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Montana to require hi Vis clothing for cyclists.

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Montana to require hi Vis clothing for cyclists.

Old 02-17-21, 09:09 AM
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Notso_fastLane
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Montana to require hi Vis clothing for cyclists.

https://montanafreepress.org/2021/01...-for-cyclists/

IMO, it's a bit of good, but a lot of bad. Requiring lighting - good. Requiring a 3 foot passing distance - good. Requiring Hi-Viz clothing - bad. Requiring riders to keep right (with very few good exceptions) - bad.

The hi-viz clothing requirement is bad because it gives the authorities an excuse to NOT charge bad drivers. I would like to think I'm being cynical, but I think it's a realistic fear. The local cycling group is backing it, even though they agree that the requirements are a bad part, they think the good outweighs the bad. I'm unsure.

I hate that it puts ALL the responsibility on the cyclist though. If the law included increased penalties or minimum penalties for negligent drivers, I might be more willing to back it, but I guess since I'm not in Montana, they don't really care what I think
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Old 02-17-21, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Notso_fastLane View Post
https://montanafreepress.org/2021/01...-for-cyclists/

IMO, it's a bit of good, but a lot of bad. Requiring lighting - good. Requiring a 3 foot passing distance - good. Requiring Hi-Viz clothing - bad. Requiring riders to keep right (with very few good exceptions) - bad.

The hi-viz clothing requirement is bad because it gives the authorities an excuse to NOT charge bad drivers. I would like to think I'm being cynical, but I think it's a realistic fear. The local cycling group is backing it, even though they agree that the requirements are a bad part, they think the good outweighs the bad. I'm unsure.

I hate that it puts ALL the responsibility on the cyclist though. If the law included increased penalties or minimum penalties for negligent drivers, I might be more willing to back it, but I guess since I'm not in Montana, they don't really care what I think
Your point is well taken. As I have stated before, if you are in an accident and not wearing a helmet, or having a flag on your bike or trike the drivers lawyer will say your are partly to blame. So now in Montana, wear a helmet, fly a flag, and now wear Hi Vis clothes. That will dispense with several arguments against you right off the bat.
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Old 02-17-21, 12:01 PM
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Also, wearing a hi-viz shirt/jacket does squat for those of us on recumbents (or worse, velomobiles!). I wonder how they will deal with that? I have a large reflective red section on the back of my velo, but I'm pretty sure it's nowhere near 200 sq. in.
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Old 02-17-21, 12:02 PM
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I hope the cycling community in Montana defeat these proposed requirements.
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Old 02-17-21, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Notso_fastLane View Post
Also, wearing a hi-viz shirt/jacket does squat for those of us on recumbents (or worse, velomobiles!). I wonder how they will deal with that? I have a large reflective red section on the back of my velo, but I'm pretty sure it's nowhere near 200 sq. in.
Your point about velomobiles is well taken. The rider cant be seen.
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Old 02-17-21, 03:38 PM
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This is a proposed bill, brought up by a legislator probably to satisfy one of his constituents. These sorts of proposals usually don't go anywhere, but when they do advance a lot of the silliness usually goes away. Here's the text of that part:

2) on a highway with a speed limit IN EXCESS of 35 miles an hour or greater,shall wear exterior garments above the waist with a total of not less than2 00 square inches of hunter orange, high-visibility lime, or retro-reflective material visible at all times while riding. GARMENTS MAY INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO ANY OF THE FOLLOWING MEETING THE COLOR OR RETRO-REFLECTIVE REQUIREMENT:
A) BICYCLE JERSEYS;
(B)ATHLETIC APPAREL;
C)SAFETY VESTS;
(D)HUNTER VESTS;OR
(E)GARMENTS ON WHICH RETROREFLECTIVE TAPE HAS BEEN APPLIED.
200 sq.in. is not a lot especially if distributed front, side, and back. Recumbent riders can still comply although it won't be all that effective of a "fix".

Write to Mr. Loge as well as to your rep. and tell them what you think.
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Old 02-18-21, 12:12 AM
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Bright colored garments really only work for drivers during the day, and for the ones that are really paying attention to the road in the first place. Highly reflective apparel is good for the nighttime, and though I wear reflective apparel, but I prefer to put more highly reflective material on the moving parts of my bikes, like crank arms, pedals, wheels, shoes, ankle straps, and gloves (for hand signals), since it really gets my attention when I happen to be driving around cyclists at night in one of my vehicles at night.

On another note, whenever I visit my family members in Montana, it's hard to watch motorcycle riders riding without helmets, and passengers riding around unsecured in the back of pickups on public roadways, especially after my many years of motorsports involvement.
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Old 02-18-21, 06:09 AM
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new market for 15" x 15" hunter orange, high vis lime, retroreflective tape flags/bandanas to safety pin on back of shirt/jersey. I hate lime and prefer neon yellow. A regular size bandana is about 20 x 20...cut it down to 15" x 15", maybe slap a safety pizza or triangle on the back and have a blast ; )

Last edited by BikeLite; 02-18-21 at 06:21 AM.
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Old 02-18-21, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by BikeLite View Post
new market for 15" x 15" hunter orange, high vis lime, retroreflective tape flags/bandanas to safety pin on back of shirt/jersey. I hate lime and prefer neon yellow.
I wonder if when they said "lime" if they really meant yellow. IE, the typical and common neon yellow "hi-vis" color we see everywhere nowadays? I've heard some people call it "lime" but to me it is more yellow than green. Green, even bright lime green, doesn't strike me as a safety color; more like a camouflage color.
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Old 02-18-21, 08:32 AM
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I'd guess that this is what they meant.

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Old 02-18-21, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by cb400bill View Post
I'd guess that this is what they meant.
Probably so; thanks for posting that. Hmmm, I think I like the yellow better.
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Old 02-18-21, 08:39 AM
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I own that Endura jacket and it is VERY visible.
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Old 02-18-21, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Reflector Guy View Post
I wonder if when they said "lime" if they really meant yellow. IE, the typical and common neon yellow "hi-vis" color we see everywhere nowadays? I've heard some people call it "lime" but to me it is more yellow than green. Green, even bright lime green, doesn't strike me as a safety color; more like a camouflage color.
I see the lime-green color more than the yellow.....Is this another, What Color is the Dress phenomenon....
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Old 02-18-21, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Notso_fastLane View Post
The hi-viz clothing requirement is bad because it gives the authorities an excuse to NOT charge bad drivers. I would like to think I'm being cynical, but I think it's a realistic fear.
Drivers are already not charged. It doesn't seem that the hi-viz clothing requirement would mean even more would not be charged.

Anyway, if hi-viz clothing keeps riders from being hit (and killed), it might be OK have fewer drivers charged versus having more cyclists hit or killed.

Last edited by njkayaker; 02-19-21 at 06:58 AM.
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Old 02-18-21, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by cb400bill View Post
I'd guess that this is what they meant.

More or less.

They are (probably) talking about a particular fluorescent green that for which the eye happens to be particularly sensitive to.

This particular color isn't always the best choice. Sometimes, fluorescent pink/orange can work better.

Nothing is going to be perfect. But this requirement might be better than nothing,

Keep in mind that dark (even black) clothing is very popular.
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Old 02-18-21, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Notso_fastLane View Post
Also, wearing a hi-viz shirt/jacket does squat for those of us on recumbents (or worse, velomobiles!). I wonder how they will deal with that? I have a large reflective red section on the back of my velo, but I'm pretty sure it's nowhere near 200 sq. in.
As it happens, this is irrelevant.

It doesn't help you but you are part of a very small percentage of the riding population.

Nothing is going to be perfect.

It might be a nuisance if you had to wear the clothing to comply with the law but even that's not a big deal.

=========================

It would be interesting to know how big your reflector is. You might be able to be legally compliant by adding some extra tape.
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Old 02-18-21, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
More or less.

They are (probably) talking about a particular fluorescent green that for which the eye happens to be particularly sensitive to.

This particular color isn't always the best choice. Sometimes, fluorescent pink/orange can work better.

Nothing is going to be perfect. But this requirement might be better than nothing,

Keep in mind that dark (even black) clothing is very popular.
I too whould think that da-glo orange would be better, but people that claim to know say the da-glo green is better. I some what question that if you are riding where green bushes and trees are right up next to the hiway.
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Old 02-18-21, 12:34 PM
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This piece of wrongmindedness from the article:

"He said he developed the proposal to address the concerns of drivers hauling heavy loads who have a hard time slowing or stopping when approaching cyclists on narrow, winding roads."
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Old 02-19-21, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
This piece of wrongmindedness from the article:

"He said he developed the proposal to address the concerns of drivers hauling heavy loads who have a hard time slowing or stopping when approaching cyclists on narrow, winding roads."
Maybe you are interpreting it wrong. There is a big difference in trying to stop 80,000 pounds as opposed to a 2000 pound car. Being able to notice things further off is potentially more important for vehicles that are heavier.
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Old 02-19-21, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Maybe you are interpreting it wrong. There is a big difference in trying to stop 80,000 pounds as opposed to a 2000 pound car. Being able to notice things further off is potentially more important for vehicles that are heavier.
I am not interpreting it wrong at all. Let me ask you a question. If you were operating an 80,000 pound vehicle in an area with narrow winding roads, what might you do differently than you would if you were operating a 2000 pound vehicle?
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Old 02-19-21, 12:08 PM
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Good idea
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Old 02-19-21, 12:45 PM
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Green IS more visible actually. Because there is more blue and yellow in the environment to reflect.
I remember this from 40 years ago, during my waterskiing years. Red sure is useless. My float jacket was bright yellow.
However, I still REFUSE to wear viz on a bicycle. My panier bins don't have it either.
My dyno lights are on full time, makes no sense not to. Trucks saw me just FINE on my tours, They were seeing me from a quarter mile back and changing lanes according to where I was on the shoulder.
Requiring this for race bikes in day time is NOT going to happen. LOL.
Far safer to have a mirror anyway. Viz sure didn't save the group in Nevada last year.

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Old 02-19-21, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
I am not interpreting it wrong at all. Let me ask you a question. If you were operating an 80,000 pound vehicle in an area with narrow winding roads, what might you do differently than you would if you were operating a 2000 pound vehicle?
Well I'd be operating either with the utmost of safety. I can only think that you believe a 80,000 pound vehicle is as simple to maneuver and stop as a tiny car. I don't think it is.

No one is trying to give the heavy vehicle drivers an excuse to make it okay for hitting a cyclist. Seems they are just trying to make it easier for a cyclist to be noticed by anyone.

Even I have issues on my bike when going in and out of bright sunny parts of the road or trail into very dark shady spots and happen upon a walker or cyclist in colors that match the surroundings. For me brightly colored clothing and bikes do make it easier to be seen from further away.
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Old 02-19-21, 01:38 PM
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This is just yet another Montana bill that will die die die.

A few years ago the Montana bills that went viral (but went nowhere) were to ban bikes from two lane roads (which was amended to complete streets along the way, but died too) and Pokemon Go while driving.

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Old 02-19-21, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
No one is trying to give the heavy vehicle drivers an excuse to make it okay for hitting a cyclist. Seems they are just trying to make it easier for a cyclist to be noticed by anyone.
Anyone in Montana ever introduce a bill to require light vehicle drivers to have high viz colored cars? (The most common color of motor vehicle is road.)

-mr. bill
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