Hi-vis vest may even halt road rage

hi-vis vest High Visibility Polite Think Bike

If you believe high-visibility clothing is safer, then this hi-vis vest may also save you from road rage with its “Polite” message on the back.

Yes, it does look a lot like “Police” and will no doubt get the attention of the traffic. It may even prevent road rage with its simple message.

Queensland Police hi-vis vest
Look familiar?

The British-designed “Polite” Think Bike waistcoat has been successfully on sale in the UK for more than five years and is now available in Australia.

Slowly, authorities are introducing hi-vis vests as mandatory for riders. Victoria requires novice riders to wear a hi-vis vest and France recently introduced a rule where riders have to carry a hi-vis vest with them.

Until then, many riders refuse to wear hi-vis arguing that it is unfair to place the burden of visibility on riders when cars don’t have to be painted in luminous colours. (Read some of the stories below that flesh out the arguments about hi-vis.)

Whatever you think about hi-vis, you have to admit this one stands out.

This unisex, lightweight, breathable, fully adjustable waistcoat fastens with a front zip.

It features the iconic blue, or black, chequered banding that police se in many countries around the world and has the warning message “POLITE Notice Think Bike”.

hi-vis vest
The British version

It is made of durable EN1150 fluorescent material and has hook and loop fastenings at the sides to allow the garment to be pulled in tight for a snug fit and to prevent it flapping around.

All zips have easy grab pulls and the waistcoat comes with two large, man-sized waterproof front-zipped pockets.

It is machine washable on 30C° using non-bio and should be hung out to dry, not in a dryer.

The vest is available from Xenonoz, costs $79.95 and comes in Small (32-34”); Medium (38-40”); Large (42-44”); XLarge (46-48”); 2XLarge (48-50”); 3XLarge (50-52”) and 4XLarge (52-54”); 5XLarge (52-54”).

 

23 Comments

  1. I want one like i saw in the US of A in 2010
    It is bright fluro and on the back it says quote ” NOW CAN YOU F***EN SEE ME”.
    Well the use of these items is just at saturation point most truckies wear them council staff wear them and just about every person has at one time and as the say “you cannot see the trees for the forrest”.
    It becomes a SCATOMA ( i think thats the spelling) it means that you see it, but you really don’t see it as it doesn’t register in you brain).
    Ride Safe and use common sense.

  2. if you think they will halt road rage try turning up at a bike cafe wearing one. Scum that pretend to be police to feel safer should not be riding a bike they are truly a embarassment to most bikers and they will soon find out how unsafe if they were dumb enough to try attending a bike meet. this annoys car drivers and creates more hatred towards bikes not less. wannabe coppers need to get a life or a car

  3. These are a great idea. I’m currently trying to source one for HORSE RIDING as well. Any of you guys interested in a SAFE SHARED ROADS campaign?? Aim is to improve education and safety for horse, bike and push bike riders, maybe road runners as well.

  4. I have noticed flashing Led running lights on a few bikes lately, they stand out more than Hi Vis jackets.
    Maybe that is a better alternative.
    I had a damaged tail light while in Alice Springs to watch the Finke Desert Race, and I mounted a push Bike flashing light on the rear of my bike for the ride back to NSW, seemed to get a lot of attention as I had to use hand signals for stopping and turning.
    This made me even more alert to motorist, to give them more notice.
    Anything that is functional to make us more visible might save a few accidents.
    At least this has got the talk we don’t want to have happening. Again? Still?

  5. $80 for a vest? Someone is having a lend of us if they thing anyone is stupid enough to pay that. Worth about $15.00.

  6. About 30 years ago a motorcycle courier in Melbourne bought a white bike and later put a blue POLITE sticker across the front of the fairing.
    One day the police solo division were out on a training ride. They came across this guy and decided if he wanted to look like the police so much he could join them. So they surrounded him on all sided and made him stay in their convoy for quite some time…

    PS: I think this vest is just asking to be pulled over for “completely random” licence and roadworthy checks 😉

  7. I’m not a legal professional, but it might be worth getting some legal advice before purchasing and wearing something like the ‘POLITE’ vest in the article.

    The Police Act 1990, s203, (NSW) creates specific offences or wearing or possessing of police uniform by others. It specifically mentions the use of insignia, and defines insignia as:

    (a) any items (being insignia, emblems, logos, devices, accoutrements and other things) that are generally recognised as pertaining to the NSW Police Force or as being used by police officers, or
    (b) any parts of any such items, or
    (c) any reasonable imitation of any such items or parts, or
    (d) any thing or class of thing prescribed by the regulations as being within this definition (whether or not it may already be within this definition),
    and includes police uniforms, but does not include any thing or class of thing prescribed by the regulations as being outside this definition.

    Wearing one might bring attention to yourself, but it might not be the attention you want.

    1. Hi Phil,
      I’ve already asked for legal opinion and am waiting a response.
      However I doubt there would be any trouble, given the abundance of security firms and even a real estate agency that use POLITE or something similar with police colours. Of course, that doesn’t stop an officious officer from ruining your day, does it?
      Cheers and stay tuned for the legal opinion.
      Mark

      1. I don’t think the POLITE bit is the issue, it’s the use of the blue and white chequer, coupled with the POLITE that could be seen as an emblem, logo or insignia that might be the problem.

        1. It may well be legal but that certainly won’t stop them looking long
          and hard for something that isn’t.
          So even trying to argue the legalities with some pissed off highway patrol
          with an attitude ,just ain’t going to work.
          But its all freedom of choice ,Go for your life and let us know what happens
          I could be wrong……….

          1. There have been issues about the company’s “POLITE” clothing range within the equestrian community in the UK.

            While their can be little doubt that it can have a positive effect on slowing drivers, issues were raised by an Assistant Chief Constable who happened to be Equestrian Lead at ACPO – the Association of Chief Police Officers – the organisation responsible for issuing guidelines to UK police forces on the interpretation and implementation of the law – as to whether this clothing contravened Section 90 of the Police Act 1996.

            With legal advice they identified the three main characteristics that defined police hi vis uniform:

            Wording – police high visibility clothing typically has POLICE printed as a contrasting block of letters prominently displayed to the rear and/or front.

            Colour – police high visibility uniform is universally yellow.

            Chequered Banding – police high visibility clothing commonly uses blue/silver chequered banding, this colour being standardised by international convention.

            He went on to point out that “any wording displayed on clothing which is similar in appearance to ‘POLICE’ (i.e. in a shape, format or font used on police uniform), even if is spelt differently, would leave the wearer at risk of breaching the law, particularly if the other characteristics are present.”

            A similar company that, at the time, was offering chequered band high vis products to a responsible view and immediately withdrew their range offering free advice, adjustment and replacement of their products to customers who had purchased the questionable products.

            http://www.bhs.org.uk/our-charity/press-centre/news/jan-to-june-2013/equine-clothing-that-closely-resembles-police-uniform

  8. I wear high-vis all the time. I don’t believe it works the way many of the “hi-vis for bikes” campaigners think it does.

    Hi-vis or not, you cannot assume that anyone else sees you, remember that helmets make you invisible. I’ve had drivers panic as I pass them with the vest on(they see the vest, drop the phone and the car slides sideways) – a good time to be travelling “expeditiously”.

    I wear hi-vis for several reasons, amongst them: when night riding, if anything happens I do not want to look like a dark spot on the road; when riding in out-of-the-way places you often come across “incidents” or you may have a breakdown in an odd/bad place, people tend to slow down when they see the vest.

    In each of these cases I’m not on the bike and something bad has already happened.

    At night, I’ve already got the standard array of lights that are brighter than the vest from most directions anyway. During the day I’m employing active methods rather than relying on passive equipment and other road users to ensure my safety.

    Other reasons for wearing a vest? It makes my family happy(“it’s alright, he takes safety seriously”) and liability reasons(eg I’m liable to beat the snot out the first muppet that says “sorry mate I didn….*whack*whack*whack*”).

    If high-vis works so well for licensed, trained motorcyclists, why shouldn’t it be mandatory for pedestrians and cyclists?

  9. Show me evidence that wearing these revolting things reduces your chance of an accident.

    “It’s better for us all to be informed than blindly ignoring the issue before it’s too late and they make them compulsory!” – what does this actually mean? What is the issue? Too late for what?

    This is just advertising. Of a lame product.

  10. It looks OK and that “polite” writing most likely has an affect but still…

    “many riders refuse to wear hi-vis arguing that it is unfair to place the burden of visibility on riders when cars don’t have to be painted in luminous colours”

    1. Sorry you feel that way Pete or Paul?
      I believe the article should be read within the context of all the articles I have written on this issue (which are featured at the end of the article). It’s better for us all to be informed than blindly ignoring the issue before it’s too late and they make them compulsory!
      Cheers,
      Mark

    2. So we stop them from becoming by compulsory by wearing the things voluntarily ?
      Gee that makes sense. AS motorcyclists every step backwards we take is seen as
      a win by the authorities, wearing these things will end up eroding the legal rights of
      motorcyclists ,advertising them in a motorcycle orientated page like this gives credence
      to bad laws, There should be a clear line between advertising and editorial comment.

        1. I will argue against them becoming compulsory, because if they do
          And for some reason you are not wearing one in an accident the
          insurance companies will argue that you are partially at fault and
          reduce any compensation on that basis alone.
          As penguineer pointed out ,Do you really think scaring the crap
          out of another driver ,who thinks your a cop is going to reduce
          road rage? I think not
          You are probably going to have a few interesting roadside conversations
          with the real police who might take a dim view of what they see as borderline impersonation
          I would make sure your bike is in good roadworthy condition.
          lastly a lot of us do not use our real names on these posts as the comments
          we make are often critical of authorities and police in particular. We do not wish to end
          up on a ‘blacklist’ This is even encouraged on sites such as the ABC news
          Who would consider it unethical to publish someones name or email address without
          their explicit permission

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