Studies have clearly demonstrated that high visibility personal protective equipment (PPE) significantly improves the visibility of emergency responders working on the roadways. Law enforcement operations on the road are inherently hazardous situations — operating on the roadway is one of the most dangerous law enforcement duties. However, anecdotal evidence, visual observation, and scientific studies have shown that many law enforcement officers do not consistently, or ever, wear a high visibility traffic safety vest or other apparel. Objections to wearing the vest include poor fit, interference with utility belt and weapon access, doubts about effectiveness, and concern about becoming a more visible target for violent criminals.
This program summarizes the federal regulations with regard to high visibility safety apparel, examines the objections of law enforcement officers to wearing this apparel, presents facts that address these objections, and details a set of solutions to address officers’ objections and improve compliance with federal regulations, state regulations, and local policies.