Safelite, a small Palmerston North social enterprise dedicated to cyclist safety, is once again supporting the Slicks and Stones 100km event on Saturday, January 23.
The Westpac Slicks and Stones is part of the Manawatū Cycling Spree in Palmerston North at Wellington Anniversary Weekend.
Safelite will provide prizes for the event and also be at the post-race celebration in Memorial Park giving out free advice and leaflets on how to carry bikes legally and safely.
"We started four years ago after we had a near accident on the Desert Rd when the car in front of us suddenly braked to turn into a layby," Safelite partner Alan McGee says.
"No brake lights or indicators could be seen as they we obscured by the bikes the family were carrying. If we had been driving any closer, as people often do, there could have been a serious accident."
In a typically Kiwi way, Murray Butcher, the other partner and a design engineer, set about designing the Safelite to meet Waka Kotahi requirements and solve the problem of cyclists covering lights and number plates when carrying bikes on the backs of their cars.
McGee, a retired university lecturer, says people don't know the laws on carrying bikes on the back of their cars.
"They are unaware of the demerits and fines they can get, but most of all they don't realise the risks to themselves and their families."
Kiwis are a good law-abiding bunch and are shocked to discover they are breaking the law, he says.
"However, as you drive around the country you will see lots of folk unknowingly breaking the law and putting their families at risk from a rear-end shunt."
Butcher says the two semi-retired Kiwi blokes have come to realise their main job is education.
"We attend as many cycling events as possible and supply free leaflets to clubs and schools, provide help with fundraising and an educational website www.safelite.co.nz."
Safelite is light weight, tough and easily slots on to a bike rack, McGee says. It displays a full set of rear and brake lights, and indicators, and has fittings for a supplementary number plate.
Every Safelite is made in Palmerston North.