High-visibility clothing for cyclists a must – coroner

This is the moment I feared would come. Why does NZ officialdom come up with so many crackpot ideas? Why do they think it is more effective to have ambulances at the bottom of the cliff than erecting fences at the top?

The man is saying “OK, the mandatory helmet law has clearly failed so what can we do to re-victimize the victims again? Oh I know, let’s force the bike riding underclass wear a hi-vis.”

He would have served society better by calling for stronger penalties for the people who kill and injure people on bikes and foot due to their carelessness.

Just as night follows day we will now get some opportunist politician looking to make a name for him or herself and bingo – another barrier to riding a bike. And no politician will dare to oppose making our roads safer.

From Radionz… http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/128086/high-visibility-clothing-for-cyclists-a-must-coroner

A Coroner’s report into the road death of New Zealand’s top roading policeman has recommended it be made compulsory for cyclists to wear hi-visibility clothing on the roads.

Stephen Fitzgerald, 57, died after being clipped by a truck at a roundabout at Petone, near Wellington, in June 2008.

The driver, Desmond Wilson, was found guilty of careless driving in 2009.

Coroner Ian Smith is recommending high visibility clothing be made as compulsory as bike helmets.

He says the high visibility clothing may not stop an accident, but it is common sense for the safety of cyclists.

Mr Smith is also reminding motorists to leave a one-metre gap when passing cyclists and for cycle lane rules to be made more clear.

He acknowledges the efforts of Hutt City Council in creating a cycle lane at the Petone roundabout following the crash, but says the intersection needs to be reviewed.

Copyright © 2013, Radio New Zealand


12 thoughts on “High-visibility clothing for cyclists a must – coroner”

  1. What’s next? A mandatory police escort? Airbag? Fluorescent frame? Front and rear bumper? Training wheels? Speed limiter? Seat belt? Or a Sumo wrestling suit???

    1. They are a lot of people driving who should NOT be let out of the house let alone be in charge of a vehicle..!! They are absolute muppets..!!! High viz clothing is NOT there to save your life, it’s there to alert the MUPPETS who should not be let of the house that there are people including children smaller than their car to Slow Down… You Can Kill Someone.!!
      I’am absolutely astounded at just how backward some of these comments have been, and I would be even more astounded if they have even been on a bicycle in the the 20 years let alone this century..!!

      This is the 21st Century & there is No Posible way anyone would .cycle on the roads of the UK at any time of the day without High Viz Clothing… It’s Widley excepted in the civerlised world & has become the Norn to do this…
      Police, Trafic workers, Builders, Engineers, Concil workers anyone… It’s the Law in the uk that anyone working where they are vehicles Must wear a high viz vest..!! THE NORM..!!
      But then again, we Are a 21st Century Country.

  2. It would seem the research on the effectiveness of high vis is inconclusive. There is some suggestion that when high vis becomes common place its effectiveness is nullified due to a ‘blending in’ effect.

  3. I read the coroner’s report this morning. I’ve heard others comment on the report that it should get a ‘D’ at best, because there is quite a disconnect between the coronial inquiry, and the conclusion that the coroner draws from it. Anyway, what really amused me is this bit of the ‘Coroner’s comments’:

    “Turning to the issue of high-vis clothing it is my view a no-brainer.”

    That is really what he did write. Apart from this statement not forming a proper sentence, I think I know what he means. But you could also understand it as him saying that he didn’t use his brain. That would explain quite a few things.

  4. I am not sure what the use of high-vis jackets are in the rest of New Zealand but I would suspect they have almost reached saturation point here in Christchurch. Almost every contractor, and there are certainly plenty here, wear one along with plenty of cyclists, walkers and everybody else. It appears that now everybody on a building site have to wear them.
    The point is that they are now starting to be so common they have lost their standout value and I would suspect are starting to give some wearers a false sense of safety.
    Personally I would not wear one as I prefer to remain very conscious of my surroundings.

  5. I would have thought it appropriate to suggest that brightly coloured clothing be worn whilst riding a bike , but to speak it as he did , well lets just have another law so we can find a reason to be punitive to the victims …… give us a break !!!. I was knocked from my bike and hospitalised recently . Whilst I know people care and want to say the right thing but I got heartily sick of the interrogation … were you wearing a helmet?? . did you have high viz clothing ?? . Almost like if I answered no to either question then I would be somehow partly responsible for what had happened . Just for the record the answer to question one was yes , ( but a helmet is of little use when you land on your ribs ) , and answer to question two was no , it was in my bag on the carrier . Being a hot day I figured a brightly coloured work shirt would be sufficient . But alas it was not to be .

  6. Why is that whenever somebody says something is “common sense” it’s usually a dumb idea?? In Christchurch wearing high viz would be like wearing camoflage in the forest!!

    How about compulsory education of drivers, or punitive penalties?

    I”ve just completed a ten day cycle tour through the North Island, from Pukekohe to Ohakune via SH2 towards Thames, Rotorua, SH5 to Taupo, SH1 to Turangi and SH around the back of the Tongariro National Park. I’ve felt more unsafe on my bike this week while cycling to and from work!!!

  7. Ya maybe full overalls and a signal light. Still think helmet should become optional. Or maybe for all bikes with 3 gears or less. It feels very different when you can just grab the bike for a simple task without the hassle of a helmet. The health benefits seem to outweigh the risks I heard. With more people biking there drivers will be more aware. In Holland where bikes are every where it comes natural to pay attention. There will always be accidents. And if you’re going for a mtb or road bike ride it makes senesce to protect yourself like andy sport you participate in.

  8. “Mr Smith is also reminding motorists to leave a one-metre gap when passing cyclists”… Mr Smith should read his road code, the official recommendation is 1.5m, and there are plans to make this law…

    I wear hi-viz frequently as a precaution (I do long training rides on state highways) but making it law may paradoxically make drivers LESS cautious – if they come to rely on cyclists being decked out like a Christmas tree, I wonder if this will make them lazier?

    I say to cyclists do whatever you can to make yourself safe, but I say to the government make more of an effort to raise awareness of all road users, cyclists included, of the dangers out there instead of leaping to inane conclusions. “He says the clothing may not stop an accident, but it is common sense” says Mr Smith – contradicting his own recommendation…? If it isn’t going to stop an accident then why on earth would it be of benefit?

    I look forward to a scientific study of whether hi-viz on bikes actually increases driver’s awareness of cyclists without inducing apathy due to its overuse.

  9. Nonsense! If cyclists all start wearing hi-viz in urban areas, what’ll happen to the pedestrians who aren’t wearing bright clothing? They’ll become less visible by comparison. Drivers need to be held accountable for their unsafe actions that cause them to miss seeing other users on the road and design needs to be fixed to force safer behavior, i.e. stop designing urban roadways like rural speedways. If cyclists should wear hi-viz in cities, then all pedestrians should too, including every driver immediately upon stepping out of the car, plus all cars and motorcycles should only be allowed to be painted a single, uniform color – hi-viz yellow – so they can never blend in with buildings or the sky. It’s a no-brainer!

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