High Visibility clothing - your thoughts

by MercuryOne   July 9, 2010  

My club has suggested that Sunday club runs should have high visibility vests on the front and rear riders - especially when accompanying younger or new riders. Any thoughts on this?

Personally it worries me to see horse riders resorting to high vis vests in an attempt to warn speeding motorists of their presence. I feel the more we acquiesce with this safety and the more cyclists and horse riders surrender to high vis the more it will become the norm and the more chance it has of becoming law. There is already a type of older touring rider who is too fearful to abandon that a long sleeve high vis mac - even in high summer and I worry that in the interests of health and Safety we may be sliding towards bright yellow straightjackets.

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7 user comments

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High viz vest or some un-skilled nutter in an over powered car up your jacksie? I know which I'd prefer.

Despite our right to be on the Queen's highway and our preference not to be run over we also have responsibilities. It is also harder to gauge closing distances on dark objects, which most cycling tops seem to be at present.

If it's good enough for the British Army when they're on route marches or training runs it good enough for everyone else.

Did Nightrider 2013 for Parkinson's UK, doing it again this year just for the fun of it and to raise more money.

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posted by jova54 [530 posts]
9th July 2010 - 17:48

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It's certainly not good enough for me, I wear jackets or the like with reflectives but not high vis. When I'm driving my car I have the sole responsibility to judge the safe passing distances between myself and other road users, especially slow moving road users.

My guess is that the reason the army, like any other large organisation resorts to high vis on route marches etc is that like any other organisation it's in thrall to health and safety and even more in thrall to not getting sued which off the battlefield I'm pretty sure they can be.

I'm totally with you on this one MercuryOne. Was in Holland last week for the start of the Tour, thousands of cyclists everywhere and not a helmet or high vis vest in site and some Dutch drivers like to drive like nutters too it's just that they slow right down when they see a bike.

Surely if it's harder to judge passing distances there's a simple remedy… slow down.

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posted by Tony Farrelly [4112 posts]
9th July 2010 - 20:26

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The Army has been using head and tail markers with hi-viz tabards for longer than H&S has been a blight on the country. I joined up in 1971 and we had them then for our 10 mile bft hikes.

I don't disagree that cyclists are expected to do more than other road users to protect themselves because of the inattention/ignorance of other road users but reflective strips only work at night whereas hi-viz materials can be seen at all times.

It's going to take a wholesale change of attitude by the government before we get anywhere near the approach of the Dutch to road usage, in the meantime more cyclists should have the courage to take possession of the piece of road they are on by cycling out of the gutter.

Did Nightrider 2013 for Parkinson's UK, doing it again this year just for the fun of it and to raise more money.

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posted by jova54 [530 posts]
9th July 2010 - 20:44

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Totally with you there Jova54

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posted by Tony Farrelly [4112 posts]
9th July 2010 - 21:00

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SMIDSY.... Crying

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posted by DaveP [467 posts]
11th July 2010 - 23:45

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"It's health and safety gone mad". Bleh. I'm not very onboard with the anti-H & S brigade.

Aside from the fact that most of the things done "because of health and safety" are nothing to do with official rules or bodies - like the jerk who wants to report two children to social services for riding to school - I struggle to see how simple precautions are so awful.

As other posters have observed, we are nowehere near Dutch levels of cycle usage / road tolerance / etc., and we're not going to get there just by doing our side of it. If a couple of people on the ride wearing high-vis makes riders feel safer, and reduces the risk of an accident, why not do it? You'll look less cool, but most motorists think you're a prick anyway, so that's one concern out of the way ...

I'm with jova54: I'd rather look stupid than be dead.

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posted by timlennon [226 posts]
12th July 2010 - 9:05

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Interesting feedback. My concern with the gradual creepage towards compulsory high vis is that it forces us to dress brightly simply to allow drivers to react more quickly and so continue to drive too quickly. If it's common sense to wear high vis maybe pedestrians or kids walking home from school should be in high vis as well if they intend to cross a road? There is already an assumption held by some motorists that on B roads you can take each corner at the maximum limit of 60 mph if you wish and if there happens to be a horse or cyclist around that corner that's just bad luck. All those shrines on bad corners attest to this and no amount of high vis will save you if someone takes a corner at reckless speed.

Naturally if you want to dress in high vis you should go ahead. If you feel that motorists should be forced to share the road more responsibility and you should be able to dress as you wish that should also be an option.

MercuryOne

Silly me. You're probably right....

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posted by MercuryOne [935 posts]
15th July 2010 - 13:10

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