high-vis winter cycling jackets.

Contact the people who can help.  Email us or call 0508 BY BIKE (29 2453).

I am a cyclist, what should I be aware of?

There are many cycle lights on the market – some are designed to help cyclists be seen by other road users during times of low light, and some lights are designed to help cyclists see where they are going, like a headlight.

When considering cycle lights it is important to be mindful that:

  • Headlights should be attached to handlebars and pointing down.
  • Your lights can be a hazard if used incorrectly. You must not use vehicle lighting equipment in such a way that it dazzles, confuses, or distracts so as to endanger the safety of other road users.
  • Correct use of cycle lighting will make your cycling experience safer and more enjoyable, while ensuring other road users are not at risk.

The following key points have also been updated in the Road Code for cyclists as below:

  1. A red or yellow rear reflector that is visible from a distance of 100 metres when light shines on it.
  2. Good brakes on the front and back wheels (or, if the cycle was made before 1 January 1988, a good brake on the back wheel).

When cycling at night or when visibility is poor, cycles must have the following:

  1. One or more steady or flashing rear-facing red lights that can be seen at night from a distance of 100 metres.
  2. One or two white or yellow headlights that can be seen at night from a distance of 100 metres. Only one of these headlights may flash. 
  3. Pedal retroreflectors on the forward and rearward facing surfaces of each pedal. If the cycle does not have these the cyclist must be wearing reflective material. 

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 $25 to $100 for a set of lights.
  • For around $17 you can buy two slap bands, reflective stickers, an LED bag clip and spoke reflectors from the Bike Wise online shop.


For more information about regulations for cycling, check out the official New Zealand code for cyclists on the NZTA website.