Today on 3AW, I was asked if we supported Hi-Vis for cyclists. I said 'No'. And here is why:
- In 2015 10 riders in Victoria lost their lives, 9 of them involved motor vehicles, 8 of them were wearing Hi-Vis. The rule 0f 80% says that at least 7 of these were driver error.
- The issue is a broader issue of 'Target Fixation' - Target fixation in simple terms is why the car hit the only tree on a straight road or why the motorcyclist missed the corner with nothing else around. Yes it also affects riders and we may have seen an example of this earlier this year, but it is a problem that causes road workers to lose their lives and it seems to be a reason why cyclists get close passed by people that 'didn't know they were that close'.
- This idea is not new, and Gerry from Dromana has offered nothing different than an opinion.
- The idea that putting on a cloak of yellow and be seen didn't help in these circumstances:
- Campaigns like these are still required shows us that Hi-Vis barely works for road workers:
- Because the real problem is not being visable - it is getting drivers to look:
It's when you realise the underlying issue is not that riders can't be seen, it is that drivers have been brainwashed not to look. It is always someone elses fault if someone is hit or killed, it is never an option to take responsibility.
We are now at the point of maximum #VICTIMBLAMING, the point when the driver of a motor vehicle feels it was there right to be there and the victims fault for chosing to be in the way. We see this often in the comments on Social Media:
And yes, the media has to take responsibility for this also, as we can see on this Channel 7 News report from Western Australia:
it is so much easier just to tell a cyclist to put on a hi-vis vest.
When the media allow these types of comments to go on their pages, they are allowing people to demonstrate bigotry no different than religous or race hatred. It is tolerated for ad revenue. Part of the lowest common denominitor that Australian media lives on. The people that made these comments are very different in real life, but they are allowed to foster these views in public for 's#!ts and giggles'.
The problem lies in the ability of people to drive. All one has to do is visit DashCams Owners Australia Facebook page to see what it is killing and injuring everyday Australians. But it is so much easier just to tell a cyclist to put on a hi-vis vest.
And as the Owner of DashCam Owners Australia said to me today, "If they couldnt see a bright yellow B double, they aren't going to see old mate wearing a hivis"
So to summarise -
We will not support mandatory hi-vis vests for riders, it is just another barrier put up as an unthought idea supported by the media of Drive Time radio shows in an effort to #Carsplain why drivers are getting worse.
ps - funniest quote of the interview went "so the person you say you saw with no lights on his bike all in black is going to get a hi-vis vest because they are told to do so? I don't think so" Ed Hore.
And if you really want to be visible on our roads, maybe we should ride nude: