Headlights On for Motorcyclists in NZ

The NZ news yesterday was full of the ban on using mobile phones for calls or texting while driving(and about bloody time) but I didn’t see this little nugget until this morning. As of November new rules will require motorcyclists to use their headlights during the day, or face the possibility of a $100 fine. I’m all for road safety and pretty much always ride with my headlight on anyway but there are the odd occasions that this doesn’t work for me and so I may face the ‘full force of the law’. Typically this will be when I get out on my elderly Royal Enfield, the problem for me is twofold, keeping my acetylene generator fully charged with powder and water  and how the bloody hell do I light the thing? (Ask the previous owner – the only time he tried to light up the tail light he managed to set fire to the rear end of the bike not realising that the jet that he had installed was a headlight jet with bigger holes. Lots of bubbled paint. – McS)

Will it get hot enough to cook some roadside sausages?

What about bikes without any lights at all?

I guess some more indepth research is required about the new ruling so hopefully there will be some sensible exemptions… We’ll try and keep you posted but in the meantime I’ve decided to allow comments on this one (yes it’s a rare thing) You’ll need to be a registered member to post a comment. We welcome comments from our international subscribers to see how things work in their countries. Get going 😉

UPDATE: This comes from the NZ Transport Agency website

I’ve copied it here but if you want to see the original go here.

Headlamps on mopeds and motorcycles
How will the Rule be amended in relation to the use of headlamps on motor cycles and mopeds?

Mopeds and motorcycles riders are required to ride with their headlamps on or, if fitted, daytime running lamps, during daylight hours. This requirement applies only to riders of mopeds or motorcycles manufactured after 1 January1980.
Why will this Rule amendment be made?

Motorcycle casualties (fatalities plus serious and minor injuries) have increased by almost 80 percent since 2001. While some of the growth in casualties might have been expected as a result of the 28 percent increase in motorcycles being licensed over the same period, the large increase in casualties is a concern.

Furthermore, in that period the cost of fuel rose, and continuing fluctuations in the cost of fuel, may make motorcycle ownership and use attractive. It is important that best-practice motorcycle safety initiatives are put in place to deal with this growing road safety problem.
What penalties will there be for those breaching this provision of the Rule?

The proposed penalty will be an infringement fee of $100.
What else is being done to improve the safety of motorcyclists?

Motorcyclist safety has been proposed as a high priority for Safer Journeys road safety strategy to take us through to 2020. In August 2009, the public’s views will be sought on several road safety issues, including motorcycle safety, and possible actions for addressing them. Following public consultation a final strategy will be released in December 2009.

I had a look aroung the NZTA site but couldnt see any current consultation for this rule, so who knows who is being consulted? (Probably some rabid bike hating academic who would also like airbags and 2 extra wheels fitted to all motocycles)

So, we are still awaiting the final outcome but so far so good for the early bikes (although I can think of a few post 1980 mopeds that may struggle….)

Comments are still open on this one, so please login and leave one (or two or three even), we Barnstormer Boys like to hear from our registered users.

4 thoughts on “Headlights On for Motorcyclists in NZ”

  1. Blood hell, thats a bit steep. I hope most coppers don’t hold you to this when the bulb has blown. I ride with the headlight on whenever i can – and even i get caught out every now and then (especially on the SRX) when the battery is dead

    1. Thanks for the support. What the lawmakers don’t realise is that most of us that ride old clunkers ride moderns as well and we do ride responsibly with our lights on when we can. I have sent out feelers to see what informed liason the LTSA has had with historic vehicle clubs over this and am awaiting replies. Watch this space.

  2. Hmmm i see a loop-hole here at second glance. It mentions “daytime-running lamps” – technically all this means is white or yellow light – visible during daytime.
    No mention of size or what they have to do apart from illuminate all the time.
    I can get little LED lamps from $2/shop. Likewise i can make something up if need be.
    So if anyone requires said “temporary/removable lights” for their wof. I could even rig something up to some electrics if people require. Bike lights are even suitable due to the application.

    1. I guess we’ll have to wait until the consultation process is complete, and see what the recommendations are. The bikes I was concerned about pretty much fall into the ‘lighting was an optional extra’. The Americans were already making electric lights standard on their bikes from the 1920s (McS will correct me if I’m wrong). The Poms seemed to love acetylene as an optional extra up until 1930 when the laws were changed to make electric lighting mandatory on motorcycles. Even so, alot of the electrics on these motorcycles, whilst functional, are pretty much not used by thier riders in these modern times for a whole host of reasons. These bikes are pretty much used for the occasional weekend ride, or rally, and not typically ridden at night.
      Ironically I read an article on the AA website that poo-pooed the idea that car drivers should also have thier headlights on during the day, because motorcycles would become less visible and that additional fuel consumption to power all this illumination would equate to something like 27 million litres a year which isnt very ‘environmentally friendly’.

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