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.


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.

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

  1. Alan Moore 25/05/2012 at 10:49 am #

    I rather like the Polite hi-viz, although £25 is a lot. Does it at least come with the headband?

  2. David Cohen 25/05/2012 at 10:49 am #

    The Laser Light actually gives some indication as to where other traffic might wish to position themselves, so could really help making sure other road users give enough clearance.

  3. Christine 25/05/2012 at 10:50 am #

    I think they are both really cool products, the lights are very innovative – anything which makes you stand out on the road has to be a good thing. The jacket is clever as at first glance it looks like a police jacket which as we all know makes people slow down/think again – I would love to win one, but if i don’t I will probably shell out for one!

  4. Adrian 25/05/2012 at 10:51 am #

    Love the idea of laser lights. Safety/lighting has come a long way in 5 years….

  5. Alan Moore 25/05/2012 at 10:54 am #

    The ‘bike lane’ light is not a new idea, but it is a good one for London. I’d like more mounting options (back of rack!) and crucially make it rechargeable. I’d pay upwards of £30 for a good USB-rechargeable one.

  6. Hugh 25/05/2012 at 10:56 am #

    I love the Polite jacket. I think I will get one, but I think I will also go the whole nine yards and invest in a utility belt complete with handcuffs, telescopic baton and Taser. Just for effect, of course…

  7. philcycle 25/05/2012 at 11:12 am #

    I try to wear ‘hi-viz’ tops, ie yellow, but still have drivers passing too close for my comfort, and am not sure that the words really make much difference to a driver who is not “cyclist aware”.
    The light looks good, but does it really show up that well on real road surfaces?
    Regret I am not convinced that either product will have the lasting effect we seek and would prefer to see more training for drivers to recognise cyclists as ‘traffic’, rather than a hinderance.

  8. Gaz 25/05/2012 at 11:16 am #

    The laser light is pretty pointless as it doesn’t point out as far as it should, it’s nearly 2ft short of showing people how much room they should leave.

    The jacket is meh to me, seen a few people using similar stuff already.

    • Alan Moore 25/05/2012 at 11:17 am #

      Agreed, I also think it should be wider, from what I can see..

  9. Anke 25/05/2012 at 11:23 am #

    I recently had to drive across London by car, and the one lesson I drew from this as a cyclist is – wear hi-vis – any hi-vis! I don’t think Polite Notices would make much of a difference… and I prefer well designed/ well-cut jackets if they must be hi-vis. Copying police uniform is not the look I’m after.
    The light looks interesting, proof would be in how cars respond somewhere like the Euston Rd at night.

    • Gaz 25/05/2012 at 11:28 am #

      Care to expand on why you came to that conclusion?

  10. Adam 25/05/2012 at 11:29 am #

    I like the ideas. I agree with the posts bemoaning battery life. Having said that I use mostly rechargeable batteries in my lights an torches. Perhaps that would be a green solution. Sell the light with rechargables!
    As for the jacket, it’s great as a novtu but if 20 people on the same route wear them then maybe the effect would be lessened…still it’s worth a try!

  11. Will 25/05/2012 at 11:45 am #

    I feel that the high vis jacket is a rather clever idea and I can certainly see it working, which makes it very tempting. However like other previous comments have stated, its massive usp is also its downfall in my opinion due to the likelihood of feeling like a plonker.
    So it leaves you with a trade off, safety or style?

    As for the light, it seems a bit naff really and I would want a wider gap but it does make me feel positive for future innovative products.

  12. Joey 25/05/2012 at 12:16 pm #

    I think the laser light is really useful . Providing sufficient visibility to other cyclists and drivers, and in the mean time its cool!

  13. Clair 25/05/2012 at 12:21 pm #

    The jacket because I spend more time cycling in grey London than night time. We need visibility as many murkily dressed cyclists just blend in to the murky road,. I drive too so I see the hazard often. Love the lights too.

  14. Lep Recorn 25/05/2012 at 12:41 pm #

    the light would be useful if it was rechargeable . . .

  15. Claudia 25/05/2012 at 1:12 pm #

    Both good idea. Particularly the light. Can’t find anywhere online, though.

  16. Richard 25/05/2012 at 1:13 pm #

    I am a mostly twilight cyclist so it would be interesting to know how the laser lights work when it is not completely dark – this looks like a really good idea to give drivers a guide when passing cycles

  17. Iain 25/05/2012 at 1:14 pm #

    10hrs seems a pretty short battery life!

  18. Richard 25/05/2012 at 1:19 pm #

    This is an excellent idea from HighVisibility. At a distance it will insert that subliminal ‘Police’ message to drivers – very clever and no wonder the company has copyrighted the design. Love it! The lights are great too but my vote is for the jacket!

  19. Paul 25/05/2012 at 1:51 pm #

    The light would be the most useful.


  20. tim 25/05/2012 at 2:00 pm #

    I like the jacket. Good if i’m using panniers – not so good with my rucksack. The light looks good, but my only question is could you get into hassle from shining something that’s akin to a laser pointer backwards? the roads I travel on in London are so rough, I’m sure the bumping etc will bounce the lights around all over the place.

    Both products look good.

  21. Chris 25/05/2012 at 2:08 pm #

    The ‘cycle lane’ lights look a winner to me.

    • Christine B 25/05/2012 at 7:04 pm #

      Motorists and lorry drivers biggest concern is not being able to see a cyclist. Both these products shout ‘YOU CAN SEE ME’. Bring on more products like these which help both road users.

  22. GL 25/05/2012 at 2:47 pm #

    I think the reason the jacket will work is the police style block reflectives and the the word ‘polite’. This is likely to make poeple, at first glance, think your are a policeman and therefore give your more room rather than because of the message.

    Regardless of that, if it works, it’s fine by me!

  23. Paul Tunnell 25/05/2012 at 3:15 pm #

    I think the concept of the jacket is great as long as PC’s accept it is not classed as “imitating a police officer” then I would wear all the time riding at night.

    • Matt Taylor 25/05/2012 at 3:21 pm #

      agreed, it does look a lot like a police hi-viz, but that’s the secrete to it’s success I recon. Would be great if the Laser Light was white lines on the road.

  24. MC 25/05/2012 at 3:24 pm #

    The rear light creting a moving cycle lane is a excellent idea. Setting a boundry means that people will be more aware when they cross it (most of the time!)

    Both great looking products.

  25. Dave Brennan 25/05/2012 at 5:18 pm #

    Great idea but a bit pricey you can get standard hiviz vests for about £2

    • HighVisibility 11/06/2012 at 4:42 pm #

      Any high visibility waistcoat is good as long as it is,as stated, fluorescent and reflective, not just bright yellow. Just make sure that it meets the correct british & european standards and you’ll not go wrong.
      Our PR manager recently witnessed a cyclist wearing a yellow tabard, with silver reflective stripes, which when it caught her cars headlights : a – the yellow didn’t show up the way it should, and b – the silver reflective stripes turned brown.

  26. jason palmer 25/05/2012 at 6:21 pm #

    l iike the light in the road idea but agree that it should be a white line(on right of bike) to create a fake bike lane. as for the jacket maybe unsafe as drivers may get distracted reading the message !! keep the polite and police style checkers tho

  27. Chris 25/05/2012 at 6:31 pm #

    I like the jacket! Would love to test it in the United States, where we don’t generally have police on bikes with jackets like those.

  28. Eve 25/05/2012 at 7:03 pm #

    Out of the two – I definitely prefer the light. On busy roads it gives the drivers an idea how much space they need to leave to pass me safely. Personally I prefer to rely on being in a right position on the road to stay safe, rather then on high vis (so many people wear it that it doesn’t really mean anything, plus it’s useless after dark)

  29. Eric 25/05/2012 at 7:12 pm #

    I’d opt for the lights. Bright and different. My worry over the Hi viz jacket would be that I’d meet the only driver on the road who doesn’t like policemen* (or politemen*) and can’t read.

    *Please select your own gender specific description.

  30. Adam Edwards 25/05/2012 at 8:37 pm #

    Rear light:

    Imagine if the side beams were blue.

    You’d get an instant Superhighway at no cost to the Mayor! Expect Boris to have one fitted very soon!


  31. Una Coogan 25/05/2012 at 10:11 pm #

    I think the new jacket by HighVisibility is a great idea and a good way to engage people in thinking about passing cyclists. Hopefully it will make the commute more pleasent.

  32. Dave l 25/05/2012 at 10:11 pm #

    Love the vest. At first glance I thought it said police and that’s what I think drivers will see….which instantly makes them more cautious.

  33. Colin 26/05/2012 at 12:57 am #

    The light looks good, a friend mentioned there is one that puts a box grid down on the ground behind the cyclist – a keep out area, maybe that’s in the USA.
    I wonder if the jacket would annoy some people, “who are you trying to kid, you’re not the police” to begin with, ending with them foaming at the mouth shouting abuse.

  34. Kath 26/05/2012 at 7:44 am #

    I think the rear light is a really good idea. Gives a visual representation of a space of safety.

  35. Andrew 26/05/2012 at 8:17 am #

    Looks like a good idea but are there not rules about impersonating a police officer?

    • HighVisibility 11/06/2012 at 5:01 pm #

      Only if you are aiming to actively carry out police duties, which of course is against the law.

  36. Andy 26/05/2012 at 11:05 am #

    I used to have a simple white t-shirt with ‘POLITE notice KEEP your DISTANCE’ in black on it many years ago, so this isn’t new wording at all (I love the execution though). A local police sergeant checked out the wording for me and said it was perfectly legal if a little cheeky. You won’t win any brownie points jumping red lights wearing one of these. Police tolerance does not stretch to the use of flashing blue lights though…
    The laser lines aren’t all that visible in the dry, the lasers work much better in the wet but a dark wet night is probably when you want to be noticed most!

  37. Martin 27/05/2012 at 1:14 am #

    Got to be the Laser.

  38. Stef 27/05/2012 at 4:55 pm #

    I think the Laser Light is excellent, sometimes drivers just need reminding how far is needed to overtake safely

  39. skippy 27/05/2012 at 6:18 pm #

    Just seen the Canadian win the Giro and anyone that thinks the Italians are more considerate drivers , better think again ! Neither of these products would work with them !

    Watching them drive over double lines in tunnels in the face of on coming traffic is Hair raising ! And some of them are ” Giro Accredited ” , doesn’t that tell you something about their attitude to cyclists !

    Safely out of Italy with only cuts , grazes and white hair !

  40. Esteban 27/05/2012 at 9:17 pm #

    The vest design is quite clever. The best way to make sure that you are noticed and other drivers behave is to look like a policeman!

  41. Vinnie 27/05/2012 at 9:34 pm #

    The light looks pretty cool. I wonder how effective it is in the real world 🙂

  42. Janna 28/05/2012 at 8:57 am #

    Both are awesome. The ‘Polite’ sign def gonna catch ppl’s attention and that’s what you are constantly worrying about on the road as a cyclist. Laser is obviously awesome for night cycling so like both these products and think the prices are reasonable.

  43. Matt 28/05/2012 at 11:01 am #

    Having found the demonstration of the original Korean product which is being marketed in the UK by HighVisibility I don’t believe I would be quite comfortable having such a narrow boundary around me. The light allows for barely a couple of inches clearance away from the handlebars if you look at the video. It might even cause dangerously close overtakes just because motorists might be aiming to be just outside the line that you “painted” yourself.

    Also, I just cannot fathom how can an electronic light light be £10 cheaper than a piece of reflective fabric? What is that vest made of? Reflective stardust? Or are the words copyrighted and they have to pay a fee to the license holder? And what is it with British being in love with the high-viz jackets anyway? No other country seems to be that obsessed with them. It is a bit like penicillin back in the day, a cure for all diseases.
    -end of rant.

  44. Vicki 28/05/2012 at 2:03 pm #

    Everyone else has mentioned the pros. Here’s my cons: I think the jacket may be of more use if you don’t have a backpack on like I usually do. Got to put my shopping in somewhere. 😉 The laser lights would only be effective at night, unlike the jacket.

    • john evans 31/05/2012 at 11:08 am #

      Hello Vicki.

      I do our shopping sometimes, but unless it’s a humungous shop, it all goes in my panniers (usually in a “T-Bag” front mounted bag on my Brompton, rather than on me which makes me sweaty. Can you fit a rack of some sort to your bike, or is it too difficult?

      Good point about the laser light, & in fact, it reminds me of brake & indicator lights on bicycles in general. They need either batteries (yuk) or a dynamo. Much better to train “drivers” to open their eyes in the first place.

    • Andy 02/06/2012 at 12:28 am #

      Quite right! Your cons don’t go far enough though. The laser lights don’t work if you have panniers (the beam is blocked and doesn’t shine on the road) and the jacket is (of course) obscured if you wear a back pack so I guess you’re gonna have to choose one or the other… 5 out of 6 cab drivers (black cabs, not Addiscum Lee) said that they noticed the jacket – not one noticed the light.

  45. Mike 28/05/2012 at 10:09 pm #

    Anything to make unobservant drivers take notice works with me. As much as I like the light, it’s only good at night whereas the vest is a 24 hour safety device. I would recommend it to any novice or hesitant rider.
    But I’m not, I love gadgets and, if I thought the laser lines were too narrow, I would nudge the setting slightly to the right so that the inside “lane” ran from my tyre and I would get a wider berth.
    Except when I’m overtaking stationary traffic, I’m always on the left (in the swept area where the nearside car tyres run; -not in puncture alley in the gutter) so it would work for me at night

  46. Glen Mehn 29/05/2012 at 9:57 am #

    I love both of these! I particularly like the light as (assuming it does what I think it does) it “nudges” a ~1m clearance – the terrible thing is being overtaken too close…

    • Gaz 29/05/2012 at 10:13 am #

      Take a closer look at the light, it gives you around 30cm of clearance which is nowhere near enough.

  47. Ray 29/05/2012 at 1:05 pm #

    Any chance that we can purchase these in South Africa?

  48. Peter 30/05/2012 at 1:53 pm #

    I prefer the jacket as the light lanes won’t be very visible in the daylight

  49. James 30/05/2012 at 3:46 pm #

    I absolutely love the look of the jacket! I’ve often thought something like this would be a good idea, but always wondered about legality.

    The laser light is certainly eye catching, but I reckon the Jacket would do a better job increasing given overtaking room.

  50. Paul 30/05/2012 at 10:48 pm #

    Both look great, I don’t think drivers want to knock cyclists off their bikes but with everyone rushing around it can happen and these inovitive products certainly help to reduce the risk.

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