Using reflector tags

When using roads in the dark, pedestrians must wear an appropriate reflector tag. Reflector tags must be CE certified. Despite the legal requirement to use them, only half of all pedestrians wear reflector tags, in both densely and sparsely populated areas.

A driver with long-range headlights on will see a pedestrian without a reflector tag from a distance of approximately 100 metres, depending on the pedestrian’s clothing.

If the pedestrian wears a reflector tag, the driver will see him or her from a distance of 300 metres.

A high-quality reflector vest, lead, collar or harness helps protect dogs and other pets accompanying pedestrians in dark conditions. A dog wearing a reflector vest or tag also helps its owner be seen from a greater distance.

Reflector use in urban areas

The use of reflector is important also in urban areas. Rain and fog reduce driver’s ability to see, especially during dark. The car’s windows may be fogged up when the driving commences. Also, dirty windshield or headlights have an adverse effect on visibility. Street lights and advertisement lights, as well as shadows of trees and bushes, may make it more difficult to see pedestrians or cyclists crossing the street.

What is an appropriate reflector

The appropriateness of any given reflector can be determined using existing standards. The safety products on the market must meet the requirements of the standards as well as be CE approved.   

An appropriate reflector features at least the following information:

  • CE
  • EN 13356, reflector (EU standard)
  • The name of the institution that performed the type classification (e.g. Finnish  Institute of Occupational Health = FIOH)
  • Instructions

Reflector vest

Reflector vest can be used to improve visibility during dark and also in the daylight. The vest utilises fluorescent material which shines bright under the ultraviolet rays of the sun; in addition, the vest features reflecting material that bounces back the approaching vehicle’s light beams.

Law on reflector use

According to Road traffic law 42§, a pedestrian must, under normal circumstances, use an appropriate reflector while moving on the road during dark. Contradictory to the law, in urban areas only every third pedestrian uses a reflector; outside urban areas two out of three pedestrians use a reflector.

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