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TD asks about mandatory high-vis clothing for walking and cycling

A Fianna Fail TD has asked the transport minister of any plans to make the wearing of high visibility clothing mandatory for pedestrians and cyclists — but the minister responded with a clear no and that said that “wearing of such safety clothing is a matter of personal responsibility”.

According to records held by, Niamh Smyth, a Fianna Fail TD for Cavan-Monaghan, submitted the following parliamentary question: “To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to make the wearing of high visibility clothing mandatory for pedestrians and cyclists; the law in this regard at present; and if he will make a statement on the matter.”

The ministerial reply from the Department of Transport in the name of Shane Ross replied: “To create a statutory obligation on the wearing of reflective clothing would entail making it a criminal offence under Road Traffic legislation for any person guilty of not wearing high visibility clothing. A person in breach of such a provision would fall to be issued with a fixed charge notice or summonsed to court, depending on whatever procedure would be put in place for the processing of such offences. My Department is not considering making the wearing of hi-visibility vests a legal requirement.”

It added: “In my view, safety issues such as these are best addressed by way of educational and publicity campaigns, such as those undertaken by the Road Safety Authority (RSA), which has responsibility for the promotion of road safety awareness, advertising and the dissemination of road safety information. As part of this process it has undertaken a number of campaigns to promote awareness among pedestrians and cyclists of the need for visibility on our roads.”

“In addition, almost four million high visibility vests, armbands, rucksack covers and other such items have been distributed by the RSA, an Garda Siochana, Road Safety Officers, Age Action and the Vintners Federation over the past four years. A number of measures have also been included in the Road Safety Strategy 2013-2020 aimed at increasing the wearing of high visibility clothing among pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. The Rules of the Road also include a strong recommendation supporting the wearing of light, and prefereably high-visibility, clothing.”

“Ultimately, however, the wearing of such safety clothing is a matter of personal responsibility,” said the written reply by Shane Ross. is reader-funded journalism. That means it's funded by readers like you.

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  1. I’ll make a guess and say that this TD doesn’t actually walk or cycle anywhere. Most likely gets everywhere by car; even down to the local shops for a pint of milk.

    Thus he’s annoyed when he’s hindered whilst driving along in his car by the outgroups (people walking & cycling). He feels aggreved that his progress in his car is momentarily slowed by these ‘others’.

    He feels that these outgroups shouldn’t be allowed on the roads. Yea, sure, legally they’re allowed to be there, but, feck, they shouldn’t be. So lets make it so that the onus is on them if they get hit by an idiot in a car that isn’t looking where they’re going. Ha; that’ll make it easier to demonise them and blame them and not feel any sympathy for them when they get hit by a car – sure, they weren’t wearing any Hi-Vis!!

    Remember, if only people wore Hi-Vis then there’d never be any collisions

  2. I for one fully support the TD, if a little disappointed that they don’t go far enough. The requirement to display high viz should really be extendes to take in all vehicles, road side furniture, and in fact any potential road side hazard – buildings, walls, trees, fences, water. Ireland – the Emerald/Fluoro Isle….

  3. Of course people in cars don’t get from their car to the shops/pub/dail/whatever on the wings of magical pixies. It would seem reasonable that all motorists should wear hi-viz too right? After all if it improves safety by even a tiny bit it is totally justified right?

    I wonder if this TD will pull the same trick as Paul Murphy and claim they are not advocating for this, they are just asking a question.

    I’m not particularly happy with the tone of the reply, implying that high-viz = safety, but I am happy with the categorical denial of any plans to make it mandatory.


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