About riding

Night riding

When to dip your vehicle's headlight

You must dip your vehicle's headlight:

  • when other vehicles are coming towards you, so that you don't blind the oncoming driver
  • when you are following other vehicles
  • when approaching an enforcement officer who is directing traffic
  • when parked.
Dipping the headlight for an oncoming vehicle

Dipping the headlight for an oncoming vehicle


Dipping the headlight when following another vehicle

Dipping the headlight when following another vehicle

At other times, use your high beam so you can see further.

Speed at night

At night, just as during the daytime, you must ride at a safe speed. This means that:

  • on a road with lanes, you must be able to stop in the length of clear road you can see in front of you
  • on a road with no lanes, you must be able to stop in half the length of clear road you can see in front of you.

Wearing the right gear

It's important to wear clothing and equipment that help you be seen at night.

Put reflective tape on your clothes, or better still wear reflective clothing. See Wearing the right gear for more information about clothing for motorcyclists.

Wearing a reflective vest

Wearing a reflective vest

It's also a good idea to have reflectors and/or reflective tape on the side of your motorcycle.

Important

Wearing a scratched face-shield is dangerous. It will pick up reflective glare from oncoming vehicles. Replace a scratched face-shield immediately.

Safety tips for night riding

Riding at night is more dangerous than riding during the day. To improve your safety on the road at night:

  • make sure your visor and the motorcycle's lights are clean
  • never wear dark or tinted glasses, visors or goggles
  • watch for pedestrians and cyclists - they are harder to see at night
  • stop and rest if you are sleepy
  • don't blind other drivers with your vehicle's headlight - dip it when vehicles are coming towards you or when you are following another vehicle
  • if you are blinded by the lights of oncoming vehicles:
    • slow down or stop
    • try to keep your eyes on the left side of the road, so you're not looking directly at the light
  • ride at a speed that means you can see the road at least two seconds ahead
  • use the lights of the vehicle ahead - tail lights bouncing up and down can alert you to bumps or rough patches.
Riding at night

Riding at night

Use markers to guide you when riding at night

Many roads have reflectors and guide posts to help you 'read' the road at night. Some examples of these are shown below.

Left side of the road marker post Right side of the road marker post

Left side of road marker post      Right side of road marker post
                                                 indicating left-hand bend


Left side of bridge marker Right side of bridge marker

Left side of bridge      Right side of bridge


Left side of the road reflector Centre line reflector

Left side of road          Centre line


No passing reflector Fire hydrant reflector

No passing          Fire hydrant


Important

Be aware that at night, because most road signs are highly reflective, your light shining on them may make you think you can clearly see further than you really can. Make sure you ride more slowly and carefully at night, particularly on unfamiliar roads.

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Last updated: 7 July 2014