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  2. INITIATION Sips please check this out with David Frost at  DOCS for his view Regards R Robin Carlisle Minister of  Transport and Public Works Western Cape Government Telephone           +27 21 483 2430 Mobile                  +27 83 264 9018 Address9 Dorp Street Cape Town

  3. OPENING STATEMENT I am a biker and obey the rules of the road but the motorists don’t care a hoot, as a result of nearly being knocked off my bike a couple of months ago I have fitted an orange cover to my head lamp as now the motorists can see one for kilometers away. In the last 2 weeks I have been stopped at two different  road blocks in the Peninsula, the last being Sunday after the toy run and told that it is illegal to have the orange cover on the head lamp and was instructed to take it off or I would be issued with a fine as the bike was not roadworthy .

  4. OPENING STATEMENT CONTINUED The cover is only used between sunrise and sunset, please could you inform me as the what the law states regarding the usage of the orange cover ( one is more visible to the motorists ). If one may use the cover please could you mail me a letter on the Traffic letter head stating that this is allowed and under what circumstances so that when stopped again I can show the officer that.

  5. TRAFFIC RESPONSE Unfortunately headlights may only emit a white light to the front. This is one of that (sic) grey acts that actually can be a benefit to the safety of the motorcyclist. At this time unfortunately is illegal.


  7. REALITY STATEMENT Orange Headlight Covers For Maximum Visibility Safety on the road starts with seeing and being seen. Brighter globes and/or spotlights are a great way of improving your vision. For visibility, you can add an orange headlight cover. Originally the orange covers were designed to improve visibility during off-road/dirt road use in dust and misty conditions. It worked so well that more and more riders started using them on-road as well. Although it definitely improves visibility, many still debates the legality of riding on-road with such a cover.

  8. REALITY STATEMENT CONTINUED Orange Headlight Covers For Maximum Visibility Using it on public roads is therefore not advisable, but on your own risk. The orange covers should also not be confused with proper polycarbonate headlight protectors, usually fitted with brackets away from the light. The orange headlight covers attach to the light of the motorcycle with velcro fastening rounds, supplied with the cover. The orange covers are easily removable to clean your lights.

  9. THE LAW 157.   Vehicles to be equipped with certain lamps and times when certain lamps to be lighted (1)  No person shall operate on a public road a motor vehicle unless— (a) all lamps fitted to a motor vehicle as contemplated in regulations 159 to 184, are undamaged, properly secured, and capable of being lighted at all times; and

  10. THE LAW CONTINUED (b) the head lamps, rear lamps and number plate lamps are kept lighted during the period between sunset and sunrise and at any other time when, due to insufficient light or unfavourable weather conditions, persons and vehicles upon the public road are not clearly discernible at a distance of 150 metres: Provided that the provisions of this paragraph shall not apply to a motor vehicle parked off the roadway of a public road or in a parking place demarcated by appropriate road traffic signs or within a distance of 12 metres from a lighted street lamp illuminating the public road on which such vehicle is parked.

  11. MORE OF THE LAW (2)  No person shall operate on a public road a motor cycle, a motor cycle with a side car, a motor tricycle or motor quadrucycle, unless the headlamp of such vehicle is lighted at all times: Provided that the provisions of this subregulation shall not apply to a motor cycle, motor cycle with side car, motor tricycle or motor quadrucycle manufactured before 31 December 1960 which is used only during the period from sunrise to sunset. (3)  A person operating a motor vehicle on a public road shall extinguish the main-beam of the light emitted by the head lamp of such vehicle if such main-beam could cause a dangerous glare to oncoming traffic.

  12. MORE OF THE LAW 159.   Head lamps (1)  No person shall operate on a public road— (a) a motor vehicle, other than a motor cycle, a motor tricycle with one wheel in front or trailer, unless it is equipped in front on each side of its longitudinal centre-line with— (i) one head lamp capable of emitting a main-beam and a dipped-beam; (ii) one head lamp capable of emitting a main-beam and one head lamp capable of emitting a dipped-beam; or (iii) one head lamp contemplated in item (i) or head lamps contemplated in item (ii) and an additional head lamp capable of emitting a main-beam;

  13. MORE OF THE LAW (b) a motor cycle without a side-car or a motor tricycle with one wheel in front, unless it is equipped in front with— (i) one head lamp capable of emitting a main-beam and a dipped-beam; (ii) one head lamp capable of emitting a main-beam and one head lamp capable of emitting a dipped-beam, both of which are fitted in the same vertical plane; or (iii) two headlamps, each capable of emitting a main-beam and a dipped-beam, both of which are fitted in the same horizontal plane; or

  14. LAMP LAW CONTINUED (c) a motor cycle with a side-car, unless— the motor cycle is equipped in front with one head lamp contemplated in paragraph (b) (i) or head lamps contem-plated in paragraph (b) (ii) or (iii); and (ii) the side-car is equipped with one parking lamp which complies with the provisions of regulation 164 or with one head lamp contemplated in paragraph (b) (i), subject to the proviso to regulation 161 (4) (a).

  15. LAMP LAW CONTINUED (2)  At least one head lamp contemplated in subregulation (1) (a) capable of emitting a dipped-beam or a parking lamp complying with the provisions of regulation 164 shall be so fitted on each side of the longitudinal centre-line of the motor vehicle concerned that the portion of the illuminating surface thereof furthest from the longitudinal centre-line of the motor vehicle is not more than 400 millimetres from the outer edge of the front of the motor vehicle. (3)  The main-beam and dipped-beam of a head lamp fitted to a motor vehicle first registered on or after 1 January 2002, shall comply with the requirements of standard specification SABS 1046 “Motor vehicle safety specification for lights and light signalling devices installed on motor vehicles and trailers”, and standard specification SABS 1376 “Lights for motor vehicles”, Part 2: “Head lights”.

  16. LAMP COLOURS 181. Colour of lights (1) Subject to the provisions of regulation 170 (1), 171 (1), 172, 175 or 176, no person shall operate on a public road a motor vehicle which is fitted with or carries on it a lamp which— except in the case of a brake anti-lock warning light to the front of a trailer, emits a light which is not white, amber or yellow in colour towards the front; emits a light which is not yellow or amber in colour towards either side of the motor vehicle; or

  17. LAMP COLOURS except in the case of a direction indicator or reversing lamp complying with the provisions of these regulations, emits a light which is not red in colour towards the rear. (2) when two or more lamps of the same class emitting light in the same direction are fitted to a vehicle they shall emit light of the same colour. Provided that no person shall operate on a public road a motor vehicle fitted with any colour of lights other than the colour of lights prescribed in terms of these regulations.

  18. SABS SPECIFICATIONS According to SABS 1046-1990 3.13 The colours of the light emitted by the lamps or reflectors are as follows - MAIN-BEAM (HEADLAMP) White or Selective Yellow - DIPPED-BEAM (HEADLAMP) White or Selective Yellow - FRONT FOG LAMP White or Yellow

  19. BIKER COMMENTS I fitted an orange translucent perspex masks to my headlights. I've prevaricated over this for ages, but after the Ceres 13 trip, (13 July 2008) I had to take action. I had Robbie J in my mirrors quite a bit and his orange light masks make a bike very distinctive in traffic and very visible. For me who filters through traffic daily on the N2, R300 & N1 this is a must have. So I called in at Maizeys (Neptune street PaardenEiland) and picked up an off-cut of the translucent dayglo, cut and fitted a mask.

  20. HURT All motorcycle riders need training, licensing, citation-related driver improvement, headlamps on at all times, bright upper torso garments, and head and eye protection to reduce accident involvement and injury frequency and severity.



  23. MAIL TO SABS My interpretation is that if it is the colour that is an issue then selective yellow is a mere different shade of amber and should be legal. The issue of diffused light (lenses) is another matter as most cars and bikes don’t have the traditional lense anymore but clear plastic (glass covers). I am not too clear on the orange coloured headlamp bulbs you referred to, other than for indicators. It is clear that bikes are  more visible with such colouredscreens/lenses/ covers on and it would in my view be a no-brainer not to do something about it if possible. Your input will be appreciated.

  24. SABS RESPONSE The compulsory specification for motor cycles is VC 9098, which says the lights must comply to SANS 20050 - Uniform provisions concerning the approval of front position lamps, rear position lamps, stop lamps, direction indicators and rear-registration-plate illuminating devices for vehicles of category L. SANS 20050 mentions ‘selective yellow’ for front position lamps and defines it by means of colour co-ordinates. This means that ‘Orange’ or any other variations will have to be tested to determine their colour co-ordinates to ascertain if they fall within the ‘selective yellow’ box. I can imagine that there are many variations of ‘orange’ also, so it will regretfully not be as simple as the fact that ‘orange’ could be interpreted as  a different shade of ‘selective yellow’.




  28. MAIDS



  31. MORE BIKER COMMENT One needs only to take some time and stand on one of the bridges over the NI  ( Monta Vista ) between 6.30am and 7.30am as I did the other morning and observe the difference between the white and amber light, then there are those who don’t use their head lamps at all and ride between the vehicles at a high speed.

  32. HURT 1. Approximately three-fourths of these motorcycle accidents involved collision with another vehicle, which was most often a passenger automobile. 2. Approximately one-fourth of these motorcycle accidents were single vehicle accidents involving the motorcycle colliding with the roadway or some fixed object in the environment. 3. Vehicle failure accounted for less than 3% of these motorcycle accidents, and most of those were single vehicle accidents where control was lost due to a puncture flat. 4. In single vehicle accidents, motorcycle rider error was present as the accident precipitating factor in about two-thirds of the cases, with the typical error being a slideout and fall due to overbraking or running wide on a curve due to excess speed or under-cornering. 5. Roadway defects (pavement ridges, potholes, etc.) were the accident cause in 2% of the accidents; animal involvement was 1% of the accidents.

  33. HURT 6. In multiple vehicle accidents, the driver of the other vehicle violated the motorcycle right-of-way and caused the accident in two-thirds of those accidents. 7.The failure of motorists to detect and recognize motorcycles in traffic is the predominating cause of motorcycle accidents. The driver of the other vehicle involved in collision with the motorcycle did not see the motorcycle before the collision, or did not see the motorcycle until too late to avoid the collision. 8. Deliberate hostile action by a motorist against a motorcycle rider is a rare accident cause. The most frequent accident configuration is the motorcycle proceeding straight then the automobile makes a left turn in front of the oncoming motorcycle. 10.Intersections are the most likely place for the motorcycle accident, with the other vehicle violating the motorcycle right-of-way, and often violating traffic controls.

  34. HURT 11. Weather is not a factor in 98% of motorcycle accidents. 12. Most motorcycle accidents involve a short trip associated with shopping, errands, friends, entertainment or recreation, and the accident is likely to happen in a very short time close to the trip origin. 13. The view of the motorcycle or the other vehicle involved in the accident is limited by glare or obstructed by other vehicles in almost half of the multiple vehicle accidents. 14.Conspicuity of the motorcycle is a critical factor in the multiple vehicle accidents, and accident involvement is significantly reduced by the use of motorcycle headlamps (on in daylight) and the wearing of high visibility yellow, orange or bright red jackets. 15. Fuel system leaks and spills were present in 62% of the motorcycle accidents in the post-crash phase. This represents an undue hazard for fire.

  35. HURT 16. The median pre-crash speed was 29.8 mph, and the median crash speed was 21.5 mph, and the one-in-a-thousand crash speed is approximately 86 mph. 17. The typical motorcycle pre-crash lines-of-sight to the traffic hazard portray no contribution of the limits of peripheral vision; more than three-fourths of all accident hazards are within 45deg of either side of straight ahead. 18.Conspicuity of the motorcycle is most critical for the frontal surfaces of the motorcycle and rider. 19. Vehicle defects related to accident causation are rare and likely to be due to deficient or defective maintenance. 20. Motorcycle riders between the ages of 16 and 24 are significantly overrepresented in accidents; motorcycle riders between the ages of 30 and 50 are significantly underrepresented. Although the majority of the accident-involved motorcycle riders are male (96%), the female motorcycles riders are significantly overrepresented in the accident data.

  36. HURT 21.Craftsmen, labourers, and students comprise most of the accident-involved motorcycle riders. Professionals, sales workers, and craftsmen are underrepresented and labourers, students and unemployed are overrepresented in the accidents. 22.Motorcycle riders with previous recent traffic citations and accidents are overrepresented in the accident data. 23.The motorcycle riders involved in accidents are essentially without training; 92% were self-taught or learned from family or friends. Motorcycle rider training experience reduces accident involvement and is related to reduced injuries in the event of accidents. 24.More than half of the accident-involved motorcycle riders had less than 5 months experience on the accident motorcycle, although the total street riding experience was almost 3 years. Motorcycle riders with dirt bike experience are significantly underrepresented in the accident data. 25.Lack of attention to the driving task is a common factor for the motorcyclist in an accident.

  37. HURT 26. Almost half of the fatal accidents show alcohol involvement. 27. Motorcycle riders in these accidents showed significant collision avoidance problems. Most riders would overbrake and skid the rear wheel, and underbrake the front wheel greatly reducing collision avoidance deceleration. The ability to counter steer and swerve was essentially absent. 28. The typical motorcycle accident allows the motorcyclist just less than 2 seconds to complete all collision avoidance action. 29. Passenger-carrying motorcycles are not overrepresented in the accident area. 30. The driver of the other vehicles involved in collision with the motorcycle are not distinguished from other accident populations except that the ages of 20 to 29, and beyond 65 are overrepresented. Also, these drivers are generally unfamiliar with motorcycles.

  38. HURT 31. Large displacement motorcycles are underrepresented in accidents but they are associated with higher injury severity when involved in accidents. 32. Any effect of motorcycle colour on accident involvement is not determinable from these data, but is expected to be insignificant because the frontal surfaces are most often presented to the other vehicle involved in the collision. 33. Motorcycles equipped with fairings and windshields are underrepresented in accidents, most likely because of the contribution to conspicuity and the association with more experienced and trained riders. 34. Motorcycle riders in these accidents were significantly without motorcycle license, without any license, or with license revoked. 35. Motorcycle modifications such as those associated with the semi-chopper or cafe racer are definitely overrepresented in accidents.

  39. HURT 36.The likelihood of injury is extremely high in these motorcycle accidents-98% of the multiple vehicle collisions and 96% of the single vehicle accidents resulted in some kind of injury to the motorcycle rider; 45% resulted in more than a minor injury. 37.Half of the injuries to the somatic regions were to the ankle-foot, lower leg, knee, and thigh-upper leg. 38.Crash bars are not an effective injury countermeasure; the reduction of injury to the ankle-foot is balanced by increase of injury to the thigh-upper leg, knee, and lower leg. 39. The use of heavy boots, jacket, gloves, etc., is effective in preventing or reducing abrasions and lacerations, which are frequent but rarely severe injuries. 40. Groin injuries were sustained by the motorcyclist in at least 13% of the accidents, which typified by multiple vehicle collision in frontal impact at higher than average speed.

  40. HURT 41. Injury severity increases with speed, alcohol involvement and motorcycle size. 42. Seventy-three percent of the accident-involved motorcycle riders used no eye protection, and it is likely that the wind on the unprotected eyes contributed in impairment of vision which delayed hazard detection. 43. Approximately 50% of the motorcycle riders in traffic were using safety helmets but only 40% of the accident-involved motorcycle riders were wearing helmets at the time of the accident. 44. Voluntary safety helmet use by those accident-involved motorcycle riders was lowest for untrained, uneducated, young motorcycle riders on hot days and short trips. 45. The most deadly injuries to the accident victims were injuries to the chest and head.

  41. HURT 46.The use of the safety helmet is the single critical factor in the prevention of reduction of head injury; the safety helmet which complies with FMVSS 218 is a significantly effective injury countermeasure. 47.Safety helmet use caused no attenuation of critical traffic sounds, no limitation of precrash visual field, and no fatigue or loss of attention; no element of accident causation was related to helmet use. 48.FMVSS 218 provides a high level of protection in traffic accidents, and needs modification only to increase coverage at the back of the head and demonstrate impact protection of the front of full facial coverage helmets, and insure all adult sizes for traffic use are covered by the standard. 49.Helmeted riders and passengers showed significantly lower head and neck injury for all types of injury, at all levels of injury severity. 50.The increased coverage of the full facial coverage helmet increases protection, and significantly reduces face injuries.

  42. HURT 51. There is no liability for neck injury by wearing a safety helmet; helmeted riders had less neck injuries than unhelmeted riders. Only four minor injuries were attributable to helmet use, and in each case the helmet prevented possible critical or fatal head injury. 52. Sixty percent of the motorcyclists were not wearing safety helmets at the time of the accident. Of this group, 26% said they did not wear helmets because they were uncomfortable and inconvenient, and 53% simply had no expectation of accident involvement. 53. Valid motorcycle exposure data can be obtained only from collection at the traffic site. Motor vehicle or driver license data presents information which is completely unrelated to actual use. 54. Less than 10% of the motorcycle riders involved in these accidents had insurance of any kind to provide medical care or replace property.