The picture [right, courtesy of the DM] illustrates the extent to which the Hi Vis jacket has become a fail safe for all and sundry who wish to … er … well … remain safe ! The rider is on a stationary exercise bike but the full regalia is obviously necessary.
For many years it was de riguer for for the boys from the blackstuff and the like who risked life and limb putting our roads right in speeding traffic, their annual death rate fully justified wearing them.
That was then.
Bit by bit ,all and sundry now wear Hi Vis jackets for reasons that are becoming ever more dubious, the kiddies of course are now wearing the jackets in miniature form ever more on their trips, being herded along by like dressed parents as flocks of sheep
What happened to – here’s your sandwich and don’t be late – cyclists not only wear the same vests but have annoying flashing lights that match the signals they jump, and when in groups resemble plastic ducks.
All manner of people in jobs that would imply they have some authority now seem to wear Hi Vis all the time – police, security guards ambulance staff, the list gets ever longer, we are now required if driving in France to have these vests at the ready, on show in the front so you don’t forget they are there, and in this country whilst not having the same laws, drivers increasingly wear them all the time whilst driving.
Have they forgotten they are there or are playing at being policemen – who knows?
When seen in mixed groups of these people in authority they are now seen in what would appear to be optional colours of Hi Vis jackets so as to distinguish them though that would only apply to those wearing them as nobody else would have a clue.
I have even seen a different coloured vest worn over the original yellow one; this I would presume is a sign of status over the inferior being who is asked to make do with the common basic yellow one, rather like a sergeant’s stripes.
Dog walkers and dogs wear them, horse riders ditto, ponies and traps have drivers wearing jackets plus one for the road slung over the back of the trap plus the magic words in matching day glow “learner” or what else could it be “care pony and trap”.
I have even dolly in a kids pram wearing a Hi Vis, my house buyers surveyor recently turned up in a Hi Vis to inspect my property, what was all that about ?
We as a nation have gone Hi Vis mad, nothing can be done without donning the dreaded vest, all better to be safe than sorry the cry goes.
Well maybe, but of course when we reach the stage – fast approaching when no one dare venture forth without one the purpose will be lost in a sea of yellow rather like the use of all day headlights on cars, have I got one, well yes , a new one was left behind in my last house by the previous owner a paramedic, my wife thought it would be a good idea if I wore one in the unlit lane outside with no pavement.
Did I ? No, bit late in life to try to buck the odds.