Safelite is a story of two Palmerston North blokes who had a close call on the Desert Rd one night.

Murray Butcher and Alan McGee were following a vehicle when it suddenly braked to turn into a layby.

They said no brake lights or indicators could be seen, and had they not been travelling at a safe distance, there could have been a serious accident.

The vehicle, they said, was carrying bikes on the rear which obscured the tail lights.

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The two men were on to something that required Kiwi ingenuity.

Butcher, an engineer, set about designing a light board to meet NZTA requirements and solve the problem of cyclists covering lights and number plates when carrying bikes at the backs of their cars.

Alan McGee, a retired university lecturer, investigated the laws related to carrying bikes and found that 96 per cent of people surveyed who carry bikes on the back of their cars didn't know they were putting their families at risk and breaking the law.

The men branded their design Safelite and the small Palmerston North business started manufacturing light boards dedicated to cyclist safety.

The men will be supporting the Gravel and Tar - Slicks and Stones races this Saturday and will be at the Over the line celebration in Memorial Park giving out free road
safety flyers and getting the road safety message out there.

Now in their third year of production and safety campaigning, McGee says they want to get the safety message to all cyclists who carry bikes on the backs of cars.

"As you drive around the country every day lots of decent Kiwi folks are unknowingly breaking the law.

"More importantly, they are putting their families at risk from a rear end shunt. As cycling becomes more and more popular, the problem can only increase."

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"Our greatest wish is when driving around the country we see families carrying bikes using our light board to keep safe, avoid demerit points or pay fines." says Butcher.

Safelite supplies free leaflets to clubs and schools, provide help with fundraising and have an educational website www.safelite.co.nz and facebook.com/safelitenewzealand/