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Old 5th June 2015, 22:07   #1
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Default Cyclists: Use reflective tapes for safety!

Bicycle riders are often at the receiving end of road mishaps globally. The situation is all the more grave in India, where even motorists bear the brunt of bad infrastructure and poor driver discipline. The main issue for cyclists is that motorists often fail to spot them, however alert they may be. Visibility is the most basic form of safety and the International Centre for Automotive Technology (ICAT), has found that the traditional retro-reflectors currently being used by domestic bicycle manufacturers are of an inferior quality and do not conform with the basic photometric requirements as per the ISO 6742-2 standards set for retro reflectors.

Instead of retro reflectors, the Union Ministry of road Transport and Highways has stressed the use of retro reflective tape and fluorescent paint. Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Road Transport, has already written to Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and public distribution - Ram Vilas Paswan to update the safety standards of bicycles. This includes a mandate to use retro reflective tapes on certain parts of bicycles for better visibility.

ICAT states that the average cost of a good quality retro-reflector is about Rs. 10 per sq. inch and typically 35-40 sq. inches of retro reflectors are used on a bicycle (including the front, rear and side). On the other hand, the cost of a good quality retro reflective tape is about Re. 1.0 per sq. inch.

According to Mr. Gadkariís letter, around 6,600 cyclists were killed in road accidents in 2012 alone. Over 50% of those fatalities reportedly took place in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu alone.

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Old 6th June 2015, 11:45   #2
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Default Re: Cyclists: Use reflective tapes for safety!

From last year's MVA Amendment bill : link
Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post
Retro reflective tapes on bicycles have been suggested as standard to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) by the Ministry of Road Transport, in the hopes that all manufacturers will use these tapes.

Free reflective tapes are already being provided for about 10 lakh bicycles by the Delhi Traffic Police along with International Road Federation (IRF). This project will soon be taken to other metros including Bangalore & Trivandrum.
^ Is this offer for free tape still in effect?

Also here's another related thread : link (Conspicuity / Retro Reflective Tape for 2-Wheelers - Where to buy?)

Last edited by Rehaan : 6th June 2015 at 11:51.
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Old 7th June 2015, 07:30   #3
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Default Re: Cyclists: Use reflective tapes for safety!

If I remember, cycles used to come with red reflectors under the seat or at the rear mudguard and an orange one at front. Im not sure if the new cycles come with these reflectors.

Once during a trip to sirumala hills in Dindigul dist. in TN, there were a group of cyclists ahead of me and if not for the reflectors I would not have realized their presence.

This needs to be regulated if there is none available already.
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Old 7th June 2015, 10:51   #4
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Originally Posted by varunanb View Post
If I remember, cycles used to come with red reflectors under the seat or at the rear mudguard and an orange one at front. Im not sure if the new cycles come with these reflectors..
They still do. Many of them also have reflectors fitted to the spokes.
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Old 7th June 2015, 21:41   #5
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Default Re: Cyclists: Use reflective tapes for safety!

Thanks Tushar for drawing attention to this issue.

Not only the bicycle riders but even the Auto rikshaws shall use this. I have seen numerous autorickshaws and 6-seaters tum-tums without headlight and tail-light working. Many times, they will drive wrong-way. This is a dangerous situation and has already caused many accidents.

When I talked to a few auto-rickshaw owners, they appeared to be careless and insensitive about the non-working lights. Once I talked to a renowned leader of auto-rickshaw drivers, based in Pune. This leader has been fighting for fare revision / concession from police fines etc. Once I met him to draw attention to this issue. He just said that auto-rickshaw drivers are poor and they do not afford to repair the lights! He did not agree to my suggestion to appeal all the drivers to ensure working lights.

In such situation, at least a good quality reflective tape will help us to spot the auto-rickshaw oncoming in wrong direction.
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Old 7th June 2015, 23:08   #6
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Default Re: Cyclists: Use reflective tapes for safety!

Thank God this is being discussed.

Just now driving back home I noticed how cyclists didn't have proper reflectors.

Worse still, 2 out of the 3 I encountered were cycling (often in the middle lane!) with earphones tightly stuffed, with no cycling helmet, almost like adrenaline junkies oblivious to the traffic risks!

lol At one time it felt like that movie 'Premium Rush'!

I'm no Jeremy Clarkson to dislike cyclists, but they really should try to stay safe.

Last edited by GrammarNazi : 7th June 2015 at 23:09.
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Old 8th June 2015, 00:01   #7
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Default Re: Cyclists: Use reflective tapes for safety!

From a cyclist's perspective:

Well; your average Atlas Goldline; or the Hercules is hardly visible in the dark. Particularly the most sold (cheap) bicycle in India- The Goldline. As it is black in colour; it is hardly; if ever visible in the dark- particularly during those long highway drives; when it is raining quite a bit.

Heck; the bicycles from 'em Indian brands typically lack from the basic safety perspective. My 2012 Montra Rock-I does not have a single reflector on it.

Not a single. For a 20+ k bike. Ouch.

Montra is a ''premium'' brand- The flagship brand of Hercules; that too.

With the Bianchi Via Nirone- No complaints. Excellent quality everywhere- Visible reflectors; visible colour- Everything. After all the bike is Italian

Our Desi cycle manufacturers should be blamed for the lack of cycling safety awareness. They should attempt to spread awareness.

Also; cyclists must wear helmets.

Last edited by FINTAIL : 8th June 2015 at 00:02.
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Old 8th June 2015, 16:04   #8
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Default Re: Cyclists: Use reflective tapes for safety!

What's wrong with the rider wearing a high-visibility fluorescent coloured jacket with retro-reflective stripes on it? Far more surface area than reflective stickers on the bicycle itself, and closer to the eye level of any automobile driver. Costs just a couple of hundred rupees, the government can make it available at a subsidised price, and make it mandatory for every cyclist to wear it, day or night. And no, the ones made of net-like fabric are not too hot to wear in summers.

Battery-operated LED blinking lights specific for bicycles are also cheap enough nowadays for most cyclists to buy and install. 2 AAA batteries worth Rs.20 last over a month of regular use.

Safety, however, is not a word that exists in the dictionary of Indians.
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