Road Safety News

New look for Hartlepoolís cycle instructors

Friday 22nd March 2013

Hartlepool Council’s cycle instructors have been kitted out with brand new jackets that meet the highest European standard.

As with all staff working on roads, cycle instructors must wear jackets that conform to European standard EN471 – the standard relating to high visibility clothing for professional use.

EN471 Class 2 is the minimum standard to be worn by cycle instructors, but Hartlepool Council felt that the added protection of Class 3 was needed.

Robert Snowball, sustainable travel officer at Hartlepool Council, said: “We felt it was essential for our cycle instructors to be issued with the highest level of protection – EN471 Class 3. The fact that the jackets are red and yellow also sets them apart from other road users.

“Since they are teaching our children road safety we need them to lead by example, and to be protected to the highest level possible, by wearing the highest standard of garment.

“I have been using my jacket during in the really bad weather and have found it to be very waterproof.”

The new waterproof jackets, supplied by Keltic Clothing, also incorporate new Reflexite prismatic tape, which can be seen up to seven times further away than standard reflective materials.

For more information about the jackets contact Louise Bennett at Keltic Clothing on 08450 66 66 99.


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Hugh - the study surely does not mean that all drivers drive more closely, but that is the tendency on average.

I also read not long ago that cycle lanes on roads make it more likely not less that riders will be hit. I am not in the least surprised, in that the subliminal message to the driver is "he will not come my side of the line, so as I can drive as close as I like to the line" - unlike "he might wobble, keep clear" when there is no line.

Both are examples, yet again, of the law of unintended consequences, aka failing to think things through. And when everyone is in HiViz who will be noticed? Heard about the man who was told to wear white at night? Run over by a snow plough?
Idris Francis Fight Back With Facts Petersfield

Agree (4) | Disagree (5)

Steve: Yes, apologies, there has been a study. I haven't read it all but at least someone has gone to some trouble to establish something. I still think it's a generalisation though to imply that all motorists will behave in a certain way in a certain scenario. I'm sure a lot of motorists don't vary their passing distance by how the cyclist appears - I certainly don't - to me they're vulnerable so I allow a safety margin.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (4) | Disagree (0)

Dave - key word in your post is blindspot. If you're riding in someone's blindspot, no amount of fluorescent clothing's going to save you.
Steve, Merseyside

Agree (3) | Disagree (0)

Dr Ian Walker: Drivers Overtaking Bicycles, published by the University of Bath. For the brief go to
Not generalisation - a scientific study.
Steve, Merseyside

Agree (5) | Disagree (0)

Hi-viz for cycling presents the same issues as for motorcycling. Use it when and where appropriate and combine it with defensive riding. If you're dressed all in black at night riding in someone's blind spot don't be surprised if they knock you off. Drivers have issues seeing cyclist and motorcyclists - even when they do look. As a vulnerable road user, riders have to allow for this if they want to stay safe.
Dave, Leeds

Agree (18) | Disagree (0)

Steve: How did it come to be a "proven fact that motorists pass cyclists wearing helmets and hi viz closer and more dangerously than they do those without"? It sounds more like a generalisation to me - how could you test such a thing for it to become proven?
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (17) | Disagree (2)

Mark - The insurers filed an appeal on those grounds, however it was, fortunately, thrown out by the judge.

I'm with Gary though, Hi Viz for cyclists simply dangerises cycling and blames the victim - rather like 'She was asking for it your honour, she wasn't wearing a hi viz vest.'

Couple this with the proven fact that motorists pass cyclists wearing helmets and hi viz closer and more dangerously than they do those without, and hi viz is a bad thing.

As Honor righly points out though, this article is for work based road safety equipment, not whether cyclists should wear hi viz.
Steve, Merseyside

Agree (3) | Disagree (12)

A highway worker is required to wear PPE appropriate to the class of road on which he/she is working and these staff are no different, except that they are responsible not only for the safety of themselves and their fellow workers but also for school children 10 or 11 years of age who are learning new skills and sets of tasks on live running roads with traffic.

The routes used are risk assessed but need a level of traffic for realism and effectiveness. Anyone who has seen such a group or, for example, a walking bus in high visibility vests, will know that they are readily visible as a group and can be seen to be a group of trainees or children by other road users.

I think it is entirely reasonable and sensible to provide this level of visibility to staff and pupils in these circumstances.

The issue of high vis for adult cyclists and other vulnerable road users is an issue worthy of debate and research but this particular item is very specifically about workwear for instructors.
Honor Byford, North Yorkshire

Agree (32) | Disagree (1)

Some already take this view on culpability Gary. I recently read an article in The Times about a young woman who suffered life changing injuries when she was struck by a vehicle whilst walking along a country lane in the early hours of the morning after feeding her horse. The driver's insurers refused to pay out as they insisted that she should have been wearing high visibity clothing as she knew she would be walking along an unlit road with no footway. I believe the courts ruled in their favour.
Mark, London

Agree (7) | Disagree (1)

That really helps with getting the message that riding a bike is normal and safe.

Dressing instructors up like this, especially as "an example" sets a dangerous precedent towards making road users think the vulnerable road users are culpable if they do not dress like this. And will probably stop more people from riding bikes than it encourages.

In my experience it doesn't matter what you are wearing as drivers don't look.
Gary Dawes

Agree (19) | Disagree (32)