Here, have this talisman to protect you from a ton of speeding metal. Totally works! You’d be mad not to wear it!
So, in the UK I see that the police are stopping Evesham cyclists to warn against dark clothing (via road.cc) and handing out the old hi-viz.
“In 2009, cycling charity CTC was critical of Hampshire Constabulary for stopping riders who were wearing dark clothing.
A CTC spokesman said at that time: “It’s curious the police are stopping cyclists for not breaking the law when there are so many motorists who break the law every day, and I think a much better use of police resources could focus on drivers breaking the law.”
Research findings on the efficacy of high-vis are inconclusive.
In 2013, a University of Bath and Brunel University study found that no matter what clothing a cyclist wears, around 1-2 per cent of drivers will pass dangerously close. The researchers concluded that there is little a rider can do, by altering their outfit or donning a high-visibility jacket, to prevent the most dangerous overtakes from happening.”
Yes, because the only reason you get hit by a car is because you’re not dressed like a Mardi Gras carnival float. Nothing to do with car drivers having inattentional blindness and/or just not really paying attention to what’s happening around them. No matter how you look at it, as a car driver you are responsible for controlling a ton or so of metal moving at speeds that will probably kill or seriously injure anyone not contained in a similar metal cage. You can hand-wave all you want about high-vis and helmets, but no amount of talismans will help someone when hit with a car.
As irishcycle.com say:
“Clearly visibly is important. The law already requires bicycles to have reflectors and makes it mandatory to have a front and a rear light after dark. The promotional and enforcement approaches should cover cycling and use of lights, but it should mainly be aimed at the largest problem in terms of harm caused — poor driver behaviour.
Above all, the design of our roads and streets need to change for long-term sustainable safety — following countries such as the Netherlands and Sweden. In an article recently on why Sweden has the world’s safest roads, Matts-Åke Belin, a government traffic safety strategist, is quoted as saying: “We are going much more for engineering than enforcement.””
We need proper infrastructure, better driver consideration of their responsibilities, and less guff about hi-viz that amounts to victim-blaming.