Wannabe Wild Ones and Easy Riders need to use sensible biking equipment, warns campaign

Ben Hamilton
April 5th, 2023

Sure, Marlon Brando would have looked ridiculous in a fluorescent orange jacket, but it might have saved his life in a crash

It’s Marlon Brando under all that garb … I’m telling you (photo: Rådet for Sikker Trafik)

“Hey Johnny, what are you rebelling against?” goes the classic line from the 1953 biker film ‘The Wild One’.

Johnny – a resplendent Marlon Brando decked out in iconic leather black jacket, white ringed t-shirt, Levi’s jeans and peaked cap; every inch the rebel – drawls in return: “Whadda you got?”

Now picture the same scene, but this time Johnny is wearing a fluorescent orange jacket with multiple reflectors, yellow wellies and an extra couple of lights on his klaphat.

It’s not got the same classic movie scene quality, has it?

So you can more easily be spotted
Nevertheless, Rådet for Sikker Trafik, Rigshospitalet and Copenhagen Police have launched a campaign advising motorcyclists across Denmark to make themselves as visible as possible when they take to the roads this spring.

“Choose clothes and helmets in bright colours, so that other road users can spot you more easily,” it warns.

However, don’t get carried away if you prefer ‘Easy Rider’ to ‘The Wild One’, because while Captain America and Billy the Hippie might pass the ‘bright colours’ test, they are sorely lacking in other departments. 

Inadequate protection
Bikers should also wear “correct safety equipment from head to toe, because it can save your life or ensure that you are not disabled”, advises the campaign. That means a sensible helmet, gloves, back shield, footwear, jacket and trousers.

Regular jeans, rubber shoes, and inadequate protection for the legs, back and hands are among the clothing items all too commonly observed at accident scenes, according to Copenhagen Police.

Between 2017 and 2021, 82 people lost their lives in motorcycle crashes on Danish roads, and over 800 were seriously injured.


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