New cycle safety jacket draws clever inspiration from horse riders

Recently, I was pleasantly surprised when a lorry gave me the maximum amount of clearance on the road. The driver opted to safely overtake almost entirely in the opposite lane of traffic. It was nice to be spared that horrible loud noise and sensation that you get from inconsiderate drivers. A new jacket by HighVisibility may be the solution to having more pleasant experiences like this one.

Police notice - Think BikeThe design is inspired from hi-vis jackets that have been tested by thousands of horse riders. According to users of the jacket, the jacket has a huge effect on the way they are treated on the roads.

The jacket is fully adjustable so that you can fit it tightly no matter how many layers you are wearing.

It is currently available for £24.99.

Another product stocked by HighVisiblity is the Laser Light. Again, this is designed to be seen by traffic and also to encourage drivers to give you space on the roads.

Laser lightThe rear light forms a kind of projection on to the road that creates a bike lane.

It’s also integrated with a traditional bike light that gives you a wide visibility angle of up to 270 degrees.

The battery time lasts about 10 hours and the product is retailing at just £14.99.

I like the idea behind both of these products and it will be good to hear feedback from cyclists.

Competition!

HighVisibility have got in touch with me and want to give one lucky reader either a laser lane or a safety jacket. Usual competition rules apply (One winner, one entry per person, randomly chosen winner, open to UK residents only etc.)

To enter simply leave a comment below discussing which product you think you’d find most useful.

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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.

142 Responses to New cycle safety jacket draws clever inspiration from horse riders

  1. Graeme 24/05/2012 at 2:17 pm #

    I like the idea of the light as it gives an indication of a cycle lane. Would be interesting to see how bright it is in the real world rather than the picture.

  2. Alistair Burns 24/05/2012 at 2:21 pm #

    For me the light is the best idea and serves an educational purpose. The fake police jacket is likely to cause resentment from people who are duped, many may laugh along and remark how clever but the worst thing to have around a cyclist is a vehicle driver with a grudge.

  3. Pete 24/05/2012 at 2:24 pm #

    I like both the products. One as simple as it gets and the other the somewhat hi-tech. light. It’s hard to say which would be the most useful. In the daytime the light would probably have little benefit and whilst the jacket is interesting it might not be as useful for cyclists as compared to horse riders as bikes are generally faster and there is no potential random animal action to consider.

    I’ll go for the light. If I won that’s what I’d probably choose anyhow.

  4. Jason 24/05/2012 at 2:44 pm #

    I’d definately go for the light as not into the hi vis look myself. Looks like an interesting product, wonder how it’d look in real life?

  5. Vladimir 24/05/2012 at 2:46 pm #

    the jacket is the best of the two products! I’d love to try it out and see what the drivers around me do. genius idea! some drivers might get narked but I can’t imagine they’d be too bothered about it.

  6. Si 24/05/2012 at 2:48 pm #

    Really like the high-vis, they should start churning out a load of Police themed safety gear. A pretty effective deterrent to crazy driving if mixed with a carefully selected outfit I reckon.

  7. Alex Rushen 24/05/2012 at 2:54 pm #

    The addition of the lane markers to the light is a brilliant idea that I’m sure will be adopted by many competitors products!

  8. Mike 24/05/2012 at 2:55 pm #

    Not sure which one would be more useful, as both would be a great benefit. I do think the laser light is cooler though, so that alone would give it my vote.

    I usually cycle with a back pack on, would the vest be able to fit over that? If not, then it would not be useful to me at all, as the wording would be under the bag.

  9. Jamie 24/05/2012 at 3:01 pm #

    I saw one of these jackets for the first time just yesterday on a horse rider and I immediately thought I didn’t like it. I think the fake police thing is in danger of ‘crying wolf’, and just makes us appear a bit more smarmy to other road users than necessary. We already suffer (rightly or wrongly) from accusations of smugness from car drivers. I agree that any form of additional protection while cycling is good, but we shouldn’t need to be ‘tricking’ people into giving us room.

    The light is a good idea and is a little less in your face! It comes across better as a guide or request to car drivers, rather than being pushy about it.

  10. Simon 24/05/2012 at 3:05 pm #

    Since I try to believe most road users are considerate of others, I would find the Laser Lights more useful as it will give guidance to others in more cases. The Jacket is not required/won’t work if people are already looking properly, and if they’re not looking, it doesn’t matter what you wear.

  11. Alistair Burns 24/05/2012 at 3:09 pm #

    Another thought about the “polite” jacket. Unfortunately I associate this with the common “polite notice” signs people have on their front garden walls. They may have once been witty but they tend to be put in place by people who believe they have an implied ownership of part of the road in front of their house. Most of us know the perils of people thinking they own the road hence not for me.

  12. PaulR 24/05/2012 at 3:12 pm #

    Most of my bike commuting is done with a backpack on, so I tend not to bother with super hi-vis jackets, instead finding a hi-vis bike cover more useful. I do think that the jacket looks a little bit too much like a police jacket. This is probably the point, but I’m not sure that I would be comfortable wearing something that looks that close to a police jacket.

    I love the light. I tend to use two rear lights, one flashing and one steady, and this would work brilliantly as the steady light. It would have to be pretty powerful to work and I would be interested to know just how wide the lane it creates is. Not sure how much notice a lot of drivers would take of it, but any reminder that cyclists need space is going to be a good thing.

  13. Peter 24/05/2012 at 3:42 pm #

    I like the idea of the light, would be good in combination with something flashing.

  14. Milo 24/05/2012 at 3:52 pm #

    I like the bike light but think the ‘polite’ police jacket is a bit OTT. Similar to other commuters, I have a backpack on so the writing would not be seen anyway.

    I long for an age where I can cycle to/from work (I use the CS8 bike route in London) without the need for high-vis and all the other paraphernalia. Dedicated cycling infrastructure is what is needed. When I lived in Japan (English teacher) we cycled everywhere and I didn’t even own a helmet; none of us did.

  15. mark culmer 24/05/2012 at 3:54 pm #

    I would go for the new jacket by HighVisibility.

  16. Alex 24/05/2012 at 4:00 pm #

    These look like two great cycling products, however, i have to agree with the other comments about the hi-vis jacket though, with regards to misleading people. But it’s worth a try! The light seems great! The laser light looks like a great product especially when there aren’t too many other cyclists about.

  17. Hop 24/05/2012 at 4:06 pm #

    I like the light, but it would be nice to be able to turn off either the left hand light or right hand one (depending on what country you ride in) to increase battery life – there seems no point in putting a lane light onto the kerb.

  18. James 24/05/2012 at 4:07 pm #

    I like the laser light. I usually cycle with a backpack making the jacket less useful.

  19. Andrea 24/05/2012 at 4:14 pm #

    The lane projected by Laser Light looks wider than some actual bike lanes in London!

  20. matt_fantastic 24/05/2012 at 4:15 pm #

    Yes, the light is a nice idea… I want one…

  21. andy dawes 24/05/2012 at 4:16 pm #

    Hi. I’m a big fan of the high viz. I’ve found these to be more effective in my local bike riding. I think that drivers and pedestrians are more receptive to high viz as they are used to seeing it in the built environment, and therefore take more immediate notice. The ‘bike lane’ light, which by the way I think is a really good product, might take a driver a little longer to ‘decode’… as they may not be used to seeing light configurations like this on the road. Still, as I said, I still think its a good product… especially in addition to high viz products.

  22. Stacey 24/05/2012 at 4:17 pm #

    I like both – the light’s really unusual and clever in that sets up an exclusion zone. I’m a believer of hi vis and think it should be the minimum a cyclist should have – it’s arrogant of cyclists to think “I’ll be seen” while they’re wearing muted dark colours and assume that in a busy street their movement will mean a driver will see them … I don’t think so.

    And breathe …

    • Gordon 24/05/2012 at 6:51 pm #

      love the massive misconception of not safe without hi-viz, if the driver isn’t paying attention colours make no difference, just saying.

  23. sam 24/05/2012 at 4:18 pm #

    i think the jacket is probably more practical, the light is interesting, but I would want to discover just how bright and visible the laser lines are in real life.

  24. Max 24/05/2012 at 4:24 pm #

    The light looks good. Would like to see how it performs in real life.

  25. david miller 24/05/2012 at 4:55 pm #

    the laser light looks very interesting, the jacket would definatley be a handy piece of kit

  26. Tim 24/05/2012 at 5:26 pm #

    Def. the light for me!

  27. hjwatso1 24/05/2012 at 5:32 pm #

    Neither really solve the real issue on the roads. The light is a nice idea but only works at night. The high vis vest is no my thing, but I can see some people using it.

    Interesting ideas over all.

  28. Michael 24/05/2012 at 5:34 pm #

    I like the laser light. It kind of indicates how much room to leave when passing.

  29. Big Softy 24/05/2012 at 5:49 pm #

    Not so sure about the hi-vis, but if the Laser Light is as good in reality as the promo pic I definitely will be forced to buy one if you don’t give me a freebie.

    Can the winner please give us a review?

  30. Tim 24/05/2012 at 6:04 pm #

    Just bought the laser light – although found it on ebay for cheaper…..

  31. monxton 24/05/2012 at 6:06 pm #

    I am not too cool for a hi-vis jacket! If it makes the car drivers more careful then it’s worth it.

  32. Trevor 24/05/2012 at 7:13 pm #

    The hi-viz thing doesn’t appeal to me at all. The light looks fantastic. I wonder if it meets British Safety standards for bicycle lights? I’m guessing not as they don’t mention so on the website.

    Either way, I’d love one. So if I’m the lucky guy, one light please!

  33. Massimo 24/05/2012 at 8:21 pm #

    I love the idea of the lazer light! I definitely think it will psychologically have an effect and will cause drivers to not drive behind it!

  34. Dominic 24/05/2012 at 9:19 pm #

    I love the light. A simple idea and you can see how drivers would naturally consider the bike lane width when passing. Nice one.

  35. Simon B 24/05/2012 at 9:30 pm #

    I’d love the light. It’s a great idea but it’s clearly only going to be useful at night, and the lanes may not be so visible aty close quarters (heavy London traffic).
    The hi-is also qworthwhile and visible day and night,

  36. Kevin 24/05/2012 at 9:41 pm #

    My first impression is that it said police not polite! Maybe this is why it works!
    But love the lights creating a bike lane!

    • Graham 24/05/2012 at 9:51 pm #

      I agree and the blue and white squares also give the appearance of a ‘police’ jacket.

      Just make sure you don’t get flagged down by someone thinking you are a bobby !!

      The guy in the pic, especially when wearing the helmet with the same markings could easily be mistaken for a bobby or PCSO on first glance.

      And I do speak with some ‘authority’ :))

      Definitely like the bike light, definitely innovative.

    • John 24/05/2012 at 11:52 pm #

      Agree!

  37. Jonathan 24/05/2012 at 10:16 pm #

    I like the ideas, I want to be convinced, but I’m not. The light… go to the web site and look at the photo of the light on some kind of paved area. Now imagine a skip wagon deciding that those red lines (if they really show up on the real high street) are magic rails to drive against. If a car drove that close to me, I’d have to sort out his door panel for him with a persuasive suggestion from my size 12s!

    Which brings me somewhat thematically to the Police – er – Polite hi viz. It’s an idea, but when the novelty has worn off, I can’t help feeling I’d look or feel like a bit of a plonker.

    That said, does anybody remember an article about how to “increase you Big”? (Don’t Google it at work!) It worked on the premise that an artic is big. A motorcycle is small (and invisible and vulnerable), but a police motorcycle is “Big” – funnily enough, it is not invisible (and so it goes on with advice on looking “Big”). That’s where Polite comes in. But I think it’s just a bit too obvious a joke. It might be better to get something a little more suggestive than “Carry On”. The hat band, for example – not only might it make drivers wonder, it’s also some reflective viz where you aren’t normally blessed with it.

    So, the jacket and the light – I’m not sure, but it does tickle my tummy a little bit. (Sorry to ramble: it is the way it is.)

  38. Luke 25/05/2012 at 6:02 am #

    I saw this as an idea for bikes a good couple of years ago on a biking forum. The discussion at the time was whether it was too close to an official police jacket and so could be construed as impersonating a police officer. Obviously if its gone into production then that has all been cleared. Looks good to me!

  39. Paul 25/05/2012 at 8:16 am #

    I agree with some of the views above.

    But, I think the most important point is that in the absence of any movement to make cycling safer by Boris and TFL which, despite his recent statement at MQT, we all know is not going to happen, we need these types of innovation. Now they may be gimmicky or not quite work brilliantly. But it is a start and we should be encouraging. Anything that makes drivers remember that we are humans on a piece of metal that is around 25kgs compared to their 2+tonnne vechicle has to be a good thing.

    So, a thumbs up from me, even if execution isn’t brilliant (which I don’t know because I haven’t tried them!).

    • Hang 25/05/2012 at 9:07 am #

      I agree with posts above. I have started commuting into work and both items would not look amiss, however, as it has been mentioned countless times, the rucksack would make cover some of the hi viz jacket effectiveness Obvioulsy there is a few hi viz covers for >£20 (personally I would not pay more than £15 for a rucksack cover) which can compensate for this.

      I do like Laser Light in principle, shame the battery life cannot be extended to over 20 hours because my round trip commute takes 2 hours and if I did commute for the whole week in the dark winter days I would need to buy new batteries weekly!

  40. Simon Norton 25/05/2012 at 9:10 am #

    Either device would be appreciated by myself. I’d like to raise a concern about motorists using smartphones. SOMETHING SHOULD BE DONE!

  41. Martin 25/05/2012 at 9:37 am #

    Being seen is only half the battle. There are still too many motorists who see a cyclist but behave as if they don’t exist.

  42. Caroline 25/05/2012 at 10:09 am #

    I think I’d prefer the ‘Police’ jacket more – can really see people giving you space when they think you’ll have the power to fine ‘em!

  43. Steve 25/05/2012 at 10:16 am #

    I like the idea of the hi viz vest, my sister who is a horse rider has had one for a while and reckons it’s excellent. Unfortunately it looses it’s effectiveness if you wear a backpack. I love the laser lights idea. I’d give these serious consideration.

  44. Gavin 25/05/2012 at 10:26 am #

    Good idea, but I agree with posts above, as I commute with a rucksack this would hide most of the back area. Would be if they could bring out an rucksack cover.
    Anything to get you more seen is a plus for me.

  45. Goonz 25/05/2012 at 10:26 am #

    I know if I saw that hi-Viz jacket i’d slow down and give it a wide berth.

    I reckon most other drivers will be just as cautious and frankly for a cyclist thats exactly what we need. Caution from the others road users. In conclusion its a winner.

    Loving the lights not loving the battery life!

  46. Tony Parrack 25/05/2012 at 10:28 am #

    Love the idea of the laser lights – even as a very experienced commuter cyclist, I’m sometimes uncomfortable when I sense large vehicles coming up too close and I think this would help define ‘my’ defensible space to them.

  47. Jon 25/05/2012 at 10:28 am #

    I think the jacket is a clever design which will work at night and in daylight. It gives you good visibility in daylight and at night and the wording from a distance might trick drivers into thinking you’re a copper or PCSO, although this would only work of you weren’t wearing colourful licra!

  48. Jess 25/05/2012 at 10:40 am #

    I think that both are a good idea but agree with the other comments about the jacket being mistaken for being a police jacket. I think I prefer the light as many drivers don’t realise how much space a cyclist should have when being overtaken and the light would at least make them wonder.

  49. Gary 25/05/2012 at 10:44 am #

    Well in the last 2 weeks I’ve managed to smash my rear light and tear my cycling jacket so both of these will be going on my wish list. Probably the light is cooler and more useful in the summer (especially if this good weather holds out)

  50. Myles 25/05/2012 at 10:45 am #

    Like the idea of the jacket but no doubt the words on the back will need some more thought. probably more important to say something about safety. Maybe it should say “Think Safety…I am!” or “My family is expecting me home tonight…don’t make them worry”

    Like the laser lights a lot. I’ve seen these before but a bit cost prohibitive.

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