Currently, the wearing of high-visibility clothing by motorcyclists is not a legal requirement. The question of whether wearing such clothing should be made mandatory has arisen and been considered a number of times in recent years. It has been concluded that the wearing of such clothing should not be made compulsory. While high visibility clothing can obviously make a significant contribution to road safety, and should be encouraged, making it mandatory would create a criminal offence for not wearing it, under the Road Traffic Acts. Persons in breach of the provision would have to be issued with a fixed charge notice by a Garda or summonsed to court depending on whatever administrative procedure would be put in place for the processing of such offences. Such an approach would be considered excessive, and would raise a number of practical difficulties.
Instead, it is my view that safety issues such as these are best addressed by way of educational and publicity campaigns, such as those undertaken by the Road Safety Authority (RSA), which has responsibility for the promotion of road safety awareness, advertising and the dissemination of road safety information. The RSA is engaged on an ongoing basis in efforts to change our cultural attitude to road safety through advertising, publicity, education and community initiatives. As part of this process, it has undertaken a number of campaigns to promote awareness among pedestrians and cyclists of the need for visibility on our road.
Ultimately, the safety of all road users is a matter of personal responsibility. In that context, the Rules of the Road include a strong recommendation supporting the wearing of light and preferably high-visibility clothing.