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Hi vis discussion thread (read post #1)

  • 16-01-2014 11:34am
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 8,156 Iwannahurl


    MOD VOICE: So as not to take up room on the helmet thread I have taken out the last few pages of hi vis related material and put it together here. All material or threads relating specifically to hi vis will be moved in here or locked if it repeats what is already said in here. There are a few off topic posts but from now on if we could keep the discussion to Hi Vis, and related topics.

    Cram

    Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar was interviewed by Sean O'Rourke on RTE Radio 1 this morning.

    Questions were submitted by listeners, and someone asked whether hi-viz and helmets were to be made mandatory for cyclists.

    The Minister's response (paraphrased) was "hi-viz possibly, but the evidence is not great that helmets have a big impact on road safety."

    I have mixed views on that response. The situation with helmets has been well rehearsed in this thread -- evidence of modest benefit versus anti-cycling effect of mandatory laws -- but it's odd that the Minister might consider making hi-viz mandatory given that there is no evidence (to date) that it reduces casualties.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 30,468 ✭✭✭✭ Lumen


    I think 'possibly' is politician-speak for 'no'.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 22,092 Mod ✭✭✭✭ CramCycle


    Iwannahurl wrote: »
    The Minister's response (paraphrased) was "hi-viz possibly, but the evidence is not great that helmets have a big impact on road safety."
    I am pretty sure Leos views on this came up before on either Newstalk or The Last Word. He kept pointing out that there was no evidence and that to force such legislation would be pointless. The presenters started lambasting him about it but fair play he stuck to his guns on it and its rare I would give a modern politician kudos. I think it ended with the presenter calling him wreckless and having a pro helmet speaker on the next day.


  • Moderators, Politics Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 23,972 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Chips Lovell


    If they ever were to seriously entertain the notion of making high-viz mandatory, aside from the issue of its efficacy, you'd have to question the wisdom of imposing new regulations on visibility when the existing ones are so poorly enforced. There's a massive amount of people riding at night with no lights. And an even bigger number with lights that are so poor they're essentially useless.

    The whole hysteria about high viz has a generation of well meaning but gormless individuals riding around decked out greens and yellows but with lights that would barely illuminate a broom cupboard.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,766 ✭✭✭ Orinoco


    CramCycle wrote: »
    I am pretty sure Leos views on this came up before on either Newstalk or The Last Word. He kept pointing out that there was no evidence and that to force such legislation would be pointless. The presenters started lambasting him about it but fair play he stuck to his guns on it and its rare I would give a modern politician kudos. I think it ended with the presenter calling him wreckless and having a pro helmet speaker on the next day.

    I'm always touched by how many non-cyclists care so passionately about our safety!

    That is what's going on - right?


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 22,092 Mod ✭✭✭✭ CramCycle


    Orinoco wrote: »
    I'm always touched by how many non-cyclists care so passionately about our safety!

    That is what's going on - right?
    Memory is hazy but one did cycle, one made comment to the fact that he sees cyclists on his commute by car/taxi and I remember nothing of the other.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 15,704 ✭✭✭✭ RayCun


    If they ever were to seriously entertain the notion of making high-viz mandatory, aside from the issue of its efficacy, you'd have to question the wisdom of imposing new regulations on visibility when the existing ones are so poorly enforced. There's a massive amount of people riding at night with no lights. And an even bigger number with lights that are so poor they're essentially useless.

    and the amount of cars driving around with one working headlight...:rolleyes:

    (not whataboutery, just agreeing - enforce the existing laws first)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,298 ✭✭✭✭ Jawgap


    "hi-viz possibly"

    A very brave decision, Minister - very courageous.........


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,066 ✭✭✭ SeaSlacker


    In fairness to Leo, he's a known triathlete. I'm sure that'd entail a fair bit of cycling experience.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 22,092 Mod ✭✭✭✭ CramCycle


    RayCun wrote: »
    and the amount of cars driving around with one working headlight...:rolleyes:

    (not whataboutery, just agreeing - enforce the existing laws first)

    My brother got done for this, he passed the NCT the day before so obviously just happened. He is the only person I know to be done and accepts that it was deserved. That said I see cars getting waved through (rare as they are) checkpoints on the N11 after their tax/insurance is OK with parking lights only on, or missing one headlamp. It is infuriating, or the old lady with no lights on as she pulled out to both block a cycle lane/yellow box and therefore blocking all traffic all at once this morning.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,589 ✭✭✭✭ tomasrojo


    CramCycle wrote: »
    I am pretty sure Leos views on this came up before on either Newstalk or The Last Word. He kept pointing out that there was no evidence and that to force such legislation would be pointless. The presenters started lambasting him about it but fair play he stuck to his guns on it and its rare I would give a modern politician kudos. I think it ended with the presenter calling him wreckless and having a pro helmet speaker on the next day.
    Sounds like Matt Cooper. He's evangelical on the subject, and in the past has responded to an interview with someone infused with insufficient zeal by having a pro-helmet person on the next day, unchallenged.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 11,589 ✭✭✭✭ tomasrojo


    Just on the subject of hi-viz, I thought this was quite interesting, even though the safety film under discussion is just a student exercise:
    http://beyondthekerb.wordpress.com/2014/01/07/think/

    The left-hand side shows Unsafe Reality, and the right-hand side shows Safe Reality
    289133.png

    There isn't much difference, but the hi-viz wearer on the right is supposed to be more visible.

    Interestingly, the film-makers chose the worst scenario in which to place hi-viz. A dark rural road with the cyclist approaching the motorist from the right means that reflectors have no chance to shine, since they have no incident light, and fluorescent materials don't fluoresce at night.
    Let’s return to that issue of the front light. Curiously, one of the students who made the video commented below it that “filming the bike head on with a front light obscured the bike and rider, distracting from the other messages of having a rear light, helmet and reflective clothing“. Astonishingly, the front light was omitted precisely because of its visibility: as if a bright light moving along the road is somehow completely unrelated to the likelihood that there is a person somewhere close behind it.


    This is quite a prevalent attitude, to the extent that I've noticed people be more put out by a night-time cyclist with lights than a night-time cyclist without lights simply because the latter had hi-viz and helmet and the former did not. It's tokenism in place of thought.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,156 Iwannahurl


    If they ever were to seriously entertain the notion of making high-viz mandatory, aside from the issue of its efficacy, you'd have to question the wisdom of imposing new regulations on visibility when the existing ones are so poorly enforced. There's a massive amount of people riding at night with no lights. And an even bigger number with lights that are so poor they're essentially useless.

    The whole hysteria about high viz has a generation of well meaning but gormless individuals riding around decked out greens and yellows but with lights that would barely illuminate a broom cupboard.



    While in Melbourne for a few months in 2012 I was struck by the very high compliance with mandatory helmet laws. On the other hand, since I had preconceived notions about Australian roads policing, I was amazed by the number of cyclists at night time who were dutifully helmeted but had no lights front or back. It seemed to be very common.

    There's nowt as queer as folk...


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 13,991 Mod ✭✭✭✭ monument


    tomasrojo wrote: »
    Sounds like Matt Cooper. He's evangelical on the subject, and in the past has responded to an interview with someone infused with insufficient zeal by having a pro-helmet person on the next day, unchallenged.

    Did that happen after Andrew Montague and me were on?

    I recall him being stunned by the two of us questioning the effectiveness of helmets but did not hear the show the day after (busy with the paper and bike week).


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,589 ✭✭✭✭ tomasrojo


    monument wrote: »
    Did that happen after Andrew Montague and me were on?

    I recall him being stunned by the two of us questioning the effectiveness of helmets but did not hear the show the day after (busy with the paper and bike week).
    No, before that: 2009.

    http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=2055699243

    (He might well have done the same after you and Andrew though!)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,349 No Pants


    Just reading about this potential mandatory high-vis this morning and I'm wondering if it's going to be enforced on kids with bikes.

    Maybe if we painted everything in high-vis colours there'd be no more accidents ever.


  • Administrators, Social & Fun Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 62,332 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭ Beasty


    It's extremely unlikely to be enforced on anyone - read the last few posts - the chances of this being introduced are remote, to say the least


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,349 No Pants


    Beasty wrote: »
    It's extremely unlikely to be enforced on anyone - read the last few posts - the chances of this being introduced are remote, to say the least
    Thankfully Varadkar appears to be quite practical about the whole thing. I was worried for a moment because hi-vis would simply not go with any of my existing gear.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,238 ✭✭✭✭ loyatemu


    half the cars on the road are metallic grey, not particularly visible in our generally grey misty weather. Mandatory luminous yellow paint for all cars would undoubtedly improve road safety and should be seriously considered in the light of last years increase in road deaths.

    Similarly there is a high incidence of accidents involving poorly lit pedestrians on country roads. If all pedestrians (i.e. any human being on or near a public road) wore hi-viz jackets at all times, they would be a lot safer.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,925 ✭✭✭ RainyDay


    loyatemu wrote: »
    half the cars on the road are metallic grey, not particularly visible in our generally grey misty weather. Mandatory luminous yellow paint for all cars would undoubtedly improve road safety and should be seriously considered in the light of last years increase in road deaths.

    Similarly there is a high incidence of accidents involving poorly lit pedestrians on country roads. If all pedestrians (i.e. any human being on or near a public road) wore hi-viz jackets at all times, they would be a lot safer.

    Is there any evidence to support either of these contentions, or is it just your personal opinion?


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,468 ✭✭✭✭ Lumen


    RainyDay wrote: »
    Is there any evidence to support either of these contentions, or is it just your personal opinion?

    I once crashed into the side of a beige Volvo in foggy conditions.

    Is that evidence?


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,156 Iwannahurl


    I don't think much evidence is needed to confirm that hi-viz is highly visible, relatively speaking. Mind you, I'm open to correction on that point.

    The key question, however, is whether the wearing of hi-viz alters human behaviour in a manner that reduces death and injury on our roads.

    As far as I know there is no evidence to support that hypothesis.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 22,092 Mod ✭✭✭✭ CramCycle


    Iwannahurl wrote: »
    As far as I know there is no evidence to support that hypothesis.
    I don't know about that, every time I wear Hi Vis I feel like I have died a little inside.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,131 Dermot Illogical


    Iwannahurl wrote: »
    I don't think much evidence is needed to confirm that hi-viz is highly visible, relatively speaking. Mind you, I'm open to correction on that point.

    I was driving on a poorly lit road with steady traffic flow last month. It was dark, and wet. About 400-500m ahead I could see a cyclist in among the oncoming traffic. He had an excellent front light, set to flash. Even among the sea of oncoming headlights I could easily make him out. As I passed I noticed he was wearing a "hi-viz" placebo. I only noticed it at the last minute. He had a very bright rear light as well. In my mirrors I could see the rear light, but not the jacket.
    Relatively speaking his "hi-viz" was not highly visible.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,349 No Pants


    RainyDay wrote: »
    Is there any evidence to support either of these contentions, or is it just your personal opinion?
    There are a lot of cars that are black, brown, dark grey, light grey and silver. Some of them aren't easy to see in certain situations. This can easily be overcome if they use lights. Similar to cyclists, which is a point that was made earlier.

    The rest of the post I suspect is, similar to my own post about painting everything in high-vis, tongue-in-cheek.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,008 ✭✭✭ not yet


    No Pants wrote: »
    Thankfully Varadkar appears to be quite practical about the whole thing. I was worried for a moment because hi-vis would simply not go with any of my existing gear.

    Ha Ha..


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,156 Iwannahurl


    Overheard today.

    Pensioner has just told a Community Garda that he is still cycling but that he gets a bit nervous at times because of intimidating traffic conditions.

    Garda: "just wear your hi-viz at all times. If anything happens then you're not at fault."


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,589 ✭✭✭✭ tomasrojo


    Iwannahurl wrote: »
    Overheard today.

    Pensioner has just told a Community Garda that he is still cycling but that he gets a bit nervous at times because of intimidating traffic conditions.

    Garda: "just wear your hi-viz at all times. If anything happens then you're not at fault."
    Seems to be stock Garda response now.

    BSNYC featured this:
    http://vimeo.com/84694389

    based on this:
    http://www.streetsblog.org/2013/11/13/nypd-pedestrian-safety-tips-use-a-flashlight-if-you-walk-at-night/


    To be fair, the NYPD advice to pedestrians didn't mention helmets. Or flashing lights. But, parody.

    Or perhaps not even much parody:
    290216.jpg
    (Image courtesy of the Campaign for Global Road Safety)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,349 No Pants


    Heard something on the radio the other morning about the RSA handing out high-vis vests to schoolkids. It'll be like a mandatory uniform for everyone who isn't in a car soon.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,719 ✭✭✭ AstraMonti


    They should give out bubblewrap as well, in case they fall down while walking :rolleyes:


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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,822 ✭✭✭ buffalo


    No Pants wrote: »
    Heard something on the radio the other morning about the RSA handing out high-vis vests to schoolkids. It'll be like a mandatory uniform for everyone who isn't in a car soon.

    Can't embed vimeo, ugh.

    http://vimeo.com/84694389

    edit: oh, never mind. I see tomasrojo linked to it above.


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