Panic over hi-vis vest proposal

Hi-vis vest age submission panic

An incorrect News Ltd media report that Victoria proposes introducing hi-vis for all riders has caused some level of social media panic in the riding community.

Riders have been sharing the inaccurate reports which were lifted from the “Road Safety Regulations 2019 summary paper for consultation”.

So, for a start, it’s only a proposal at this stage.

The sentence lifted out of context is “Driving a motorcycle without a securely fitted and fastened high visibility vest of jacket”.

It is under a section that suggests introducing demerit points for the offence.

Learner riders have been required to wear hi-vis vests in Victoria from some years now. The proposal only adds a demerit point.high visibility motorcycle clothing panic

Panic stations

The erroneous News Ltd articles have been shared on social media causing panic among Victorian and interstate riders amid threats to protest.

Victorian Motorcycle Exports Advisory Panel member Dean Marks says there was a similar social media response when hi-vis for learners was proposed.

However, he points out that “the riding community sat on their collective thumbs” and only a small number turned out at a rally against the changes.

Dean blames infighting among “fractured” rider representative groups in the state for the apathy.

While the Victorian Government is not proposing hi-vis for all riders, many consider it may be on the agenda in future.

In 2015, France introduced a rule where riders have to carry a hi-vis vest to wear during a breakdown.

Meanwhile, the South Australian Government is considering following Victoria with hi-vis for novice riders.

This is despite the road toll in Victoria rising in the past four years since introducing hi-vis vests which seems to indicate the increased motorcycle conspicuity of a hi-vis vests has had no beneficial effect.

University of Melbourne’s Chair of Statistics, Prof Richard Huggins, says his review of several studies on motorcycle conspicuity and “look but fail to see” (SMIDSY – Sorry, Mate I Didn’t See You) accidents casts “sufficient doubt” on the effectiveness of hi-vis.

He has previously called for a repeal of the Victorian mandatory requirement.

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15 Comments

  1. So much regulation around motoring , this time motorcycles , seems “like a good idea at the time”
    This reminds me of a comment by a politician -” For every complex problem there is always someone whom comes up with a simple solution — WHICH DOES NOT WORK”

  2. I wear a Hi-Vis Vest by choice when riding. I know and understand that not every rider would want to and if a rider group were to rebel with a demonstration I would be in the crowd (& not wearing Hi-Vis) with them.

    Why does each state Government make it compulsory for “Professional Development” by employees of various sectors of the work force and not make it compulsory for “Professional Development of Road Users”? Many of those I call friends could not pass a driving test if asked to do a Knowledge Test.

    Why do employees have in many cases have to show productivity gains to get a pay rise and those running companies and businesses as well as politicians get income increases without the same productivity gains.
    I’m yet to see a politician do a hard day’s work or really be productive!

  3. My belief for 20+ years is that EVERYONE (with minor exceptions) should have a motorbike license for 12 months BEFORE heading onto a car license. This allows everyone to have an intimate understanding of roads, weather, cars around them.

  4. Hi – Vis waste of time and money you could be wearing hi vis clothing…… 100 flashing lights…… foghorn sounding every 10 seconds and car drivers would still not see or hear you …why because they don’t look simple as that…. Using mobile phones, laptops, looking and talking to your passenger while driving, putting on their make up, reading the news paper and eating all while driving is the major cause of the piss weak excuse of SMIDSY.
    Also Australia has no system of enforced driver training, multiple states do not implement regular roadworthy checks on vehicles, and we do not conduct further testing of licensed drivers to reinforce good driving habits.

    1. Your comment is a hundread percent correct why should motorcyclist have to suffer from other people’s bad driving habits. I recently was in a very serious motorcycle accident Because other driver failed to look out for me on a motorcycle and preformed a you turn cuting me of as i was riding very safe as i always do. There should be regular license check up for all drivers or more training for ppl who drive cars to be aware of motorcycles i get cut of all the time by idiot drivers, this time I was unlucky was just a matter of time before something like this happening to me. Or there should be some kind of safety devise in cars when motorcycles are close by lime sort of a gps tracker

  5. In the 80’s motorbikes had to ride with their lights on to be visible to all using the road. Is it about being visible as well as all on the roads concentrating? Stop targeting motorbike riders and include all road users.

    1. They discovered after that that having the lights on all the time can actually make the bike invisible in some situations, if the sun is behind you the bike is harder to see from the front if the headlight is on. Even though having the headlight on all the time is no longer required most Australia motorcycles still seem to have it hardwired to be on when the ignition is turned on for some reason.

  6. In my opinion Hi-Viz on novice riders gives the novice no protection & provides them with a false sense of security.
    All riders should be trained with;
    ‘Always ride like you’re completely invisible all the times’ trust no one!

    This is provided from 46 years of riding documented from my experience.

  7. The problem is that we don’t trust politicians to do anything sensible, instead of worrying about “hi-vis” vests why don’t they spend money on fixing roads? Now that would save lives!

  8. Yes, it’s a FALSE ALARM – this was exposed by digging deeper into the document and other associated documents. The VMC have already approached the Minister Jaala Pulford to explore how a document with such a misleading comment was released when MEAP and other interested stakeholders weren’t consulted.

    Read all the detail here: https://www.victorianmotorcyclecouncil.org.au/index.cfm?module=news&pagemode=indiv&page_id=889490

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