RSA on Type Approval & High-Viz

MAG Ireland reports that The RSA (Road Safety Authority) has published a page on it’s web site [click here] about both the EU type approval proposals and it’s own proposal to make high visibility clothing mandatory for riders & pillion passengers.

Recently at Right To Ride we wrote to the RSA for further clarification on their proposal for Hi-Viz we have yet to receive a response.

The UK Government have said, “The (UK) Government has no plans to make Hi Viz/Day Glo jackets/vests and protective clothing for motorcyclists compulsory but encourages their use through publications such as The Highway Code.”

Our own Department of the Environment (DOE), Road Safety Branch have said: “There are no plans (or inklings of plans) to introduce a mandatory hi-viz requirement for motorcyclists in Northern Ireland”.

Right To Ride asked the RSA, “Our concerns are that if hi-viz are made compulsory in the ROI, then motorcyclists from Northern Ireland or from any other country for that matter, would then have to comply with the regulations in the ROI, which may not be a legal requirement in UK or in other countries for riding on the road and would thus suggest that these motorcyclists would be open to prosecution for non compliance.”

We have chased the RSA up for a response.

Meanwhile we are just picking up on internet forums and blogs, regarding the introduction in France of mandatory Hi-Viz,  that the mandatory wearing of Hi-Viz was apparently proposed to be introduced into law by the 1st September, which has now passed with no such law in place.

Off course this does not mean that such a law will not be passed in the future but has the mass national demonstrations by French riders been successful?

A space worth watching!

See our  article – The Hi Viz Debate Rumbles On – Click Here

RSA on Type Approval & High-Viz

28th September 2011

Type Approval

With regard to the EU type approval proposals the RSA page sets out the objectives of the proposals as stated by the EU themselves, and then links to the RSA’s own information note which you can read: pdf – Click Here

It’s a very brief summary of the proposals, and touches on the mandatory ABS, anti-tampering, always on headlights, etc. It tells us nothing we didn’t already know.

Mandatory High Visibility clothing

The RSA again fails to provide any evidence that suggests high visibility clothing will have any significant impact on casualties. Instead it says that;

While other drivers need to pay far greater attention to the presence of motorcyclists on the road, motorcyclists should do all they can to increase their visibility on the roads. This can be done by using daytime running lights and wearing reflective or high visibility material.

This assumes that a driver who can’t see a 55 watt headlight (because they didn’t bother to look properly) will somehow see a fluorescent vest behind the light. Our own web site poll tells us that 91% of you are against compulsion. Just 8% are in favour, and 1% are undecided. So the RSA continues to push the red herring of high visibility clothing when 9 out of 10 riders want to have the choice – as we currently do – to wear high-viz or not as appropriate to our needs & circumstances.

The RSA then goes on to confirm what we already know;

As part of its Motorcycle Safety Strategy 2010 to 2014(PDF) the RSA intends to seek the introduction of mandatory wearing of hi-vis material by all motorcyclists, in 2014. This will be subject to consultation with motorcyclists and industry on the most appropriate type of hi-vis material and possible solutions.

So the decision has been made. The only item up for discussion is they type of high-viz material. We say that’s not good enough. MAG Ireland has written to the RSA some time ago asking for the evidence on which this proposal has been based. To date we have received no reply. Probably because, so far as we are aware, there is no evidence to show that high viz has any meaningful prospect of preventing that car from pulling out our U-turning across your path.

MAG Ireland’s position is simple. We are not against high visibility clothing, we simply say it’s up to the rider to choose what to wear. In other words, “Let the Rider Decide”.

That is not something the RSA appear to have any intention of doing despite thousands of you demonstrating this past weekend.

Why not write to the RSA and tell them what you think as a rider?

Road Safety Authority
Moy Valley Business Park
Primrose Hill
Co. Mayo

MAG Ireland website –

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  1. Pictures posted up on the Road Safety Authority Facebook page highlighting the legal requirements if Hi Viz is made complusory in Ireland.

    Legal Rider

    Hi Viz Legal Rider

    Illegal Rider

    Hi Viz Illegal Rider

    And before anybody says well protetive clothing should be made complusory you should read our document “Motorcycle Safety in Northern Ireland – The Riders Perspective”

    Motorcycle Safety in Northern Ireland – The Riders Perspective

    Personal Protective Equipment

    Riders in Northern Ireland recognise that personal protective equipment may help to reduce injuries and death. However, in terms of mitigating factors for injuries, the On The Spot (OTS) study carried out in Great Britain on behalf of the Department for Transport, (Feb. 2008) reports that protective clothing including helmets had no effect on the severity of the injuries incurred by riders.

    The Northern Ireland motorcycling community is safety conscious and riders have purchased protective clothing worth hundreds of thousands of pounds, therefore the use of personal protective equipment should not be made compulsory.

    In fact the response to a questionnaire by BikeSafe Northern Ireland, demonstrates that the overwhelming majority of motorcyclists use correct protective clothing.

    There is some confusion with regards to the standards for protective clothing. The European Standards for protective clothing set minimum levels for various characteristics that should ensure that all clothing which claims to conform to the standards will provide a reasonable level of protection. Clothing, gloves and boots which are subjected to testing and carry an independent and recognisable mark of reliability are a less risky purchase than unmarked clothing.

    Motorcycle clothing can be divided into three groups:

    • Non-protective. Outer clothing which constitute a barrier to the elements: heat, cold, wind and rain. Claims for any other form of protection breach the PPE Regulations, UK law, and industry and riders’ groups’ agreements with the European Commission.

    • Non-protective supplied with CE impact protectors. A non-protective outer garment, as above, fitted with for example accredited shoulder, elbow, knee and back protectors bearing CE marking.

    • Protective. Jackets, trousers, one-piece or two-piece suits, boots and gloves which are claimed by the manufacturer to be protective. Tested according to the European Standard (or the Cambridge or SATRA standards) and bearing CE marking.

    Garments must be fitted with CE marked protectors. Where CE marked protectors are fitted to a non-protective garment (for example a textile jacket, or leather jacket, trousers and suits), this is misinforming consumers, because it claims that the whole garment is approved, but it is not. Some garments feature a “CE” label which is sewn to the lining, but this refers only to the status of the fitted protector

  2. kevin whelan says

    To me these high viz jackets will only be a danger as they will restrict movement on the bike, the reason we wear leather suits is for our protection to add more layers on top of this is very dangerous.

    Can you imagine on a very hot day the rider will leave off leather protection to put on this heavy plastic type jacket.

    I dont think so.

    If anything make lighting up at all times mandatory.

  3. Fantastic graphics from MAG Ireland on Hi Viz

    Click Here

    Click Here

    Click Here

    MAG Ireland

    MAG Ireland

    MAG Ireland

  4. See below for text and video link to an Irish MEP speaking in the European Parliament and referencing the demo rides held on the 25th September.

    However as MAG Ireland say: If you are confident you know the issues, and you understand that;

    high viz has nothing to do with the EU, and that
    there is no proposal to ban bikes over 7 years old from city centers

    then go ahead and write to them yourself.

    Click Here

    Mairead McGuinness (PPE). – Mr President, this is a very positive report. It is interesting that we are debating it following the protests over the weekend by European Union motorcyclists. Many came out in protest – certainly in Ireland and in other Member States – over what we would describe as positive initiatives regarding road safety for that particular sector of the commuting community.

    It is interesting to note that, in Ireland, a motorcyclist is 12 times more likely to be killed than any other road user. There is clearly a problem in relation to the safety of this section of road users. I think we should try to work better with stakeholders, so that we do not have protests over something which we believe is important for overall road safety. Some of the issues that were raised by the protestors some may not be true, but we can address others when we move forward. Let us involve those that we are trying to legislate for.

    Video Click Here

  5. Trevor Heywood says

    Re hi vis vests.

    A friend of mine was riding down the M1 the other day wearing a hi vis vest donated by bikesafe.

    The sun was shining and due to the reflection from the hi vi vest he could not see any of the dials on his bike.

    Sounds like a safety issue.

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