As a bit of an appendix to my article earlier today regarding PPE as risk control, I was driving to the office and saw a motorbike rider wearing a high vis vest and it reminded me of a recent news story.
The news story related to a push for making high visibility clothing compulsory for all Victorian motorcycle riders. This is a perfect example of choosing the easy way out and giving the illusion of improving safety, without actually fixing the root cause of the issue.
As a rider myself, visibility is not the problem, the problem is the lack of education and awareness of motorcycle riders on the road by drivers. I have had numerous occasions where a driver will look me right in the eye and pull out anyway, or alternatively not check their mirrors before changing lanes.
If you look at this purely from a risk control point of view, what is the root cause? It's not that the rider can't be seen, it's that the driver isn't paying enough attention to actually look for a motorcycle.
Using the hierarchy of risk controls, the last resort would be to add PPE to the riders to make them more visible. The smarter option would be to increase awareness for the driver. If I'm riding through an intersection and a driver isn't looking for me, then no amount of fluro is going to save me., but at least I'll look safer.