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Author Topic: Hi Viz
Guest
Newbie
Posts: 9
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Post Hi Viz
on: April 8, 2012, 18:45
Quote

Sunday 8th April 2012

Why don’t more motorcyclists wear a “Hi Viz” garment (fluorescent material with reflective strips) be it a vest or full jacket when riding?

When out on the roads I hardly ever see motorcyclists wearing any form of Hi Viz or reflective clothing. Curiously, when I do see a motorcyclist wearing Hi Viz clothing, they are invariably riders with L plates with either low powered machines or riders of scooters.

So why is this?

Well I believe there has to be an element of ego which overrides commonsense. Most riders I am sure, must be acutely aware of how vulnerable they are when choosing to take to the roads on a motorcycle - accident statistics and associated injuries exist as a haunting fact and tormenting reminder of the dangers of our hobby.

So are the personalities of riders with high powered machines to blame? Probably. One attains a CAT A motorcycle license and in doing so, that person throws away the L plates and with those, the Hi Viz vest goes as well – after all they are not required anymore. Moreover, the thinking probably flows something like this…

When I take to the roads on my high powered machine I don’t want to wear a Hi Viz vest because this will indicate that I am a novice – not cool and in any case it will ruin the look of my gear and that’s not cool either!!

Of course it should be mentioned there are many riders who began their training for the motorcycle test long before Hi Viz was even invented. Nevertheless, no pardon should be granted for not wearing Hi Viz it is after all, just commonsense and indeed harmless to wear it.

Although a few of today’s selection of members who turned up for the ride out did wear a top with Hi Viz properties, I would guess over 50% in attendance did not.

Why then as an:

Associate, member, observer, senior observer and chief observer of the IAM, do we choose to ignore certain elements of the text covering:

“Conspicuity” (page 22 in my edition)
The Police Riders Handbook To Better Motorcycling

and

“Clothing” (page 17 in my edition)
IAM How To Be A Better Rider.

When we relentlessly discuss, train, practice and discipline ourselves to follow all other codes and doctrines of practice detailed comprehensively throughout both publications?

I am sure I will not be alone in looking forward to reading any counter arguments.

Thanks for reading.

Safe riding...

Dan

PS Just look at every pictorial image of the rider in The Police Riders Handbook To Better Motorcycling and notice what is constant throughout the publication.

BladeVFR
Pro
Posts: 144
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Post Re: HI Viz
on: April 8, 2012, 19:19
Quote

Hi Dan, welcome to the website and Forum.

Your logic is undeniable.
Your commonsense is unquestionable.
Your knowledge and quotations are impeccable.

I do not have a reason or excuse why I choose to mostly ride without Hi-viz.

The 'mostly' refers to the Hi-viz sash (Sam Brown?) that I wear when riding at night.

Also, the one piece leathers that I wear when it's a bit warmer than today (2 weeks ago) have a large amount of yellow in them and I sometimes (2 weeks ago) wear a bright yellow fleece over the top. Neither of these are Hi-viz but do make me more conspicuous.

I realise this does not answer your question but I felt a reply, at least, was appropriate.

gavinstock
Newbie
Posts: 7
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Post Re: HI Viz
on: April 8, 2012, 20:11
Quote

Hi Dan, welcome to the site.
I mostly refrain from wearing the Hi Viz style clothing whilst riding. This is purely personal choice by myself. Some of my clothing does however contain Reflective qualities.
An interesting discussion arose on my last group ride about the merits of such items ,now compulsory in some countries. It would seem that cyclists, in a recent study by some university students no doubt, are statistically more likely to have a collision whilst wearing Hi-Viz !! I don't know if thats true or not? it's just what was said during our chat. Something to do with target fixation i believe.
I personally think that as riders we are responsible for ourselves, and should do as much as possible, whilst riding to make ourselves seen by other road users. However i feel that in many instances, particularly from the front view,Hi Viz would make little or no difference to what other road users see. Therefore i prefer to use my own observation skills within certain situations to make an informed opinion regarding the "has he seen me" train of thought. Doubtless some would argue that surely Hi-viz makes you more visible? with this i would agree,but it only works, like so many other things, like headlights, in that they have to be looking at you first !!

mattjack
Moderator
Posts: 28
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Post Re: HI Viz
on: April 9, 2012, 09:20
Quote

Just a few quick comments....From someone who generally speaking doesn't wear Hi-Vis as such. Most of my gear has reflective elements built into it. I ride a big bright orange motorcycle...if they can't see that! If the sun is bright and low in the sky, would you be less visible wearing Hi -Vis if the sun is behind you? Don't do anything 'cos it's written in a book or on a video...do it because you have thought about it and it works for you. Speaking of books, don't forget the highway code rule 86 which concludes by saying....."be aware that other vehicle drivers may still not have seen you or judged your speed or distance correctly..." Good to see a bit of thoughtful discussion going on

Guest
Newbie
Posts: 9
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Post Re: HI Viz
on: April 9, 2012, 11:39
Quote

If the sun is bright and low in the sky, would you be less visible wearing Hi -Vis if the sun is behind you?

Without actually performing some sort of testing and therefore in the absence of facts I personally can’t comment or answer this question. It is however an interesting thought and I presume the thinking is that a silhouette of dark clothing would be more effective in this scenario. I suppose the Hi Viz rider, if inclined, could have the option of removing a garment which is blending with the immediate background. Commonly, HI Viz garments with fluorescent qualities cover just the body and not the sleeves.

Rule 86 in its entirety states:

Rule 86

Daylight riding. Make yourself as visible as possible from the side as well as the front and rear. You could wear a light or brightly coloured helmet and fluorescent clothing or strips. Dipped headlights, even in good daylight, may also make you more conspicuous. However, be aware that other vehicle drivers may still not have seen you, or judged your distance or speed correctly, especially at junctions.

Click on or copy and paste link which shows two photographs of the same rider in the same location.

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/TravelAndTransport/Highwaycode/DG_069854

Of course I am not advocating Hi Viz has miracle qualities which will in all circumstances, make you more noticeable and inherently safe – it’s just it can’t not help in the being seen game.

I agree wholly with gavinstock’s comments. Indeed being seen by a car waiting to emerge from a junction is always a tricky few moments. In a recent eye test I was told I have resolution 30% better than 20/20 vision. However, even I may not be able to discern eye contact (and I'm not advocating eye contact gives you an all clear to proceed) when the sun is in my eyes or the driver of the vehicle is wearing sunglasses. One makes the necessary adjustments from all other information to negotiate the hazard until cleared.

My argument is whilst there are references in serious publications with a high concern for safety and accident reduction, do we all not wear something that is harmless, cheap and mostly helpful to other road users and pedestrians. Furthermore as these references do exist for very good reason, I bet I’ll never be told by anyone in this organization not to wear it. However, I will undoubtedly be told to make or consider to make riding adjustments based on the contents of the manuals.

A bit of a paradox.

Safe riding…

Dan

PS I am not on a plight or mission to change the rules of the club. Merely a topic to pep up the forum and maybe to challenge inner thoughts.

Guest
Newbie
Posts: 9
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Post Re: HI Viz
on: April 11, 2012, 19:15
Quote

I thought I would try to keep this thread alive.

I enjoyed reading the arguments for and against Hi Viz written by the Solent Advanced Motorcyclists.

A good balanced discussion with plausible arguments for and against.

Have a read...

http://www.solent-advanced-motorcyclists.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=111

And why not comment.

Safe riding...

Dan

PS Sorry so PS today 😉

Guest
Newbie
Posts: 9
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Post Re: HI Viz
on: April 11, 2012, 19:18
Quote

Should have read:

PS Sorry no PS today 😉

"It pays to read through!"

gazza
Advanced
Posts: 58
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Post Re: HI Viz
on: April 12, 2012, 23:56
Quote

Certainly an interesting debate. having read the above i think these arguments will go on for some time, or untill legislation forces us all to wear some form of Hi Vis

I wear textiles ( fed up getting caught out in the rain) but personally prefer leathers.
Leathers, with their built in protection, certainly made me feel more confident that if i did happen to slide off i was unlikely to suffer gravel rash, giving me an extra feeling of security.
In textiles i do feel more vunerable and if i happen to pop into the city in jeans then that vunerabilty increases.
I feel that our riding attire can reflect in the ways in which we ride

We have to be careful that just because we are wearing hi vis we dont lose sight of that overall vunerability. it wouldn't do well to become complacement and assume that just because we are wearing hi vis that we are actually visible to all road users.

As the good book says (page 23) "even in daylight, up to a third of other road users will not even realise you are there", knowing which third is extremley difficult, the only way around that is presume no one realises, Hi Vis or no Hi Vis.

The Vicar
Newbie
Posts: 20
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Post Re: HI Viz
on: May 9, 2012, 23:00
Quote

OK, here's what I preach...

First off, I must confess that I do tend to wear a HiViz jacket, tabbard or cassock more often than not (even when I'm on my Duke for heaven's sake). Sometimes a white helmet too.

Do I think it should be compulsory? Absolutely not - not until there is some proper scientifically-controlled evidence that convinces me that as a result I am less likely to become a 'Killed or Seriously Injured statistic', otherwise it's just subjective heresay. Do I think it will become compulsory in the UK? Of course it will, that's what Brussels is for.

Do I think it's fun to dress like a copper, sneak up on unsuspecting car drivers and wait for them to see me whilst they're doing some dodgy overtake? Yes, it's hilarious but sadly few of my quarry actually see me. And that's the point...No matter what I wear, I ride as if I'm utterly invisible, then I don't have any surprises. I assume other road users are out to get me (it's not 'eye-contact' they're giving me, nor 'target fixation', it's the look of a cold, remorseless killer that is out to squeeze my head like a pimple).

Oh, and I almost always ride on dipped beam, not because I think it makes me more visible, but so some smart Lawyer4You can't reduce my damages when it comes to justice.

Pearls of wisdom...1) when I'm out riding my dogkn*b red Ducati through our green Norfolk lanes I always remind myself that almost 10% of males are green / red colourblind, so to their eyes, I AM Invisible (see what I did there?).

2) RAF training aircraft used to be painted bright yellow, but about 5 years ago they changed them all to black "to improve their visibility".

3) If you come off your bike at night and you aren't wearing something reflective, you will not have long to ponder your fate.

See you at church on Sunday.

The Vicar

BigA
Newbie
Posts: 18
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Post Re: HI Viz
on: May 15, 2012, 18:27
Quote

I have just logged on after some stick from Peter, saw this thread and thought I would add my comments.
I rode for about 18 months with no hi viz, during that time I had one emergency stop (yes Matt, I can! lol) and two less worring pull outs on me by vehicles from the side roads. I decided to gvie them better odds at seeing me, so I bought the yellow vest you see me in every sunday. Since wearing that, I have had only one very minor "almost didnt see you", but the driver did and braked hard to stop pulling out in front of me.
I know the vest will not stop eveyone, I know a T-Bone could still happen easily, I still ride like no one can see me, but just maybe, I have that visible edge that has saved me grief without me even knowing it.
Should it be made compulsory, I dont think so, everyone should be free to make thier own decisions. However given that the government pays for the NHS (with our money) they kind of have a duty to save money and by reducing accident injuries they are doing just that. So I expect hi viz to become the law soon, proven or not.
BigA

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