Support road.cc

Like this site? Help us to make it better.

news

North Wales Police to hand out brightly-coloured gilets to “less visible” cyclists

Custom gilets feature the same 1.5m passing distance logo seen on new signs put up in Snowdonia

Brightly-coloured gilets featuring the 1.5m safe passing logo are to be handed out to cyclists in dark clothing as part of a new road safety initiative by North Wales Police, local authorities and the Welsh Government’s Traffic Wales service.

Traffic Wales says it has seen between a three- and four-fold increase in cycling in some parts of Wales’ trunk road network during lockdown.

However, North Wales Police appears to believe there is an issue with many wearing only dark clothing.

Sergeant Trystan Bevan of the Roads Policing Unit said: “During the lockdown it was noted by patrolling officers that a number of cyclists were wearing dark clothing making them less visible to other road users.

“Cyclists have a responsibility to ride in an appropriate manner and take measures to ensure they are as visible as possible to vehicles and other road users.

“However due to the increase in the number of cyclists taking to the roads, some may be better equipped than others, so the gilets will be handed over to the less visible.”

The gilets – produced by custom cyclewear firm, Velotec – feature the same logo used on first-of-their-kind safe passing distance signs recently put up in Snowdonia (basically along the route of the Brailsford Way).

Bevan said: “During the summer, we usually see cyclist casualties increase, but the majority of collisions are preventable. If everyone was a little more cautious and alert, slowed down and gave each other space, a lot of collisions could be avoided.

“Drivers are not knowingly putting cyclists at risk, but perhaps they’re not looking for them, or maybe they are unaware of the dangers of close pass overtaking. So we are asking all road-users to look out for each other and to help safeguard cyclists.”

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the road.cc team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

Add new comment

47 comments

Avatar
wtjs | 3 years ago
1 like

Do the police need to hand out more visible Mobile Messaging Trailers?

Avatar
wtjs | 3 years ago
1 like

Wait for it...

Avatar
wtjs | 3 years ago
1 like

All this is based on the superficially attractive notion, to people who don't cycle much, that these accidents are due to invisible cyclists. In Lancashire they hand out the totally ineffectual Mobile Messaging Trailer

Avatar
anagallis_arvensis | 3 years ago
1 like

Dear God no wonder cyclists are being killed with clowns like this in charge.

Avatar
David9694 | 3 years ago
3 likes

https://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/18621732.pavement-paintings-promo...

at the road safety partnership meeting : "now Jerry how many times have we been over this, cars will be cars and we must respect that. All in favour of the pavement stickers?"

Avatar
mdavidford replied to David9694 | 3 years ago
3 likes

Seems like if people are frequently crossing elsewhere than the crossing point, that's a good indication that either

a) the crossing point is in the wrong place and should probably be moved, or

b) crossing foot traffic is so high that speed limits should be lowered and maybe the road semi-pedestrianised.

Avatar
ktache replied to mdavidford | 3 years ago
1 like

B definitely b, though c) more signalled crossing points to be put in.

Avatar
David9694 replied to mdavidford | 3 years ago
2 likes

My ideal would be an awful lot more 20 mph zones, within which the car is at the bottom of the pecking order.  It stops for people, bikes, buses, cats and dogs. Not sure you'd need zebras or pelicans. 

Too often these partnerships put the basic problems of too many cars and too poorly driven in the "too hard" pile and come up with wheezes like the gilets or the sticker crossing points. 

Avatar
Rick_Rude | 3 years ago
9 likes

Surely that gilet is simply going to annoy motorists? May as well hand out ones saying don't run me over yer shit bastard.

Avatar
schlepcycling | 3 years ago
4 likes

Without wanting to start a fight or get flamed are the police just allowed to stop you?, don't they need a valid reason and if they do stop you can you just say 'no thanks' and ride on. As not wearing hi-viz isn't an offence then you're surely under no obligation to stop and engage with them.

Avatar
cbrndc | 3 years ago
9 likes

Are they also handing-out glasses for drivers that can't see, or driving lessons for drivers that don't know how to drive safely?

Avatar
Hirsute | 3 years ago
4 likes

A think a lot of drivers have no clue as how to drive. Was just walking on a minor road, single carriageway with passing places and of the 3 drivers, none slowed to walking pace and 2 carried on as though we were not there.

Later we were on a 40 stretch and even when there was no traffic the other way, drivers did not move over. One driver slowed to walking pace a little further on so kudos to him.

Avatar
David9694 | 3 years ago
1 like

Mae arwyddion wedi'u gosod i annog modurwyr i adael o leiaf 1.5m i feicwyr

English translation : "hey, my driving is a bit dodge, you won't mind putting on will you?"

Avatar
Organon | 3 years ago
2 likes

If it is warm enough for short sleeves it is normally too warm for a gilet, I normally only wear one with a LS top. Bit of a tangent I know.

Avatar
AlsoSomniloquism replied to Organon | 3 years ago
0 likes

TBH, I barely wear one as I don't ride far enough or at different altitudes But I believe they are in the same boat as leg and arm warmers where they keep the torso warm but can be easily stored in the back pocket when not needed. However I also think they are used when decending mountains to keep the cold off the chest and as this is snowdonia that may also be a factor on the choice. 

Avatar
Cargobike | 3 years ago
12 likes

What a load of patronising bollocks.
The reason motorists don't see cyclists is because they aren't looking, either they are texting or fucking around with one of the umpteen other gizmos that seem to be an unneccessary distraction in modern vehicles.
Add in motorists being totally unable to use their indicators when overtaking slower vehicles, so that the fourth or fifth car in the queue behind is on top of you before realising that you are there.
Stop blaming the victims for the problems and nick drivers who don't drive to the standards required for the roads.

Avatar
wtjs | 3 years ago
10 likes

When a driver puts a cyclist in danger, it's rarely because dark clothes made the person on the bike invisible.

That's the first comment in this topic and remains the essential feature. My own ceaseless war with Lancashire Constabulary began when a driver came down the wrong side of the Sainsbury's access road- 'cutting the corner' on turning right from the public road when I was in the corner waiting to turn right leaving the site. I had a very bright helmet mounted flashing light and a bright constant front light mounted on the handlebar. He hit my right shoulder  with the wing mirror, and he was only inches away from slamming into my front wheel and ramming the stem back into my stationary pelvis astride the top tube. The police decided that the  driver's excuse that he hadn't seen me because it was dark and raining was perfectly acceptable and the initial decision was 'no further action because it was only a momentary loss of concentration'. The police would have taken the same easy decision if I had been splattered over the tarmac because I wouldn't have been alive or conscious enough to give the alternative view of 'I didn't see him'- this is the police 'dream diagnosis' of insufficient evidence!

The driver hit me because he was used to 'cutting the corner' to avoid oncoming motor traffic and wasn't interested in looking out for anything waiting in the corner other than a large motor vehicle. Someone below mentions 'victim blaming', which is what is behind all this 'didn't see him' rubbish- mostly they see you perfectly well but think that 20 cms clearance is quite enough.

Avatar
Cycloid | 3 years ago
3 likes

If you are driving along a straight road a cyclist wearing Hi Viz a quarter of a mile down the road is very noticible.

It's a no brainer isn't it. "Cyclist should be made to wear Hi Viz". - NO

In 70% of the collisions between adult cyclists and motor vehicles the motorist is totally to blame. The most common explanation is "I did not see the cyclist"

Collisions do not happen when a cyclist is a quarter of a mile down the road. Collisions happen because of something that took place (or did not take place) a few seconds beforehand. At 30mph 3 seconds = 44 yards. The cyclist is there to be seen at this distance, the cause of most collisions is the driver not looking.

The problem we have is that the "No Brainer" lobby will win the argument and Hi Viz will become mandatory.

Avatar
AlsoSomniloquism replied to Cycloid | 3 years ago
3 likes

The Police Argumnent from other forces is that they want the SMIDSY defence to be something that can be countered in court with he was wearing Hi Viz.

They use the same ideology when the Plod go out to the nightclubs and give short skirt wearing ladies a pair of trousers so the "Look at what she was wearing, she was asking for it" defence can't be used in sexual assault defences. 

Avatar
Cycloid replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 3 years ago
3 likes

The argument works both ways

"He wasn't wearing Hi Viz M'Lud, how could my client be expected to see him"

I think is called Victim Blaming

Avatar
AlsoSomniloquism replied to Cycloid | 3 years ago
0 likes

I'm not disagreeing with you or making excuses for plod, (I was hoping the second paragraph was showing my sarcasm about it.)

It was just what one force mentioned when doing the builders hi-viz one and when challenged their superinetendent (I think) replied with they want to remove the SMIDSY as an obvious defence in these cases.

Avatar
Cycloid replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 3 years ago
1 like

I'm with you all along, but we are now in a funny position.

Victim blaming is wrong, but it's a valid reason for not proceeding with a prosecution.

 It's in our own interests to wear Hi Viz, not because it works very well, but it MAY make it easier to obtain justice after an accident

Avatar
LetsBePartOfThe... replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 3 years ago
1 like

Are you advising to cycle in a short skirt rather than hi-vis. I'm gonna look fabulous 

 

 

 

 

 

Avatar
mdavidford replied to Cycloid | 3 years ago
5 likes

In any case, being noticeable a quarter of a mile away is no guarantee of being noticea quarter of a mile away. There are plenty of cases of cyclists with hi-viz, lights, etc. being hit or near-missed by drivers who had ample time to see them, without it having to be a last moment reaction.

Avatar
Butty | 3 years ago
5 likes

How about "smile  1 you're on camera" on the back just to unnerve drivers?

Avatar
AlsoSomniloquism | 3 years ago
8 likes

As long as they make all drivers of black cars paint hi-viz colour squares onto them, I don't have a problem with this.

I ride with lights on day and night and even my black clothing has reflective detail on. A driver will see you or not see you and as shown with some court cases, they will still get away with the SMIDSY even when the victim is lit up like a Christmas Tree.

Although I could do with a new gillet so anyone let me know which routes I need to cycle to get one?

Avatar
londoncommute replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 3 years ago
2 likes

AlsoSomniloquism wrote:

I ride with lights on day and night and even my black clothing has reflective detail on. A driver will see you or not see you and as shown with some court cases, they will still get away with the SMIDSY even when the victim is lit up like a Christmas Tree.

I've always been a bit uncomfortable by this as it's then only a stones throw away from the judge saying when another cyclist who hasn't got them is mown down that they didn't have daytime lights so the driver isn't at fault. 

I remember reading a case a few years ago were a driver texting mowed someone down who was doing nothing wrong but the judge made the point of highlighting the cyclist didn't have a helmet on (obvioulsy also not legally required like daytime lights) so was partly to blame for the injuries. 

Avatar
AlsoSomniloquism replied to londoncommute | 3 years ago
0 likes

I do the daytime lights thing now as new cars and motorbikes are expected to have them. As it has not been reported that drivers of older vehicles have not been found against them for not doing it, I'm assuming that it will do no harm but then as you also point out, Plod, juries and Judges seem to have a blind spot (excuse the pun) when it comes to court cases involving cyclists. 

I will add I have had as many close passes and incidents with the light on or off and as I don't survey drivers on whether it helped them avoid killing me I can't say their effectiveness. 

Avatar
Simon E replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 3 years ago
3 likes

AlsoSomniloquism wrote:

Although I could do with a new gillet so anyone let me know which routes I need to cycle to get one?

Next time I'm there I will take a dark top with me and see if I can obtain one. What size are you?

On a more serious note, Sergeant Bevan is right:

"If everyone was a little more cautious and alert, slowed down and gave each other space, a lot of collisions could be avoided."

This should be the most important message and it applies to car-on-car collisions too, of course. The A55 dual carriageway was closed in both directions for several hours yesterday due to a crash.

It's North Wales, during the summer holidays. With the best will in the world you are not going to have the roads to yourself, so don't drive like a dick!

Avatar
muhasib | 3 years ago
5 likes

Do NW Police have special cameras to spot these low visibility cyclists that apparently can't be seen by the public?

Any chance of deliberate wearing of black clothing by cyclists to qualify for a free gilet?

Pages

Latest Comments