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5434 posts

Uber Geek


# 173514 26-May-2015 11:15
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I'm talking about the high power offroad spots that MTB riders use.  Are they legal for on-road use?

A street I regularly dirve down at night is on the way back from a popular MTB ride.

At night riders are often returning along this street with their helmet spotlights on. Of course they automatically look at all oncoming cars.  I have never thought of this as more than a temporary nuisance, but the other day one happened to shine directly into my eyes and I was temporarily blinded. 

I stopped immediately, and waited there until I could see again - seemed like 30 seconds or so.  Quite scary.




Mike

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826 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 1311916 26-May-2015 11:40
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I'd say they're not legal. But then I'm not sure how often or legal a lot of vehicle foglights are either and I see them used plenty.Either way I think it's safer for the cyclist to be seen and occasionally dazzle. People forget about high beam in cars too.

803 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 1311923 26-May-2015 11:50
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Check out the discussion we had here a couple of years back - http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=162&topicid=124585
Key point from NZTA:
When considering 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 cycle lighting equipment in such a way that it dazzles, confuses, or distracts so as to endanger the safety of other road users.
I'd suggest calling *555 to report ANY vehicle causing issue on the road.

I'll get in early here and ask that this thread doesn't degenerate into the usual 'us vs them' mentality seen on other sites whenever cyclists are mentioned.  The last discussion went fairly well, hopefully this one can also.

Disclaimer - I bike to and from work every day, including at night.  I wear hi-viz, and have lights.  Last Friday I still had to take evasive action due to a vehicle 'undertaking' a stationary vehicle waiting to turn right, and overtaking me in the process, squeezing me right out of road.  I have a high-powered spot mounted on handlebars (it used to be on my helmet, but was a pain to fit each time), but find that the lowest setting works well enough on most roads.  It also makes my battery last a lot longer.

 
 
 
 


1508 posts

Uber Geek


  # 1311929 26-May-2015 12:03
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I don't know about legality, but I just got one that dims if it has a light shine back into it. It is certainly enough to blind you if you shine the main spot into your eyes by accident.




Try Vultr using this link and get us both some credit:

 

http://www.vultr.com/?ref=7033587-3B


377 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 1311964 26-May-2015 13:19
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I've had this discussion before, this is from the Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Lighting (2004)

Bikes as classed a Class AA, which is in Group A, which must comply with section 3.3

 

3.3(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.

4470 posts

Uber Geek


  # 1311973 26-May-2015 13:25
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jfanning: I've had this discussion before, this is from the Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Lighting (2004)

Bikes as classed a Class AA, which is in Group A, which must comply with section 3.3

3.3(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.



It depends on the definition of vehicle and headlamp.  From what I can tell, the headlamp is on the helmet, not the vehicle (bike).  

Technicalities like this are bread and butter for lawyers. 

4470 posts

Uber Geek


  # 1311979 26-May-2015 13:27
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GregV: Check out the discussion we had here a couple of years back - http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=162&topicid=124585
Key point from NZTA:
When considering 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 cycle lighting equipment in such a way that it dazzles, confuses, or distracts so as to endanger the safety of other road users.

Are those recommendations on the website, or written law? 



4304 posts

Uber Geek

Trusted

  # 1311982 26-May-2015 13:31
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mudguard: I'd say they're not legal. But then I'm not sure how often or legal a lot of vehicle foglights are either and I see them used plenty.Either way I think it's safer for the cyclist to be seen and occasionally dazzle. People forget about high beam in cars too.


You're wrong. "occasionally dazzle" a driver in charge of a 1-2tonne death hunk of metal? What a totally stupid thing to suggest. The lights being talked about here are usually brighter (and more focussed) than car highbeams.

There's no question here, they are dangerous for on-road use and any other opinion is simply delusional. It would appear that they are also not legal as well - but I'm not as confident about the legality as I am about the danger and stupidity.

Cheers - N





--

 

Please note all comments are the product of my own brain and don't necessarily represent the position or opinions of my employer, previous employers, colleagues, friends or pets.


 
 
 
 


377 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 1311984 26-May-2015 13:35
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surfisup1000:
jfanning: I've had this discussion before, this is from the Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Lighting (2004)

Bikes as classed a Class AA, which is in Group A, which must comply with section 3.3

3.3(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.



It depends on the definition of vehicle and headlamp.  From what I can tell, the headlamp is on the helmet, not the vehicle (bike).  

Technicalities like this are bread and butter for lawyers. 


Well the vehicle is defined, it is a class A.  The cyclist is attached to the cycle, the helmet is attached to the cyclist.  So the Rule states for a class A vehicle (ie a Bike) the light must not be higher than 1.2m from the ground.  If you want to pay a lawyer to fight it, go for it, I would probably just pay the fine

14602 posts

Uber Geek

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  # 1311993 26-May-2015 13:39
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surfisup1000:
GregV: Check out the discussion we had here a couple of years back - http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=162&topicid=124585
Key point from NZTA:
When considering 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 cycle lighting equipment in such a way that it dazzles, confuses, or distracts so as to endanger the safety of other road users.

Are those recommendations on the website, or written law? 




The best way to get an accurate answer would be to call the NZTA




Mike
Retired IT Manager. 
The views stated in my posts are my personal views and not that of any other organisation.

 

There is no planet B

 

 


224 posts

Master Geek


  # 1312004 26-May-2015 13:46
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MikeAqua: I'm talking about the high power offroad spots that MTB riders use.  Are they legal for on-road use?

A street I regularly dirve down at night is on the way back from a popular MTB ride.

At night riders are often returning along this street with their helmet spotlights on. Of course they automatically look at all oncoming cars.  I have never thought of this as more than a temporary nuisance, but the other day one happened to shine directly into my eyes and I was temporarily blinded. 

I stopped immediately, and waited there until I could see again - seemed like 30 seconds or so.  Quite scary.


30 Seconds, that must of been a very bright light.  Perhaps you can get in touch with NZTA and ask them to put a sign up at the end of the track asking riders to turn off or turn down their super bright head lamps.




15342 posts

Uber Geek


  # 1312054 26-May-2015 14:40
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To me, it is no different from someone shining a torch at oncoming cars, or even a laser. I would be surprised if there wasn't a law about it. It is similar to cars leaving their lights on highbeam all the time.

15342 posts

Uber Geek


  # 1312056 26-May-2015 14:42
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surfisup1000:
jfanning: I've had this discussion before, this is from the Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Lighting (2004)

Bikes as classed a Class AA, which is in Group A, which must comply with section 3.3

3.3(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.



It depends on the definition of vehicle and headlamp.  From what I can tell, the headlamp is on the helmet, not the vehicle (bike).  

Technicalities like this are bread and butter for lawyers. 


When you are riding on the bike, aren't you then part of the bike (eg you are the bikes source of power)

803 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 1312065 26-May-2015 14:50
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I'd suggest calling *555 to report ANY vehicle causing issue on the road.

Worth repeating.  Not much is going to change by talking about it online after the fact.

826 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 1312081 26-May-2015 15:16
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Talkiet:
mudguard: I'd say they're not legal. But then I'm not sure how often or legal a lot of vehicle foglights are either and I see them used plenty.Either way I think it's safer for the cyclist to be seen and occasionally dazzle. People forget about high beam in cars too.


You're wrong. "occasionally dazzle" a driver in charge of a 1-2tonne death hunk of metal? What a totally stupid thing to suggest. The lights being talked about here are usually brighter (and more focussed) than car highbeams.

There's no question here, they are dangerous for on-road

Cheers - N



I'd say no more likely to dazzle than someone leaving their lights on high beam. Same with high powered fog lamps.
Go on a night ride once. You'll learn very quickly to control where your headlamp points. Easy to spot new riders lighting up fellow riders faces when stopped for a chat.

I can't find anything that suggests you can't use as bright lights as you want. Provided you're not using them in a manner that is a hazard. IE mounting them facing oncoming traffic.

111 posts

Master Geek


  # 1312102 26-May-2015 15:38
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I'd say no more likely to dazzle than someone leaving their lights on high beam. Same with high powered fog lamps.
Go on a night ride once. You'll learn very quickly to control where your headlamp points. Easy to spot new riders lighting up fellow riders faces when stopped for a chat.

I can't find anything that suggests you can't use as bright lights as you want. Provided you're not using them in a manner that is a hazard. IE mounting them facing oncoming traffic.


Definition of a headlamp for a cycle:

 

 

headlamp,—

(b) for a cycle, means a lamp that is—

 

(i) forward-facing; and
(ii) sufficiently brilliant to be visible in normal atmospheric conditions for a distance of at least 100 m when it is switched on

 


Note that it must be forward facing. Any other light to the front would be an optional light and as such illegal if the source of the light was visible. See  Lighting Rule 2004 10.9.

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