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After recent deaths, cycling activists organise vigil outside Transport for London HQ

Thousands of cyclists are expected to converge on Transport for London's headquarters this evening for a 'die-in' protest following the deaths of six riders in a two week period earlier this month.

The protest will start at 5pm with a vigil for the cyclists who have died on London’s roads outside Transport for London HQ at 197 Blackfriars Road. That will be followed at 5.30 by the die-in and rally, before the event ends at 6.30.

To promote the event, Dave Standard and Ealing Cycling have made this powerful short clip:

“Transport for London needs our peaceful protest to be brought right to their door - the HQ of those who have failed to make our streets safe for our children or our pensioners to cycle on, never mind fit adults,” say event organisers.

“Cycling safety needs to be top of TfL's priorities, as should befit a 21st century city looking for ways to tackle congestion and pollution. If Crossrail was predicted to kill 120 workers during its construction, work would be halted immediately. Cyclists are just as important.”

Under the slogan 'Stop the child murder' die-in protests were instrumental in persuading the Dutch government of the 1970s to halt the Netherlands' slide towards a car-dominated transport infrastructure and instead create systems that worked well for driving, walking and cycling.

The full details are on the event’s website.

Save Our Cyclists

 

In related news, over 35,000 people have signed the Save Our Cyclists petition calling on London Mayor Boris Johnson and his cycling commissioner Andrew Gilligan to accelerate the implementation of planned cycling provision.

“Where is your sense of urgency?” asks the petition.

Petition creator Rhiannon Redpath wrote: “We call on Boris Johnson and Andrew Gilligan to vastly accelerate their plan for expenditure of the £913 million cycling fund, by releasing an accurate, costed and time-bound plan for how the fund will address cycle safety over the next 12 months, from the end of December 2013.

“TFL and the Mayor for London do have the right idea. But, as plans are drawn up, consultations are carried out, and meetings are had, London’s roads continue to be unsafe, and cyclists are losing their lives.

“We are calling for urgent action from Boris Johnson and the Cycling Commissioner Andrew Gilligan to accelerate their plans, and to be clear about their intentions for cycle safety in London.”

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

28 comments

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Guyz2010 [302 posts] 2 years ago
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Gets my full support....240miles away.

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IanW1968 [251 posts] 2 years ago
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Regulate incentives and performance managment of commercial vehicle operators.

Educate all road users of the actual highway code,( NOT the hiviz, helmet,guff).

Catch, Prosecute and Penalise those who flout the law starting with most responsible.

Spend a little on infractructure.

There you go, job done.

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700c [819 posts] 2 years ago
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IanW1968 wrote:

Regulate incentives and performance managment of commercial vehicle operators.

Educate all road users of the actual highway code,( NOT the hiviz, helmet,guff).

Catch, Prosecute and Penalise those who flout the law starting with most responsible.

Spend a little on infractructure.

There you go, job done.

Agreed, but why would you not want to make yourself more visible to drivers as well? (quote: 'hiviz guff'). It does not in any way invalidate or contradict the other valid points you make.

Plus anything that helps show drivers we're being responsible and safe road users will help change perceptions and promote harmony between groups.

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Ush [594 posts] 2 years ago
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It would be useful for the road.cc coverage to re-iterate that there are specifics being called for by this campaign. I know you did link to the website, but the summary makes it sound merely like a 'something must be done urgently', whereas it's actually a bit more specific:

* The Mayor and Boroughs to spend at least the same per person on cycling provision as The Netherlands (the UK spends about £1.25 per person – The Netherlands spends about £33 per person);
* A ban on vehicles whose drivers cannot see adjacent road-users; and,
* A full London-wide segregated network to be built urgently.

Personally I'm not very excited about Dutch-style infrastructure, but I'd agree that these points above address some of my objections. Any cycle network needs to be city-wide and complete in scope. Otherwise it's a cycle restriction network.

I'd add: 1) changing the legal structure to encourage motor vehicle license holders to take their responsibilities more seriously; 2) reducing parking spaces in central areas; 3) introducing compulsory cycle training prior to motor vehicle operator training.

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Ush [594 posts] 2 years ago
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700c wrote:

why would you not want to make yourself more visible to drivers as well? (quote: 'hiviz guff')

He may want to be more visible, but it's debatable whether hi-viz actually makes that much of a difference. In addition, any government campaign, or literature, which suggests that it's the responsibility of the cyclist to be seen instead of the operator of the dangerous machinery to travel at low enough speeds, with constant attention at all times and an unobscured view is a problem. It ought to be obvious by now that public perception is that the roads are a playground for semi-educated, half-trained scofflaws who take it as their natural right that they should operate dangerous machinery. Encouraging this tacitly by focussing attention on a dubious safety measure is ... unhelpful.

700c wrote:

Plus anything that helps show drivers we're being responsible and safe road users will help change perceptions and promote harmony between groups.

I see no evidence to support your assertion that dressing up like a clown will make other people respect you.

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IanW1968 [251 posts] 2 years ago
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700c wrote:

Agreed, but why would you not want to make yourself more visible to drivers as well? (quote: 'hiviz guff'). It does not in any way invalidate or contradict the other valid points you make.

Because I dont like wearing plastic clothes in garish colours and theres no evidence to suggest there benefits are proportionate to the risk.

BTW I dont mind what you wear, even though it results in a world of glowing yellow people. I know it your personal choice so I dont moan about it.

Lets not get distracted from the real reasons theres conflict between road users.

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GoingRoundInCycles [133 posts] 2 years ago
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Sadly the footage from this demonstration (if it gets shown at all) will be totally undermined by the more "on message" nearly 50% of cyclists not stopping at red lights footage featured elsewhere. The Evening Standard is running the story today, no doubt about the reason for the timing of it IMO. The dailies will run with it tomorrow.

In the public's mind:

"cyclists are dying? well it's your own fault for being a load of effin RLJ bandits then"

... the most important details will no doubt be lost in the wash again .....

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Edgeley [261 posts] 2 years ago
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I'm in London. I'd rather have gone home, but I have stayed on to join the demo.

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mrmo [2022 posts] 2 years ago
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I believe that the CTC long ago campaigned against compulsory rear lights for cycles. The reason was quite simple, it meant drivers didn't have to look where they were going.

Hi Viz, helmets etc, are nothing about cyclists, it is about giving drivers ever more excuses for their behaviour.

I am not anti reflectives or helmets, they are not a panacea, they are not some get out of gaol card. I accept that the police and government don't give a damn I commute on a busy road and do what I can to ensure that the driver behind me has as much time to finish there text and overtake as possible!

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Colin Peyresourde [1637 posts] 2 years ago
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Redpath seems like such an apt name for someone campaigning about infrastructure, in so many ways. I hope they didn't pick her solely on that basis though....

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arfa [696 posts] 2 years ago
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Good turn out tonight. Sadly Gilligan is already trying to spin it as the unachievable demands of the extremists here:

http://talklondon.london.gov.uk/blogs/cycling-team/53-cent-cyclists-jump...

I'd highlight that his claims about banning lorries are a long way from what is being campaigned for here:

http://lcc.org.uk/pages/why-safer-lorries

A pity. I'd hoped that one who'd been a victim of spin would be less willing to sink to deploying it.

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Neil753 [447 posts] 2 years ago
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"Hi viz guff", "debatable whether hi-viz actually makes a difference", "dressing up ike a clown", "plastic clothes in garish colours", and (rather bizarrely) "glowing yellow people"  29

Come on people, this is starting to get a little silly.

I've a good mind to grab you by the virtual scruff of the neck, and get you to peer into the murky darkness of my rain spattered mirrors, half blinded by t**ts with poorly adjusted lights, and tell me how many cyclists you can see squeezing up the inside of my truck.

And then, just for good measure, I'd want you to write out a hundred times, "Even though I personally prefer not to wear hi-viz clothing, I will henceforth refrain from making irresponsible remarks on public forums that may deter others from doing so".

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Ush [594 posts] 2 years ago
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Neil753 wrote:

Come on people, this is starting to get a little silly.

He says, and then proceeds to discuss cycling up the inside of a truck in the rainy dark.

I know you know this, but:

1) don't go up the inside of a large vehicle
2) don't assume that anything other than lights and reflectives are going to get you seen at night. And even then...

It already feels like this has had to be written out a hundred times. Some of it by you. So perhaps that doesn't do any good either?

In any event the likely outcome of the arms race of visibility coupled with driver slackness is that even if there were a way to make oneself clearly more visible, then driver behaviour would simply adjust to take account of that and lead to increased speeds and closer "controlled passes" and turns.

High vis is simply the wrong focus.

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FluffyKittenofT... [1116 posts] 2 years ago
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700c wrote:

Agreed, but why would you not want to make yourself more visible to drivers as well? (quote: 'hiviz guff'). It does not in any way invalidate or contradict the other valid points you make.

Plus anything that helps show drivers we're being responsible and safe road users will help change perceptions and promote harmony between groups.

Because motorists ought to be able to see cyclists sans lurid yellows. If they can't, its because they are choosing not to look carefully enough, and are instead prioritizing texting, day-dreaming, or whatever else they are concentrating on. And driving too fast.

Given which, if everyone wears the lurid yellow, motorists will just adjust their behaviour accordingly and pay still less attention, leaving them with even less need to concentrate on the road, but the rest of us no safer.

The bit about 'harmony' I think is fantasy. I refer you again to Kevin McKenna in the Guardian, ranting about 'high-viz wearing freaks distracting drivers with their lurid outfits'.

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deblemund [262 posts] 2 years ago
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GoingRoundInCycles wrote:

Sadly the footage from this demonstration (if it gets shown at all) will be totally undermined by the more "on message" nearly 50% of cyclists not stopping at red lights footage featured elsewhere. The Evening Standard is running the story today, no doubt about the reason for the timing of it IMO. The dailies will run with it tomorrow.

In the public's mind:

"cyclists are dying? well it's your own fault for being a load of effin RLJ bandits then"

... the most important details will no doubt be lost in the wash again .....

This. Black clad unlit fixie rider RLJed outside my flat in WC1, forced a woman with her kids in her cargo bike to avoid him and shouted f... you when she rang her bell. People will ignore this protest, and remember things like that (while also forgetting the awesomeness of the kids coming home on a carbon free school run, which would be the norm if it wasn't so scary).

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giff77 [1193 posts] 2 years ago
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Neil753 wrote:

I've a good mind to grab you by the virtual scruff of the neck, and get you to peer into the murky darkness of my rain spattered mirrors, half blinded by t**ts with poorly adjusted lights, and tell me how many cyclists you can see squeezing up the inside of my truck.

Neil, don't you worry yourself. There's no way I'm going to squeeze along the inside of your truck. I'm quite happy to sit behind you until we go our separate ways. Can't vouch for the other ijitsout there though.

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Neil753 [447 posts] 2 years ago
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Ush wrote:
Neil753 wrote:

Come on people, this is starting to get a little silly.

He says, and then proceeds to discuss cycling up the inside of a truck in the rainy dark.

I'm speaking from a lorry driver's perspective. The clues were when I said, "my rain spattered mirrors" and "squeezing up the inside of my truck".

I'm sorry, but I couldn't quite work out the gist of the rest of your post, but whatever you choose to wear, or not to wear, please try and stay safe out there.

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Neil753 [447 posts] 2 years ago
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giff77 wrote:
Neil753 wrote:

I've a good mind to grab you by the virtual scruff of the neck, and get you to peer into the murky darkness of my rain spattered mirrors, half blinded by t**ts with poorly adjusted lights, and tell me how many cyclists you can see squeezing up the inside of my truck.

Neil, don't you worry yourself. There's no way I'm going to squeeze along the inside of your truck. I'm quite happy to sit behind you until we go our separate ways. Can't vouch for the other ijitsout there though.

All is calm.

And if you're ahead of me, I'm quite happy to refrain from overtaking you in the run up to a junction.

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700c [819 posts] 2 years ago
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IanW1968 wrote:
700c wrote:

Agreed, but why would you not want to make yourself more visible to drivers as well? (quote: 'hiviz guff'). It does not in any way invalidate or contradict the other valid points you make.

Because I dont like wearing plastic clothes in garish colours and theres no evidence to suggest there benefits are proportionate to the risk.

You've lost me there. What risk is there to wearing high visibility clothing?

But seriously, I'm not suggesting it isn't the responsibility of drivers to drive safely and avoid hitting cyclists, but I live in the real world, where I think you are well advised to do what you can to be be seen by traffic, especially around HGV's.

Anyway, its a free country, do what you want, of course.

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700c [819 posts] 2 years ago
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FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:
700c wrote:

Agreed, but why would you not want to make yourself more visible to drivers as well? (quote: 'hiviz guff'). It does not in any way invalidate or contradict the other valid points you make.
Plus anything that helps show drivers we're being responsible and safe road users will help change perceptions and promote harmony between groups.

Because motorists ought to be able to see cyclists sans lurid yellows. If they can't, its because they are choosing not to look carefully enough, and are instead prioritizing texting, day-dreaming, or whatever else they are concentrating on. And driving too fast.
Given which, if everyone wears the lurid yellow, motorists will just adjust their behaviour accordingly and pay still less attention, leaving them with even less need to concentrate on the road, but the rest of us no safer.
The bit about 'harmony' I think is fantasy. I refer you again to Kevin McKenna in the Guardian, ranting about 'high-viz wearing freaks distracting drivers with their lurid outfits'.

I don't understand. Yes, a driver should see any object on the road in the daytime, and any lit object on the road at night. But then I remember humans are fallible, and in the scenario where a driver has been distracted, or weather conditions do not make it easy to see, wearing something more visible might make a difference between life and death.

Its the principle of not wanting to do something for yourself to help you survive on the road, which I don't understand, just because it is the responsibility of drivers to drive safely around cyclists. Its a perverse attitude and seems akin to 'cutting off your nose to spite your face'..take the moral high ground all you want. That won't help you when you connect with several tons of metal, however.

As for distracting drivers by wearing high visibility clothing - surely that was said on jest - people can't believe that drawing drivers' attention to onesself on a bike is a bad thing?!

I wouldn't restrict the definition of high visibility to dayglow yellow, by the way, I would also class reflective panels, or other colours which reflect more light, (especially car headlights), as being 'high viz'.. You don't necessarily have to look like a prick!

Oh and I agree, harmony between road users is a complete fantasy whilst one group holds such polarizing attitudes and opinions compared to the other! And this goes both ways...

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IanW1968 [251 posts] 2 years ago
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700c-
I used the word "risk" to quite clearly say that any benefits were not proportionate to the risks (involved in cycling) not to suggest theres a risk to wearing the stuff itself.

I used the word "distraction" to quite clearly say this discussion is a distraction from the real issues not that clothing distracted road users.

You should read and digest whole sentences not pick a word and fill the rest in yourself.

Neil-

Your flowery post actually tells us you can't see very well and people on bikes shouldn't ride up the inside of large vehicles. On that there agreement. It also tells us you may have an anger management issue which is not good if you drive commercial vehicles but interesting as its often suggested its the frustration and lack of control that makes drivers take risks.

However on the basis that I can't go over and over explaining really simple stuff to every person with keyboard and poor reading skills, I will leave it at that and refer everyone to the second post of this thread.

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mrmo [2022 posts] 2 years ago
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700c wrote:

You've lost me there. What risk is there to wearing high visibility clothing?

There is actually a very strong risk that by wearing hi-vis, which is remember not a legal requirement. Making it more dangerous for other cyclists, not yourself but for others.

It comes down to what people are, or are not, looking for. Yes you should be looking for everything but you can't the human brain can not process everything the eyes see and anyone who says different is lying or stupid.

Yes you should be looking for Deer, foxes, badgers etc but going by the numbers i see dead on the way to work, alot of people aren't looking. If drivers start to expect cyclists to be light up like christmas trees and wearing hi-vis then that is what they will look for. A cyclist lit up LEGALLY wouldn't be visible!!!! The lights would be too dim.

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Dunks517 [44 posts] 2 years ago
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Look at this woman, she's been made invincible by the safer roads partnerships in Warwickshire.

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FluffyKittenofT... [1116 posts] 2 years ago
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700c wrote:

But then I remember humans are fallible, and in the scenario where a driver has been distracted, or weather conditions do not make it easy to see, wearing something more visible might make a difference between life and death.

...but only if you assume there is no element of risk-compensation involved. Human psychology being what it is, wearing something more visible will likely only make a difference to how much attention the motorist habitually chooses to pay to the road.

You remember human beings are fallible, but it seems as if you forget that those failings are also in large part a consequence of choices. The more cyclists choose to wear high-viz the more motorists will choose to be distracted. They'll take your high-vis, say 'thanks very much' and spend more time not looking at the road, and your risk will remain much the same.

Then there will be something else you'll have to do to try and save yourself, another additional inconvenience and burden for cycling (an electro-luminsecent suit, perhaps), in order to give still more opportunity for to drivers to text or eat their breakfast rather than looking where they are going.

700c wrote:

Its the principle of not wanting to do something for yourself to help you survive on the road, which I don't understand, just because it is the responsibility of drivers to drive safely around cyclists. Its a perverse attitude and seems akin to 'cutting off your nose to spite your face'..take the moral high ground all you want. That won't help you when you connect with several tons of metal, however.

There's a point at which everyone chooses to say 'no, its now your job to pay attention'. This point may vary from one cyclist to another of course (I say yes to lights and reflective, no to high-viz, a reluctant yes to helmets but I'm not wearing body armour!), that's inevitable, and ideally cyclists would try not to bicker amongst themselves over it.

Your point here falls down rather because you also stop at a certain point - where is your kevlar body armour? Why are you cycling at all, in fact, as the safest thing to do would be to get off the road entirely.

Everyone stops at a certain point, including you, so the argument is over where that point is, not an absolute one where you should put no limit on what you do to 'keep safe', which is the argument you seem to be making here.

Also if Kevin McKenna was speaking 'in jest' it was a jest in the context of a generic enraged rant against cyclists - something newspaper columnist are quite fond of when stuck for anything else to write about. The point is that, far from promoting 'harmony', the high-viz just gets thrown into the mix as another way of attacking cyclists.

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fatbeggaronabike [760 posts] 2 years ago
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Dunks517
But she still has an "achilles heel"  4 perhaps you should buy her some reflective ankle cuffs

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Ush [594 posts] 2 years ago
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Neil753 wrote:

I'm speaking from a lorry driver's perspective. The clues were when I said, "my rain spattered mirrors" and "squeezing up the inside of my truck".

Yes. That was clear. You were advising cyclists that they would be more visible in the dark from your rain spattered mirrors when they squeezed up the inside of your truck.

Neil753 wrote:

but whatever you choose to wear, or not to wear, please try and stay safe out there.

Why thank you kind sir. Do you know I had never thought of that? Thank goodness you mentioned it!

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Ush [594 posts] 2 years ago
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700c wrote:

people can't believe that drawing drivers' attention to onesself on a bike is a bad thing?!

There was a report about a decade ago which suggested that flashing rear lights attracted drunk drivers' attention and they ended up steering towards the light source.

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Neil753 [447 posts] 2 years ago
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mrmo wrote:
700c wrote:

You've lost me there. What risk is there to wearing high visibility clothing?

There is actually a very strong risk that by wearing hi-vis, which is remember not a legal requirement. Making it more dangerous for other cyclists, not yourself but for others.

It comes down to what people are, or are not, looking for. Yes you should be looking for everything but you can't the human brain can not process everything the eyes see and anyone who says different is lying or stupid.

Yes you should be looking for Deer, foxes, badgers etc but going by the numbers i see dead on the way to work, alot of people aren't looking. If drivers start to expect cyclists to be light up like christmas trees and wearing hi-vis then that is what they will look for. A cyclist lit up LEGALLY wouldn't be visible!!!! The lights would be too dim.

You can't have it both ways, one day claiming that hi-viz doesn't make you more visible, and then another day claiming that the wearing of hi-viz could make it "more dangerous" for other cyclists.

However, you do raise a good point; the more cyclists wear hi-viz, the less visible other cyclists become. And, conversely, the more cyclists in favour of dark clothing, the more cyclists who wear hi-viz stand out.

Which I guess is great for some, and not so great for others, but at least the principle (and the solution) is understood.