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758 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 854819 13-Jul-2013 10:16
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Will I jinx this thread if I say that this is the most civil discussion I've seen regarding bikes on roads for a very long time? :)

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 854820 13-Jul-2013 10:18
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You can't ride a bike and not look at cars.
If you have a head mounted light you are shining that light at drivers

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 854821 13-Jul-2013 10:21
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Talkiet: 

In my opinion, common sense and safety trump the law, especially when the sensible and safe alternative is also legal.

Cheers - N



Next time you get pulled over by the police, try using that as your defence.

Here is the law for a bike ( a cycle is classed as a group A vehicle), as you can see, head mounted lights are illegal, and I was wrong about the other item, you are allowed a single mounted lamp that is flashing.



3.3     Fitting and performance requirements for headlamps3.3(1)     A dipped-beam headlamp on a motor vehicle (other than an unclassified motor vehicle, or a vehicle having a gross vehicle mass exceeding 12,000 kg) must be positioned at a height not exceeding 1.2 m from the ground.

3.3(2)     A vehicle of Group A:
  • (a) may be fitted with one or two headlamps; and
  • (b) when operated during the hours of darkness, must be fitted with one or two headlamps that emit light that is visible from a distance of 100 m.
3.3(3)     If a vehicle of Group A is fitted with:
  • (a) one headlamp, that headlamp may be flashing;
  • (b) two headlamps, only one of the headlamps may be flashing.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 854831 13-Jul-2013 10:28
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It comes down to the consideration of the cyclist, so please don't lump us all together. I can look at oncoming cars by moving my eyeballs in their sockets, as opposed to moving my whole head in their direction, especially with drivers on side roads.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 854837 13-Jul-2013 10:31
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3.3(1) specifically says motor vehicle. Does this cover bicycles? Curious to know, as this would change things considerably.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 854840 13-Jul-2013 10:37
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GregV: 3.3(1) specifically says motor vehicle. Does this cover bicycles? Curious to know, as this would change things considerably.


Group in relation to vehicles, means a collective category of the vehicle classes that are specified in Table A: Vehicle classes, as follows:
(a) Group A means vehicles of Class AA and Class AB;



AA (Pedal cycle) - A vehicle designed to be propelled through a mechanism solely by human power.

758 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 854841 13-Jul-2013 10:42
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So the section you pasted does NOT say that a vehicle in Group A is subject to the 1.2m height restriction, therefore helmet-mounted lights are legal?

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 854842 13-Jul-2013 10:44
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Reflectors are all that is needed to see a cyclist in the dark. The light is meant to be for the cyclist to see the road. Period.


That could not be more wrong, any cyclist relying on reflectors to be seen in the dark has a death wish. Lights are primarily to help you be seen, some people use them to help see too.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 854864 13-Jul-2013 11:02
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GregV: So the section you pasted does NOT say that a vehicle in Group A is subject to the 1.2m height restriction, therefore helmet-mounted lights are legal?


3.3     Fitting and performance requirements for headlamps3.3(1)     A dipped-beam headlamp on a motor vehicle (other than an unclassified motor vehicle, or a vehicle having a gross vehicle mass exceeding 12,000 kg) must be positioned at a height not exceeding 1.2 m from the ground.

As far as I am aware, a cycle is classified as a class AA vehicle, and my bike is no where near 12,000kg, so why wouldn't it apply?

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 854892 13-Jul-2013 11:45
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This rule applies to lighting equipment for all motor vehicles, and for vehicles of Class AA in Table A in Part 2.

They specifically list motor vehicles, and then bikes in the scope of the law. As 3.3(1) states motor vehicle, î read it that it does not apply to Class AA vehicles. 3.3(2) and (3) then list the requirements for bikes.

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  Reply # 854906 13-Jul-2013 12:07
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GregV: So the section you pasted does NOT say that a vehicle in Group A is subject to the 1.2m height restriction, therefore helmet-mounted lights are legal?

The subsections are all read in conjunction with each other.

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  Reply # 854911 13-Jul-2013 12:15
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A few counter points
1) It's bloody hard for anyone to objectively assess the brightness of lights by eye - a keychain LED will seem blinding if you look directly at it when your eyes are adjusted for darkness. Just as a driver wouldn't know if their headlights had be knocked out of alignment between WOFs, a cyclist wouldn't know that their bright lights are causing problems.

2) I disagree with the 'lights are only to be seen, not to see'. Bikes are a lot more vulnerable to variations in the road surface, and cycle lanes tend to be full of loose gravel, glass, drains, etc which need to be seen in order to be avoided

3) Plenty of drivers (wrongly, and myself included sometimes) tend to only look for the big footprint of vehicle lights to see if there is anyone else on the road, rather than actually looking closely before pulling out, or cut corners because they don't see lights coming around the bend.

It's really tough to find the balance of lights bright enough to see, but not to blind drivers

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 854930 13-Jul-2013 12:53
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Given that cycle lights have recently (in the past couple of years) become _significantly_ brighter, surely their need for visibility hasn't increased?

There's one guy in particular who cycles along the old Hutt Road in Wellington, his light is illuminating the entire interior of my car when I'm a good 50M in front of him. There's a number of other cyclists with strobing lights of similar brightness that make visibility of nigh all other obstacles impossible for a few seconds. When does the safety of the cyclist (who should, in these locations be beside the flow of traffic on their designated cycle path but many insist on riding on the main road) outweigh the safety of other motorists? I understand the need to be seen, but I can see them just fine with a regular light opposed to a mega-lumen strobe light.

I did see a guy a couple of nights ago with no lights at all on his bike, and he was basically just a black shadow against a slightly less black background. A statistic-in-waiting.

If cycle lanes are as treacherous as claimed, maybe someone needs to make a call to the council to get them looked at?

I also disagree with the "a cyclist wouldn't know that their bright lights are causing problems" - if your beam is visibility illuminating the eye-level of an oncoming vehicle in a fairly bright fashion, which some of them are, then it's either a) deliberate or b) ignorant.




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Geek
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  Reply # 854933 13-Jul-2013 13:32
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GregV: My light is used to light up a section of road a certain distance in front of me. If my light is on my helmet, it is facing at a down-angle to hit this spot (low beam). If the light is on my handlebar, it has a higher angle to light the same piece of road (high beam).



If your head mounted light is your "high beam" do you turn it off when facing on coming traffic..?

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 854936 13-Jul-2013 14:08
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My head-mounted light is facing down to hit the road in front of me. It is 'dipped'.

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