With tales of the NZ Police busting (and fining) people with bike racks for obscured number plates and lights getting higher (and even making the mainstream press), Ezigrip have taken the initiative to release a new bike rack mounted light board which fits a bunch of their existing racks.  Some more facts and the full press release below.

Oh and just so you know, if a cop does try to ticket you these are the facts regarding the infamous third number plate: 1.      Yes police are now actively policing obscured plates (but that is a police initiative, not NZTA) 2.      In 2009 a proposal was put in front of parliament to allow supplementary license plates to be legally issued in NZ 3.      This was passed in 2009, with an effective intro date of 1 April 2011 4.      NZTA are working with approved license plate providers and envisage that systems/procedures will be in place for the purchase of these supplementary plates by 1 July 2011 5.      Road users cannot make their own, the supplemetary plate must be a NZ supplementary license plate, issued/purchased from an authorised license plate provider.

So given the fact that you won't be able to buy a third plate until July we doubt the police would have much luck making a ticket stick.

EziGrip Helps Cycle Carrying Motorists Stay Legal

Motorists will soon be able to carry bikes on their towbar-mounted racks without incurring the wrath of the traffic police, thanks to a new number plate/lighting board from EziGrip, New Zealand’s leading Cycle Rack brand, that is designed to clearly display the number plate.

Police in some parts of New Zealand have been cracking down on motorists who obscure number plates with towballs and towbar-mounted bike carriers – some bikes also cover the vehicle’s indicators or lights at night, which is similarly illegal.

Drivers with obscured number plates can receive a $200 fine, with 20 demerit points. Frustratingly, the law in New Zealand has not allowed motorists to carry a third plate that can be positioned to be seen clearly, but this is now being changed.

To take advantage of the law change, EziGrip has designed a special board that can be mounted on any of its EziGrip bike racks that will display the separate number plate and also has provision to carry reflectors or rear lights.

Best Bars Ltd, manufacturer and distributor of EziGrip™ Cycle Racks, CEO Stephen de Kriek says the new board is designed to accommodate an official licence plate, which will soon become available from NZ Transport. No other type of number plate will be recognised by the police.

“The way the law stood in the past, it wasn’t possible to remove a rear number plate from the car and put it on the bike rack, nor could a third one be used – a crazy situation and that meant people using bike racks were technically breaking the law, but they couldn’t do anything about it,” says Mr de Kriek.

“Thankfully, common sense has prevailed and there is a change in the law that allows for third number plates, so we decided to make a special board that can secure it properly to one of our racks.”

The Best Bars light board is manufactured using a perspex/aluminium composite and is very durable. It can accommodate bike racks designed with prongs or clamps and retails for just $49. A separate lighting kit may also be purchased for those who drive at night or may have their indicators obscured by their bikes.

The new Best Bars number plate board and lighting kit is available through all good bike retailers throughout New Zealand.