Be Safe Be Seen this May

This May is Be Safe Be Seen Month, the annual campaign that encourages cyclists, walkers and runners to have the correct equipment – lights, bright clothing and other reflective gear – when they are out and about in the early mornings and evenings. We would welcome your assistance in helping us spread the message.

You know it can be more difficult to be seen in the dark. To ensure you are both safe and seen make sure you follow these guidelines:

  • When cycling ensure your front light, rear light and rear red reflector are all working correctly and are clean.
  • When cycling take extra care, looking to the left of the road well ahead, so as not to be dazzled by oncoming traffic.
  • Wear high-visibility clothing.

Remember: You may be able to see other road users, but they may not be able to see you.

How to be seen clearly: Try to make sure all your clothing is appropriate for the time of day. At night it is best to wear or carry something that is reflective. At dusk, or in poor weather, wear or carry something fluorescent so it’s bright and shows up. If you wear a backpack it should also be bright and reflective, or covered with something bright and reflective such as a vest or cover.

What is reflective?
Reflective means that the material reflects light back so it can be seen. In the day it looks really dull and grey, but it sparkles brightly in the dark. If your clothes aren’t reflective you can get reflective stickers, strips or bands.

What is fluorescent?
Fluorescent means it shows up very bright and clear in the daytime or at dusk (but remember they don’t show up any better than other colours in the dark). Fluorescent colours are vivid pinks, yellows, lime greens and orange. It’s best to wear or carry something that is both fluorescent and reflective, then you can be seen clearly whatever the time of day, or type of weather.

Did you know?
By law you are required to have the following compulsory equipment when cycling at night or when visibility is poor:

  1. One or more steady or flashing rear-facing red lights that can be seen at night from a distance of 200 metres.
  2. One or two white or yellow headlights that can be seen at night from a distance of 200 metres. Only one of these headlights may flash.
  3. Pedal retro-reflectors on the forward and rear-ward facing surfaces of each pedal. If the cycle does not have these the cyclist must be wearing reflective material.

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 cycle lighting equipment in such a way that it dazzles, confuses, or distracts so as to endanger the safety of other road users. Angling your front lights down toward the road helps prevent this.

Correct use of cycle lighting will make your cycling experience safer and more enjoyable, while ensuring other road users are not at risk.

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