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Steve Farrell  says:

Police target riders for not wearing hi-vis

Police in Sussex have admitted targeting motorcyclists for not wearing hi-vis bibs. The force stopped 150 commuters for not wearing hi-vis gear in a five-day operation and issued each with a bib which they were told they should wear in a road-side lecture. A force spokesman said: “Riders were given a free hi-vis vest and a talk about road safety,...

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  • Posted 5 years ago (20 November 2009 17:27)

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May 08

Posts: 30

ciderdrinker says:


...and utter bollocks. It's about time the "SMIDSY" excuse was no longer allowed as a defence after maiming/killing a biker. If they didn't see you they weren't looking properly. Not a valid excuse in my opinion. They shouldn't have licences if they aren't using their eyes all the time. Prosecute them to the full extent of the law.

As for Plod stopping people and issuing hi-vis vests - piss off and go catch some burglars! Why aren't they stopping car drivers and reminding them to keep their peepers open for vulnerable road users? The amount of dickheads in cars these days is amazing. These are the people who need educated not bikers. If Plod can spare the money and resources to carry out this crap then they can also have a few more bobbies on the beat instead of targetting law-abiding folk. Twats.




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Feb 09

Posts: 4769

philehidiot says:

Saw it

It's well recognised that drivers take greater risks when what they're pulling out in front of is more vulnerable / smaller - it's probably a subconscious "this'll hurt" for a car or lorry Vs "I can make this" without the nagging self preservation thing making them more conservative.

If you can't judge the speed or distance accurately you could quite reasonably think that the person was further away and given drivers are used to seeing two lights as reference points which change quicker with higher speeds, then seeing one light which barely changes would quite conceivably be processed as going slowly.

I had a "chat" with a driver who pulled out in front of me - I had to slam the brakes on yet he thought I was "miles away".

Almost every time you pull out onto a road, you're "pulling out in front of someone" but the difference is assessing the gap you have and whether you can get out there without forcing the other driver to change speed or direction, or making them feel they might need to.

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Feb 08

Posts: 276

Trumpton3 says:


Well perhaps Sussex police should wear them on their un-marked Fireblades as well

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Dec 04

Posts: 22

Ozzie3 says:

Hi-Vis Vests

I agree with all the comments about the police should have better things to do blaaa blaa blaa.We have heard that argument many times before for many differant reasons.

 I think that hi- vis vests make the rider look a right wally. I have dont understand the reasoning behind why a rider should be more visable wearing a hi vis vest but the unfortunate answer is that they are..If you were not wearing one and car pulled out on you, who is to know if the driver might have seen you if you had one or not,it is pure guesswork.  What I do know is that if I see a pedestrian in a hi vis vest I am off the throttle as an automatic reaction,whether of not I've done anything or not,the assumption being the police with a nasty apperatus pointed at me. I saw a guy once in the far distance wearing a hi-vis,did a U turn,went into a cafe for half an hour.When i returned to the scene I found a council workman strimming the grass verge.So my point is that they do work,whether we like it or not. Just hope that we are not forced into it with legislation.

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Aug 09

Posts: 9

sambrown100 says:

Hi vis vests

Im not against them. On balance probably a sensible thing. I would be extremely concerned about police using this excuse to hassle bikers where an advertising campagn would be appropriate.  Seems to me that mainland police are so anti biker as to put me off travelling.  Are things really so difficult with police/biker relations?  Here in Northern Ireland policing is firm but fair and many policemen are also bikers. Biking especially round south of Ireland nothing short of awesome.  Fantastic roads, scenery etc. Respect speed limits in built up areas and you will be in biker heaven.

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Dec 03

Posts: 9

marmalade says:


In my experiance it dosen't make much differance if you do or dont wear a hi-vis jacket, had an accident a couple of years ago at night when a car driver pulled out into my path at  a roundabout, I was on my WHITE K100lt,headlight on, within the speed limit (40) once I'd picked myself up all she said was you came around that roundabout fast, to which I replied you saw me then!  so basicly you cant help bad drivers/stupidity.

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Feb 09

Posts: 4769

philehidiot says:


Yep, hivi doesn't just make you look a wally, it makes you feel one too.

Great thing is I can't see myself when I'm on the bike, so I really don't care.

The great thing about looking a wally is that you stand out and people do actually see you. They might think "what a prat" but they've seen you.

When I'm riding outside of rush hour, I don't bother with it. When I'm commuting and therefore doing a lot more "inventive" riding (over taking, filtering, etc) outside of the normal flow and position of traffic then I feel a hivi is hugely advantageous. Far more people get out of your way and this is easily measured by the amount of "thanks!" waves I give as I go past. Yeah some people see you and block you off - they're called f**kbends and should be treated as such.
If you're riding outside rush hour then the amount of filtering and over taking you'll do is limited and on top of that you should have the mad defensive riding skillz (innit, because I is down with the kids) to keep you safe. Everyone who is sat at a junction hasn't seen you - looking at their face might work in a car but for a bike, you look at their wheels and establish on your approach if they're on the handbrake or the clutch. If their wheels move even an inch, then beep them. They might get irritated because they wern't planning on pulling out but if they've got half a brain cell they will remember that half of it is conveying what you're doing to other people so they feel safe and can accurately plan what they're doing without the wild card of the person who insists on rolling forward and back on the clutch at a junction. 3/4 of accidents where a driver claims not to have seen a rider happen at junctions. I have personal experience showing that in some cases they're just cocks (he pulls out, I beep, they stop, I carry on and they pull out anyway. He floors it away and years later I'm still on pain killers. Wanker).

What's interesting is that there are so many people who will think this kind of analysis of the nuances of using the roads is pathetic but then they're obviously blinded to the risks by their airbags and (ME)NCAP safety ratings. RTAs count for almost half of all accidental death in Britain and the largest single cause of death for young adults.

Someone asked for stats - I can't remember exact figures for all of these:
Bikes = 1% of traffic, 20% of fatalities
Majority (3/4) of accidents in urban areas
Majority (just over 50%) of fatalities in rural areas
Majority of accidents and KSI accidents on over 500cc machines
Peak age being killed on a bike (surely off a bike?) is 17
20 year olds have 3x the accident risk as 30 year olds
The average rider will have more than 8 accidents if they start at 17 by the age of 35
In an accident a biker is 35x more likely to be killed or seriously injured.
8x more likely to be involved in an accident resulting in injury.

Studies have shown that a hivi and 55W halogen bulb make you more obvious.

You can see why the Police are targeting bikers and studies have shown that during the day about 1/3rd of accidents involving another vehicle were caused by not being seen. At night this rises to almost half. Remember that at night, you're one little light amongst many. You're riding along working on the same principle as disruptive pattern material used by the Army in their camo and you expect to be seen? Those other lights will reflect off a hivi, making you stand out more.

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Feb 09

Posts: 4769

philehidiot says:


The Police are under considerable pressure to reduce road fatalities thanks to targets and so will be looking at significantly proportioned groups and the causes. Given it's getting darker earlier that stat about over 1/2 not being seen at night is even more important. The approach is, in my opinion, wrong as you're being pulled over and being made late. The intention is sound and based on good evidence.

Why not post the hivis or have officers delivering to houses with the lecture? Far more targeted rather than sitting there waiting for them to go past and irritating people.

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Aug 02

Posts: 139

nessychris says:


I'll get me coat n' sell the bike then..... of all the namby pamby health and safety CR*P I've erver heard. This country is just a sack of sh*te.

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Oct 04

Posts: 93

Stavros7 says:


I don't understand what the fuss is all about - typical of this MCN reporter cleverly word the article to stir up trouble where there is non with a supposedly anti bike spin 'aren't we bikers all victimised.' At least the Police are trying to prevent accidents instead of having to deal with the consequences. What's the problem with that?  

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