Cyclists dress like police to slow drivers down

Ross Lydall
11 April 2013

Source: London Evening Standard

Hi-vis: bibs are aimed at making motorists slow down as they approach cyclists. One cyclist said it was like having a “force field” around him

Hi-vis: bibs are aimed at making motorists slow down as they approach cyclists. One cyclist said it was like having a “force field” around him

Cyclists in London are buying high-visibility clothing that looks similar to a police uniform to get  motorists to give them more space and time.

The luminous yellow bibs have a blue-and-white reflective “hatched” border and are embossed with a message “POLITE notice THINK BIKE”.

But the makers admit that the word “POLITE” looks similar to “POLICE”.

Nicky Fletcher, managing director of Equisafety, said: “People who buy them are not stupid. They do look very similar. That is why they are buying them. The cyclist is not breaking the law. He is not trying to impersonate a police officer. It’s a trick of the eye but it slows the driver down.” Ms Fletcher came across the design by accident as she created safety jackets for horse riders.

She is dyslexic and wrote “polite slow down” rather than “please slow down” as she jotted down ideas on a notepad.

Now her firm, based in Wirral, Merseyside, has won a contract to supply bike firm Raleigh with its POLITE range this winter. It sells the bibs online.

Word spread among cyclists after reviews in cycling magazines and blogs, including London Cyclist.

Equisafety pressed ahead with the design after being assured by Met commander Bob Broadhurst that it was not illegal.

Ms Fletcher said: “One cyclist told us it was like a ‘force field’ around him.”