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MCN  says:

Poll: What's your opinion of hi-vis?

From January next year all French motorcyclists will have to wear a certain amount of hi-vis over their jacket. Good thing? What's your opinion of hi-vis? pollcomment

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  • Posted 3 years ago (27 June 2012 15:17)

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Nov 05

Posts: 58

andyinvienna says:

This is not a well thought out Idea, its basis is not on scientific analysis, we are told that bright colours are the answer, but science says it is not, in fact it is the opposite.

This is the science:

Chromatic Aberration
• Different colours force the eye to
change focus
• Slows reaction time
• Makes depth perception more difficult
• Can directly affect braking distance

The multicoloured
(patterned) Motorbikes
while distinctive, may
suffer decreased
conspicuity because of the
effects of camouflage

Please read more at scroll down to the 17 may 2011

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Jan 12

Posts: 6

fattybatter says:

Hi Vis is not the answer, driver training is.

I wear head to toe high vis for work when working in the road.  Along with a heavy asortment of signs and this still does not make people slow down or take appropiate action.  People will see hi vis but will not react to it.  I spend most of my day driving around also and have seen on many occasions emenrgency vehicles get stuck behind cars.  If bright blue flashing lights and a wailing siren can't draw a drivers attention what good will hi vis do?

Therefore hi vis is not the answer and will make no difference.  The only way is to train people to drive, not pass a test as has become the way in the past decade then the standards of driving may improve. 

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Feb 12

Posts: 49

frugaltail says:


MY pet hate is people taking science/research that some poor soul has spent years developing. Dude, that is the most horrific, stupid and counter intuitive argument ever. If you don't like it don't ware it, don't talk ass biscuits about it. Chromatic aberration or achromatism is only relevant to artificial lens with several layers at a variation of distances BECAUSE, Chromatic distortion is a failure of a lens to focus all colours to a single convergence point. IT HAS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH HI VIS!!!!!!!!?!?!?!?!? Its the same as believing in werewolves at full moon!! I'm sure wikipedia could give you more info than that piece of s***. The human brain is conditioned similar to preditorial animals to notice slight movement that is outside of our focal range, If people crash into you ware hi vis... its not because they didn't see you they just didn't look! I personally go for leathers during the summer because I expect no one to see me and ride like it, but in the winter use hi vis "just in case" it helps!

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Jan 12

Posts: 53

Preadator says: what.

Let the frogs be the Guinea pigs, they will then soon have statistics to look at which will probably tell them it makes no bloody difference. Making someone wear a hi vis jacket on a motorcycle dosen't make a car driver turn their head to look, fact!

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Apr 08

Posts: 3042

AdieR says:


I never bother with it; I'm not convinced it makes much difference to be honest.

It might work *if* drivers look, but I recall coming out of work one night and having a taxi driver pull out on me because he was looking only to his left, and didn't bother looking right at all.

Fact is some people should simply let the bloody guide dog drive.

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Aug 11

Posts: 32

shallwedance says:

viz vest

what happens when everybody is wearing it? what a crock

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Jan 11

Posts: 12

aboutye says:

From January next year all French motorcyclists will have to wear a certain amount of hi-vis over their jacket.

No they won't its retro-reflecting material which is completly different than hi-viz.

French Decree

The decree provides that drivers and passengers of motorized two-wheelers (2WD) of more than 125 cm3 from 1st January 2013 must wear a retro-reflecting device with a total surface area of at least 150 cm ².

150cm² of retro-reflective material – the stuff that reflects when you shine a torch on it. It sounds massive, but how much is that, actually? A smartphone is 64mmx122mm, which is 78.08cm², so two smartphone sized patches or an armband.

If riders fails to comply with the law they will be subject to a fixed fine of €68 which automatically leads to the reduction of two points from their driver’s licence. There is no mention of what the passenger faces for non-compliance, perhaps just a fine?

FFMC (French Riders Organisation) say that, “bikers already have four retro-reflective stickers on the helmet and they ride with the headlights on. In addition, a retro-reflecting device is useless in daylight … We also know that the issue of visibility is not a problem of lighting or colours of clothing, but a problem of inattention of drivers inadequately trained to coexist with PTWs which is more and more prevalent. Finally, why are only bikers of more than 125 cm3 included? They are the best equipped of all PTW users”

This year the political elections are due in France and “noises” coming from FFMC suggests that they are not finished with this issue.

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Apr 06

Posts: 383

SPIKER40 says:

be assertive

No need for high viz on motorbikes....

Just understand and manage the risks, good observation and situational awareness is key.......

think ahead, and be assertive.    Enjoy the roads.

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Aug 02

Posts: 109

1100970 says:

French are strange

The French Government has spoken so do it, what next will GP racers have to wear arm bands and helmet stickers, maybe French flags will have to have reflective bands put around them so birds dont fly into them.

  No end to this madness!!    Andy

[This Reply has been modified by the Author]

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Oct 10

Posts: 186

zoobaz says:

i wear it

I wear it, but only when I'm commuting to work on the bike - that's a 150 mile round trip up the M1. it's my choice at the mo.

Spiker - totally agree with most of your comments - good observation and situational awareness is key, thinking ahead etc, especially on the motorway where closing speeds can be very different to what's expected etc.

Don't wear it when I go out for a blast in derbyshire though - again, it's my choice.I'd really hate to be TOLD to wear it though!

The thing is, most bikers spend good money on gear that far exceeds the min requirements to be road legal, I know I can buy a full face lid for £39 if I want to - but I'm going to wear a SHOEI or Arai because it's my choice. the law also says nothing about boots, gloves, leathers etc but I'm allways clobbered up in those - no matter what the weather. the point I'm trying to make is that bikers know the risks and take the necessary steps. it's the same with looking after the bike etc - I'd never ride it if the brakes needed bleeding or the tyres were shot or something, yet I bet most car drivers would happily plump for the cheapest brake pads, tyres and service for their Ford Focuses given the choice! without a thought for how well they'd be able to stop if they really needed to in the rain etc. And it's those same idiots who moan at us for taking risks... Grrrr!!! 



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