Proposals to make pedestrians and cyclists wear mandatory high-vis vests are ‘ludicrous’

Cyclists protest through central London campaigning for safer roads in the capital.

Recent plans put forward in Ireland to force all pedestrians and cyclists to wear high-visibility jackets have been branded as 'ludicrous' by a cycling campaigner.

Mike McKillen of the Dublin cycling campaign said that to introduce such a policy would be 'misguided', and safety clothing was not a practical solution to reducing deaths on Irish roads.

Irish Transport Minister, Shane Ross, said that it may be "worth pursuing" the mandatory wearing of high-visibility jackets. He acknowledged it could present obstacles, but insisted it was worth considering "if it could save even one life".

The policy would see high-visibility jackets made mandatory for pedestrians, cyclists and other vulnerable road users on unlit roads at night. Ross said via a written statement: "In the short term, I am exploring whether the wearing of high visibility clothing is better achieved by way of educational and publicity campaigns run by the Road Safety Authority rather than pursuing a punitive approach to the issue."

He noted: "To create a statutory obligation on the wearing of reflective clothing would entail making it a criminal offence under Road Traffic legislation for any person guilty of not wearing high visibility clothing."

Mr McKillen hit back at the proposal, saying driver education was the solution rather than safety clothing. "We need to target the less-than-careful drivers who are causing all the mayhem and ruin lives," he said.

"Asking potential victims to wear high-visibility clothing is just ludicrous and stands health and safety management principles on their head."

The policy has also seen opposition from the Road Safety Authority, with chief executive Moyagh Murdock saying it was reluctant to make high-vis clothing mandatory. "This is not a police state," she commented.

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