Proof by silence: What high-viz campaigns prove

The driver of the above parked car is not subject to any TV campaigns or paid Twitter ads. No-one will drive into the car by accident (“oops, I didn’t ‘see’ you”). It will sit in darkness for hours tonight, and perhaps every night. It will not tickle the emotions of most people navigating this public space.

There is an authority with a scope to offer public safety messages about the use of such roads, like this regional road in Limerick city. Yet they have no comment on this car’s situation. Indeed, I think the car doesn’t pose much risk to motor vehicle drivers on this road. People are sensible and they avoid driving into it. You see, they do in fact see it without problem!

But the car cannot suffer being killed, it’s the humans that need to ‘be seen’“. No, the car in itself could cause serious harm (or death?) to an occupant of a vehicle that was to hit it. As this is a 50km/h road, then the average unobstructed speed (“free speed”) of drivers in these areas is 61km/h in 2018 (see RSA free speed surveys). I would guess that the average speed is even higher if you look at nighttime hours.

This very omission by the “safety” authority of this car’s plight proves that their high-viz campaigns are, at best, misguided and ill-balanced. To follow their logic to its end conclusion, every vehicle, sign post, lamp post and wall should be wrapped in reflective plastic. Of course that’s ridiculous, because when we drive we see those things, even these non-moving objects. You know that, and they know that.

Let’s live with the truth, therefore, that high-viz campaigns by their existence point to other motives. What may those motives be?

#BeSafeBeSeen #MindYourself #WearAHighVizOrIllHaveTheRightToWillfullyKillYou