Should High Visibility clothing be compulsory for motorcyclists?

By: Dave MotorCycle Direct Posted: September 28th, 2016
Hi Visibility jacket.

It is already a law in many countries that motorcyclists have to wear high visibility clothing when riding their bikes and it is a hot topic of conversation as we move into autumn and the climate begins to change.

With the amount of vehicles taking to the UK roads ever increasing, it's becoming harder each day for motorcyclists to make themselves visible. So should high visibility clothing be worn so bikers stand out on our roads? Here we take a look at whether this legal requirement is a good idea or not for the motorcyclists of Britain.

No, it shouldn't be made mandatory


In countries such as France, it's law that riders and drivers must carry a vest in their vehicles at all times to be worn in a roadside emergency. However since this law has been introduced, there is no evidence that proves that wearing it on a motorcycle increases the safety of the rider. You only need to research the debate online to find countless forums where riders have suffered an accident despite wearing high-vis clothing. This goes to show that there are still other factors to be considered despite wearing bright clothing. Things such as additional lighting could be seen to be more visible than high-vis jackets. On top of that, perhaps manufacturers should consider increasing the lighting fitted as standard on motorcycles so bikers don't have to add anything after factory fit. This would mean all bikers had increased visibility and there would be no high dependence on fluorescent clothing.

Yes, it should be mandatory


Your visibility to other road users is counteracted by a number of factors including weather conditions, the amount of vehicles on the road, roadside distractions and road signs which can be confusing to follow. For these reasons ensuring that you contrast with the road you are travelling on will mean you are seen more effectively. Additional high-vis fabric on the arms legs and boots will increase this likeliness even more. Vests will not dent your budget and are a cost effective way to increase your chances of being seen quickly. Other ways that you can increase your visibility, if you have a bigger budget, are through brightly coloured helmets, reflective tape and auxiliary lights.