News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Optometrists: Cyclists, Wear Biological Motion Reflectors

21 February 2013

Optometrists Advise Cyclists to Wear Biological Motion Reflectors to Improve Night-Time Road Safety

The NZ Association of Optometrists is advising cyclists to wear biological motion reflectors on their knees and ankles, to improve night-time visibility in the wake of calls for increased safety for cyclists using our roads.

Biomotion reflector markings highlight the movement and form of a pedestrian or cyclist improving their conspicuity at night.

The optometrists point out that high visibility clothing is not effective at night and while wearing reflective vests can enhance night-time visibility the strategic placement of reflective markers on ankles and knees provides greatly improved safety for cyclists using roads at night.

NZAO is urging all cyclists using the roads at night to wear reflective vests and adopt the strategic placement of reflective bands on knees and ankles to indicate what is known as ‘biological motion.

The image of biological motion created by reflector markers on hips, knees, ankles, shoulders, elbows and wrists yields a pattern of motion that is immediately recognisable as a person rather than an object.

Research conducted by Dr Joanne Wood, Professor in the School of Optometry at QUT, and her colleagues has shown that recognition distances for pedestrians wearing biomotion markers at night is 3 times greater than for those wearing a reflective vest. Recognition distances for biomotion were 50 times greater than for dark clothing.

The effect of biomotion markers was even more pronounced in situations where there is glare (as from oncoming car headlights) or the driver is developing cataracts (which produce glare within the eye itself.

“Drivers have limited ability to recognise pedestrians and cyclists at night,” says Geoff Sargent, an optometrist with the NZAO. “this is why it is so important for road safety and recognition ability at night that people needing to wear corrective lenses have optimum correction and that cataracts are treated early in their development.”

For cyclists there is a significant effect on visibility distance and recognition distance when wearing knee and ankle markers. Cyclists wearing reflective vests plus knee and ankle markers can be seen and recognised as cyclists at the greatest distances. Reflective vests by themselves improve visibility only a small amount over dark clothing by itself but with reflective vest and knee and ankle markers visibility distance was 6 times longer.

Key points from the research that the NZAO believes should be more widely known are:
• drivers have limited ability to recognise pedestrians and cyclists at night
• cyclists overestimate their own visibility in fluorescent or reflective vests
• cyclists underestimate the benefits of adding reflective strips to their ankles and knees
• the visibility advantage of reflective joint strips is greatest when the cycle lights are mounted on the helmet

The Australian/New Zealand Standards Committee 'Committee SF-004-03: Light reflective protective clothing' recommended incorporated of the biomotion configuration into the standard for high visibility safety garments. Biomotion markers are also recommended for firefighters, road crews, and other personnel working in low visibility situations.

Background on Dr Wood
Dr Joanne Wood is a Professor in the School of Optometry at QUT, and has extensive research experience in a number of areas: vision and driving, vision, balance and falls, children’s functional vision and clinical psychophysics (including visual field testing and development of techniques for the early detection of ocular disease). Her research experience, spanning over a period of 25 years, includes a PhD in Visual Sciences at Aston University, UK, followed by a Post Doctoral Fellowship in Clinical Psychophysics at Oxford University. Dr Wood’s research has resulted in the publication of a total of 136 articles in national and international refereed journals, and presentation of 146 research papers at major international conferences, including the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Transportation Research Board, Vision in Vehicles and the American Academy of Optometry.

In 1991, Dr Wood established a vision and driving research laboratory. This laboratory uses a unique experimental design, incorporating measurements of actual driving performance on a closed circuit driving course as well as on the open road, rather than making indirect judgments via crash rate data or driving simulators. Dr Wood’s research approach, by virtue of its multidisciplinary nature, has led to the development of an extensive research network overseas, involving a range of highly successful collaborations with academics across the world as well as from Australia, both within and outside of QUT. Over the last 10 years, a number of international scholars have visited QUT to participate in collaborative research projects because of the unique approach that Dr Wood has taken to the investigation of vision, ageing and driving:

Research Highlights
Vision and Driving
• Vision
• Balance and Falls
Children’s Vision
ATSI Eyecare

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Cricket: Dramatic Win Puts Black Caps In Finals

In Parliament: When Parliament resumed at 2pm the House passed a motion on a voice vote admiring the performance of the New Zealand cricket team in last night’s World Cup semi-final and wishing them well for the final on the weekend. More>>

ALSO:

Moon Shot/Kills Switch: The X Factor Judges Removed

MediaWorks has today decided that Natalia Kills and Willie Moon are no longer suitable to judge The X Factor and have removed them from the show. MediaWorks CEO, Mark Weldon, said that last night on The X Factor both Kills and Moon made comments that were completely unacceptable. More>>

ALSO:

Tessa Nichol: Up Up & Away In The Wairarapa

It’s an overcast morning in the Wairarapa but the mood on the ground in Carterton’s Carrington Park is anything but grey. More than 20 hot air balloons are getting ready to take off into the cloudy sky to mark the start of this year’s Wairarapa Balloon Festival. More>>

Golden Shears: Scotsman Wins Golden Shears Open Final

A Scottish shearer who settled in New Zealand to farm in Taranaki has become the first shearer from overseas to win the Golden Shears Open Shearing Championship. More>>

ALSO:

Shipped On A Bottle: Young Change-Makers Take To The Sea On Plastic Bottle Kayaks

With the aim of harnessing innovative design to construct kayaks solely from recycled materials, the “waste positive” project Plastic Bottle Kayak brings adventure into Kiwi classrooms. The call is out now for classrooms to send in messages and artwork to be inserted into the bottles. More>>

TV3 Video: Auckland Arts Festival Kicks Off

The Auckland Arts Festival kicks off March 4, with artists from New Zealand and all over the world on show. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news