Early on Tuesday and Thursday, members of Police’s Impairment Prevention Team joined with Road Safety Coordinators from Tasman District Council and Nelson City Council to help cyclists stay visible over the winter months.
As part of the Bike Lights Stop campaign, Nelson and Tasman cyclists on high-volume cycle routes were reminded that bike lights are a legal necessity during winter’s shorter days, and are also the best way of keeping safe and being seen on our roads.
Cyclists stopped by Police without lights were offered a free set of bike lights.
Other cyclists, walkers and runners were offered flashing arm bands and hi-vis vests.
Over the two days around 300 cyclists and 100 pedestrians were spoken to, given road safety advice and offered some free gear.
Feedback was extremely positive and the public appreciated the opportunity to interact with Police and Council in an educational way and improve their visibility, says Sergeant Darren Bryce of the Tasman Impairment Prevention Team.
He says the stops were about working with councils and the public to improve road user safety.
“As traffic increases following Alert Levels 3 and 4, Police have become increasingly concerned about the volume of cyclists not having a good set of visible lights and not wearing safety helmets,” he says.
“This increases their chance both of being knocked off, and of sustaining a serious injury if they are.”
Following this ‘educational’ phase Police will follow up with ‘enforcement’ which could be a written traffic warning or a compliance infringement, and persistent offenders may be liable for a fine of $55 per offence.
The major areas of concern for cyclists are visibility, helmets, cyclists using pedestrian-only footpaths, and safe riding on shared pathways.