Be Safe Be Seen pit stops, where free hi-vis gear will be handed out to cyclists, walkers and runners, will be popping up in Hastings and Napier from June 13.

While many cyclists are well aware of the need to "lighten up", with properly fitted lights and high-visibility vests or other reflective gear, a good number are not and run the risk of being in or causing a car crash.

"Some cyclists, walkers and runners don't realise that if they don't have lights or reflective gear they're practically invisible in the early evenings and mornings, especially during winter," said keen cyclist and Hastings Deputy Mayor Cynthia Bowers.

Since 2013, Hastings District Council has run the winter cycling safety campaign as part of its iWay programme.


Last year, Napier City Council teamed up with Hastings to get the message out in both areas.

This year the two councils are including walkers and runners in their campaign, to highlight that they also need to be seen to be safe.

During five evenings and one early morning from June 13 to 17, teams will be out in Napier and Hastings cities at different locations.

Cyclists without lights will be offered front and back lights for their bikes and walkers and runners not wearing reflective gear will be offered high visibility vests and/or snap bands for their wrists or ankles.

The campaign is supported by Sport Hawke's Bay, Understanding Strengthening Overcoming (USO), Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga and the police, with all the organisations planning to have staff at the pit stops to hand out the Be Safe Be Seen high-visibility gear.

"We are focused on making sure our people are safe - being hard to see on the roads in the half-light can be very risky," Mrs Bowers said.

"You might feel as if you can be seen by drivers but chances are you can't; and it is too late once the worst has happened.

"What we want is for people to take this gear that we are going to give them and wear it every time they are out and there is a risk they can't be seen."