Thank you to all of those of you who commented on my first blog about the merits of wearing Hi-Vis, there are some great ideas on how you can stay safe.
Having recently filtered with a chap on a Ducati Monster sporting twin Termignoni pipes I am sold on the ‘loud pipes’ point. It was quite cool watching the traffic part for us both and made the journey a lot easier. However, having seen other YZF-R125’s with ‘sport’ pipes I am not convinced I have the right machine for this; as such I will save this idea for next year when I upgrade my bike.
Some of the other comments made me think long and hard about my road positioning and riding style i.e. to ride more defensively. Again, thank you for those comments as a result I have gone and booked myself on a BikeSafe course. I will update you all with how the course went and the riding tips gained.
French Law on Hi-Vis for Motorcyclists
On the subject of Hi-Vis I looked more closely at what other countries were doing to promote safety for motorcyclists. It seems that France has not implemented the mandatory wearing of Hi-Vis jackets as I first thought. Instead the powers that be have passed a law meaning that from early 2013 it will be mandatory to wear reflective material on their vests.
The total size of the reflective material has to be 150 cm2. It does not have to be one piece; it can be several pieces, as long as the sum of the pieces is 150 cm2. So if you wear one or two Hi-Vis armbands for example you are fine. Apparently this applies to all motorcycles, scooters and trikes except for mopeds and 125cc machines!
It is already law that all motorcycle helmets in France need to have reflective stickers on the back. However, I think everyone in France missed that memo as I have not seen one biker sporting reflective stickers on their motorcycle helmet. Oh and by the way these stickers are in addition to the 150 cm2 sum of reflective material explained above.
A Hi-Vis Experiment
The discussion on Hi-Vis has also been going strong at White Dalton HQ. We have a good mix of bikers here; those who always wear it and those who think it does not make a blind bit of difference. It was suggested that in this day and age the ‘typical’ yellow Hi-Vis is so common that it is not as effective as it once was. I note that someone suggested ‘Orange’ Hi-Vis as an alternative which I think may be a good idea.
Mandy has gone one further and bought herself bright pink Hi-Vis vest – not only in a bid to stay fashionable but also to see if it makes any difference to her daily commute (which takes her from Central London along some of the busiest motorways in the UK and later through rural towns and unlit rural roads) Watch this space for her thoughts…