Rider Visibility - Rider Safety - Whose Responsibility?
Here's a grass roots motorcycle safety Public Service/Safety Advertisement from the Cyprus Motorcycle Rights Club, (originally shared by FEMA on Facebook).
It confirms that the same issues in the same spots exercises riders minds the same way all over the world.
It raises an important issue for rider safety - which is at the heart of a little more than half of all riders deaths and/or serious injuries in Victoria. (As given in the current Victorian learner rider training curriculum).
While the PSA is aimed at increasing driver awareness - which has been shown to help drivers see and manage oncoming motorcycles more effectively - we riders should expect drivers to make mistakes, so it's up to us to manage that expected hazard accordingly. Some possible tactics include: Move around in our lane, change lanes, cover brakes, slow down, speed up, change down a gear to have more effective engine control, plan an escape route, flash headlights... what are your suggestions?
Lots of non-riders and even some riders will say that to manage the SMIDSY hazard, motorcycles should be more "visible". It is an intuitive notion, usually fed by the ubiquitous use of high viz in "hazardous" areas. The benefit of hi viz in these areas is questionable despite the overwhelming "experience" (ever see a hi viz work place without a plethora of other tactics in place - signage, traffic separation, training, hazard warnings, speed limits etc?), but the benefit of hi viz on a moving, already overlooked, unexpected object in an uncontrolled environment that features poorly trained "operators" of hazardous equipment is less than unproven. For it to even have a chance of working, it relies on the driver seeing the bike first.
Before any one launches into evangelising the benefits of hi viz wear on a rider, they should review the video by famous YouTube riding nerd Fortnine: "Invisibility Training for Motorcyclists". Ask yourself, can hi viz overcome all the issues raised?
TL:DR - If we can't rely on drivers to see us (or factor our speed and distance properly when they do see us), the onus for our safety is on us.
Ride Safe. Ride your best ride.