Revved-up reaction to hi-vis for bikers
A recent news story in which a Road Safety GB motorcycling expert warned against hi-vis jackets becoming compulsory for motorcyclists in the UK attracted a record number of comments from readers.
Dave Glanville, West Yorkshire’s specialist PTW RSO, made his comments in response to a move by the French government to make hi-vis jackets compulsory for motorcyclists. He cautioned against this in the UK, preferring a ‘common sense approach’. He argued that hi-vis clothing will not improve conspicuity on bright days, but stressed that wearing it is always advised in poor light.
Taking a different stance, Honor Byford (North Yorkshire CC) felt that hi-vis clothing should be worn all year round, saying: “It’s interesting that we are offering different advice to motorcyclists than to horse riders and cyclists - who are exhorted to wear hi-vis at all times.... I would recommend using hi-vis all year round. We do not need to plaster ourselves from head to foot but a sensible item or items is a good investment.”
Kevin (Wigan) suggested that drivers pay scant attention to motorcyclists whatever they wear, saying: “I use Class 3 hi-vis and also ride with my headlight on all year round. No-matter what we wear, it doesn't stop drivers pulling out in front of us.”
Mark (Wolverhampton) put forward a tongue in cheek argument, saying: “Why stop at motorcyclists? Let's paint all cars, vans n lorries in Day-Glo too. Hey, make it law too. All pedestrians should also wear a hi-vis bib in case they want to cross the road at a non-designated crossing. What works for one, works for another...”
Derek Reynolds (St Albans) focused on discrimination against bikers, saying: “The more vulnerable are made to further suffer ignomy and discrimination. Is it any wonder they protest? Whenever visibility is an issue, it becomes the minority group that is made to comply with some form of legislation aimed at 'safety'. Yet the largest and more powerful vehicles in terms of mass and inertia are seemingly exempt from such discrimination.”
Steve Barber (Northamptonshire CC) supported the use of hi-vis, saying: “Whilst I cannot argue against a person's right to live their life as they want to, within the rules of society, it never fails to amaze me at how vociferously people will defend their right to ignore safety aids. Lycra wearing champions of pedal power demand the right to expose their cranium to contact with the tarmac instead of wearing wimpy crash helmets (which apparently reduce impact speed by 11 mph, so I understand) so I cannot expect motorcyclists to be any different.”
Alan Jones (Wiltshire) concurred with David Glanville’s original position, saying: “I have two main concerns about hi-vis jackets: 1. It gives the rider a false sense of security; 2. If everyone ends up wearing them people will just ignore them. So those who are doing dangerous tasks will be ignored, thus undermining the point of wearing hi-vis in the first place.”
Click here to read the original story.
Footnote: some comments have been slightly modified/edited to suit the house style and afford brevity.