As if bright yellow and red Ducati motorcycles aren’t visible enough, the Italian manufacturer has linked up with Arai and Rev’It! to produce fluorescent yellow Ducati helmets and jackets.
Ducati Australia and New Zealand marketing coordinator L’Oreal Pierce says the HV1 Pro full-face helmet ($799.99) and HV1 Tour jacket ($746.99) have been available for a few weeks and “are in high demand”.
This follows the introduction in 2014 of compulsory hi-vis vests for learner riders in Victoria, minimum fluoro requirements on riders’ jackets in France a few years ago and an Austroads road safety discussion paper calling for mandatory hi-vis protective clothing for novice riders at learner or intermediate levels.
As the call for mandatory hi-vis and fluorescent gear grows among the safety nannies, it sets a dangerous precedent when a motorcycle company actively encourages its riders to wear the hi-vis gear.
While safety “experts” claim hi-vis clothing makes a rider more visible, there is conflicting evidence.
A European road safety research found that visibility depended on the time of day and location. For example, a rider in the city would be more visible in reflective clothing whereas a rider in a rural setting is more visible during the day wearing dark clothing.
University of Melbourne Chair of StatisticsProf Richard Huggins says he has reviewed several studies on motorcycle conspicuity and says there is “sufficient doubt” of the effectiveness of hi-vis.
In fact, he says wearing hi-vis clothing may impart a false sense of security for novice riders.
He also points out that motorbikes have hard-wired headlights, yet no research has been done on how this affects hi-visibility.
Meanwhile, many riders refuse to wear hi-vis clothing arguing that it is unfair to place the burden of visibility on riders when cars don’t have to be painted in luminous colours.