Cyclists across the pond have come up with a creative way to make sure surrounding motorists treat their safety with the appropriate amount of respect. By wearing reflective gear very similar in appearance to that of a police officer, cyclists are finding that confused drivers are much more likely to give them a wide berth.
The gear, available for purchase from UK Retailer High Visibility, is adorned with the words “Polite Notice, Think Bike” and upon quick inspection can easily be mistakenly read as saying “Police.” You can see the cleverly deceptive attire in the photos below:
Images via highvisibility.uk.com
Although impersonating a police officer is illegal, it seems highly unlikely that this would qualify since the riders aren’t falsely identifying themselves. Instead, cyclists are merely capitalizing on the fact that motorists tend to give police officers exactly the type of space and respect a cyclist needs in order to ride safely. As one user said, wearing the reflective gear “was like a force field around him.”
The idea has quickly made the rounds throughout various cycling communities and news outlets, with the safety-enhancing design being praised as everything from cunning to frickin’ awesome.
As Equisafety’s managing director Nicky Fletcher says, “People who buy them are not stupid. They do look very similar. That is why they are buying them. The cyclist is not breaking the law. He is not trying to impersonate a police officer. It’s a trick of the eye but it slows the driver down.”
If nothing else, the attire highlights the rider and makes surrounding drivers much more conscious of their presence. In many instances, that might be enough to help prevent accidents that would typically result from a driver not having observed the cyclist in the first place. From a cyclist’s standpoint, there’s no harm in wearing something that gives you an added degree of protection. And, from a motorist’s perspective, if you’re driving a completely different way when you think there are police around, maybe you should spend a moment and consider exactly why you place safety at a premium only when you think you’ll be held accountable if you don’t…