A Dublin city councillor is asking the city’s transport committee to back the Road Safety Authority push to get pedestrians and cyclists to wear high-vis even on city streets.
The effectiveness of high-vis has been questioned by many campaigners androad safety experts, some police forces, and even some politicians, who have questioned the spending on it and said the focus on it “helps shift the blame to vulnerable” road users.
There is conflicting research on the issue including that high-vis might have a positive effect, little or no effect, or even increase danger by helping people to be more risk averse.
The authors of UK research into passing distance of motorists overtaking cyclists found: “The only substantial change in drivers’ behaviour was seen in response to a high-visibility vest which invoked the name of the police and suggested the rider was video-recording the journey, although at present it is not clear which of these components was responsible for the effect.”
But that research found that a small proportion of overtaking drivers were unaffected even by the police high-vis.
The next transport committee meeting is to take place this Wednesday, November 9.
A motion in the name of independent Councillor Damian O’Farrell askes: “That this Traffic and Transport SPC supports the Road Safety Authority’s ‘Be Safe, Be Seen Campaign as we enter into the darker winter months. “
In his motion, Cllr O’Farrell said: “This is an inclusive safety campaign encouraging all road users’ pedestrians, cyclists and motorists to do everything they can to keep everyone in our community safe. Pedestrians are advised to wear light material or reflective clothing at dusk and at night. Similarly cyclists are required to have a white light to the front and a red light to the rear of their bicycles and additionally are advised to wear a reflective vest or armband.”
“Motorists are required to use their dipped lights at lighting up time and at night as well as making sure their lights, indicators and reflectors are in good working order. Motorists in particular need to be aware of slowing down at night and in poor light conditions,” the motion said.
Cllr O’Farrell said: “We all need to be doing everything we can to be more visible at night time, pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. The RSA campaign is a common sense community effort to keep everyone safe and is mindful of the different categories, ages and abilities of all road users. We and/or members of our family are all pedestrians, cyclists or motorists at some point.”