Pupils light up a safer way to go

Full beam ahead

JANINE RANKIN
Last updated 08:42 30/06/2014
bikes
DAVID UNWIN/FAIRFAX NZ

Sun and lights: From left, Simone Davie, 15, Libby Arbuckle, 14, Emily Shearman, 15, Renee George, 17, and Michaela Drummond, 16, are set to dazzle with their new bike lights, intended to make them safer on the roads.

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One hundred of Manawatu's promising cyclists will be well lit up on the region's roads, night and day, in a safety initiative triggered by the April 6 death of 51-year-old cyclist Jocelyn Goodwin on Summerhill Drive in Palmerston North.

Mike Simpson, coach of the Manawatu Schools Cycling Group, said the Hokowhitu School deputy principal's death on the road prompted him to do whatever he could to make the young cyclists safer.

He decided on lights, even though he had no idea whether visibility had anything to do with the collision with a tanker that led to Goodwin's death. "I just wanted an outcome for the kids I'm involved with."

He went looking for sponsorship, and was delighted with Fonterra's offer to buy 100 sets of lights.

"It's close to $10,000. This will improve safety, and it's marvellous Fonterra have done this."

The lights have both flashing and static options, they are bright, and cyclists are being encouraged to use them by day as well as by night.

Simpson presented the lights at the weekend to members of the secondary schools' teams in Rongotea for a training ride preparing for the North Island championships in Cambridge next weekend.

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- Manawatu Standard

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