Tuesday, 28 August 2012



I have served in combat with Counter Terrorism Special Operations. There is an inescapable nexus between the visibility of something drawing the viewer towards it ie you see something out of the corner of your eye you will look at it ... where you look is where you steer. Hence, this clothing will increase the number of sideswipe crashes car v motorcycle.

Any reflective properties of any substance are negated if the surrounding light is of a higher measurement (eg A retro-reflector does not return light shone onto it exactly to the point of origin. Rather, it returns a cone of retro-reflective light towards the source of illumination)

This knowledge of reflection is a fundamental principle of camouflage that every soldier knows.

The use of reflection to increase the visibility of a moving object is questionable. Certainly, stationary objects benefit however the relatively low speed at which the brain can process the return of retro reflective light and calculate the new relative position of the light source obviates the benefit and increases the likelihood of the observer engaging in a 'point fixation search' (tunnel vision) seeking secondary and tertiary sightings for the brain to recalibrate speed, angle and probable real time position of the target. (A crude example is to imagine noticing reflection from a piece of glass, a watch or similar amongst a large location probability zone ... you notice the first flash, however then have to concentrate heavily to see the same flash; which your brain has filed as 'the target')

On the contrary; immediate, accurate and direct observer attention is drawn to noise and movement.

Since birth, all humans use hearing and basic sight functionality to determine distance, location and speed. These skills are practised through sport and every day activities. Why do phones have ring tones ? Why do alarms have loud noise?

If the desire is to decrease motorcycle crashes it follows the correct method to increase motor car driver awareness of the presence of a motorcycle is to ensure the motorcycle is moving at a speed slightly faster than its surroundings and is emitting noise at a level whereby early detection can be achieved.

Kind regards

Brad Parfitt

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