National Bike Week has just finished, so bikes have been in the news lately. In early September, a South Australian Council, West Torrens, put forward a proposal that the SA Local Government Association lobby the SA Government to introduce a new rule that all cyclists (and drivers of mobility scooters) wear high-visibility identification on their helmets and their person at all times.
The Council recommended Hi Viz clothing to make cyclists easier to see and therefore cycling will be safer. ITC looked through the West Torrens Council minutes of meeting to review the documentation supporting this recommendation. We could not find any documentation or report supporting the recommendation. You would have thought, that at the very least, the West Torrens Council would have relied on a study or research which shows wearing Hi Viz vests makes cycling safer.
In theory, the Hi Viz recommendation does sound like a good idea, but would it make cycling safer?
Bike SA responded to this suggestion by making the following statement on their website:
Bike SA does not support the mandatory wearing of hi-vis clothing or apparel. Such a proposition acts as a barrier to getting more South Australians riding their bicycles. Bike SA does however encourage riders to wear light and bright clothing and have their lights on – day and night. At a time when local governments are responsible for improving the public health of their community, regular cycling is proven to significantly improve an individuals’ health and drive down whole of community mortality rates.
In fact, there is an argument that a mandatory requirement would effectively be an additional cost burden to residents who are doing it tough – very often those on low incomes rely on their bicycle to get to and from work or school.
So what do you think? Would making cyclist wear Hi Viz clothing make you more cycle aware?
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