Compulsory High-Viz – MAG Ireland Position Statement

MAG Ireland Position on compulsory high-visibility clothing for riders & pillion passengers:

The Road Safety Authority ( has suggested that compulsory high-visibility clothing for riders & pillion passengers be introduced for motorcycle users. This is listed as Action 23 of the “National  Motorcycle Safety Action Plan” which can be found here;

Action No. 23. “Introduce regulations for the mandatory wearing of high visibility upper body clothing.”

MAG strongly opposes the mandatory aspect for the following reasons;

1) This proposal is based on opinion. The is no evidence whatsoever that this proposal will reduce casualty rates and such proposals should be based on evidence, not opinion.
2) The proposal suggests that motorcyclists are somehow to blame for the failures of drivers to see them when the failure is in fact that of the driver, not the rider.
3) Criminals seeking to go undetected often adopt high-visibility clothing to blend into the street scape, simply because people wearing it tend to be ignored.
4) Recall that helmet laws were introduced when there was already near 100% voluntary compliance. There was much resistance to the compulsory wearing of helmets, and not, as often since reported, to the wearing of helmets per-se.
5) The suggested relative benefits of high visibility clothing for motorcyclists may be overstated simply because, unlike pedestrians and cyclists, motorcycles tend to move at the same pace as the surrounding vehicular traffic.

MAG Ireland is totally opposed to this shifting of the blame for accidents onto the rider when we know that as many as 7 out of 10 accidents are the fault of the other road user.

MAG Ireland calls for the proper education of all road users to ensure they are aware of each others vulnerabilities and for on the spot testing of eyesight for all vehicle users who are involved in an accident.

The excuse of “Sorry mate, I didn’t see you” just isn’t good enough.

In our 2009 submission to the RSA on the National Motorcycle Safety Action Plan, MAG Ireland suggested that different hi-viz colours could be assigned to different classes of road users e.g. builders – orange, emergency services – green etc. so that road users could associate the various colours with the type of hazard that they might encounter. MAG Ireland remains opposed to the compulsory use of high visibility clothing for riders whatever the colour.

Our position is simple – Let the rider decide.