http://www.righttoride.eu/?p=11355 Hi Viz All Over! 23rd June 2013 It seems the wearing of compulsory Fluorescent/Yellow HI Viz/Jacket/Vest by French bikers while riding has gone away for now. France’s National Road Safety Council requests that the new road safety recommendations to be translated into regulatory text by the Government. The recommendation from the council is similar to that which is obligatory for motorists, which would be to carry a high visibility vest under the motorcycle seat, in a bag, in the box top etc and for that vest to be worn in case of an emergency stop. We cannot leave the article without mentioning our previous reporting on the Hi-Viz issue which spilt across the channel into the UK. That is to state that the Hi-Viz issue was not a European Union issue, there was no European proposal, it was a national French issue and there were no plans by the UK or Northern Ireland Governments or agencies to introduce Hi-Viz here. The DfT “Department for Transport) at the time stated, “The Government has no plans to make Hi Viz/Day Glo jackets/vests and protective clothing for motorcyclists compulsory.” and, “there are no plans to change our laws simply because another member state chooses to do so.” An official comment from Northern Ireland’s Department of the Environment (DOE), Road Safety Branch stated, “There are no plans (or inklings of plans) to introduce a mandatory hi-viz requirement for motorcyclists in Northern Ireland.” In Ireland the Road Safety Authority (RSA) is still considering the mandatory introduction of some form of Fluorescent/Yellow HI Viz/Jackets/Vest and has been pushing for the voluntary wearing of these. The rider’s rights organisation in Ireland, the Irish Motorcyclists’ Action Group has been working and continues to work with the Irish authorities. Road Safety GB commented on the issue of compulsory hi-vis jackets, back in August 2011: “Following the news that compulsory hi-vis jackets for motorcyclists is among a raft of new traffic laws to be introduced in France, a Road Safety GB motorcycling expert has warned against similar measures being adopted in the UK.” “Hi-vis clothing is unlikely to improve conspicuity on bright sunny days when visibility is good and it may even lull people into a false sense of security. However, we would always advise people to wear it in poor weather or low light conditions, when some drivers may struggle to see and identify a motorcycle and rider or indeed a cyclists or pedestrian.” Back to France, our understanding of the various translations of website reports is that FFMC, (Federation Francaise des Motards en Colere – French Federation of Angry Bikers) remains opposed to being obliged to carry a high visibility vest and thus receive penalty points if a high visibility vest is not carried. FFMC seems to be saying that a high visibility vest accessory can be useful in an emergency situation if only to report to other road users as a “distressed” situation at the roadside. However they also seem to be arguing that this recommendation remains ineffective, even if it is just advisable to have one to put on in the event of an unexpected stop, as the effectiveness remains improvable by the Directorate of Security and Road Traffic (DSCR) in terms of more lives saved. Although we have said that this is a French National issue it is worth keeping an eye on the issue as riders from the UK need to be kept informed for trips across the channel. For now at least, the wearing of a yellow vest while riding a motorcycle in France is not mandatory.