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Reflective jackets

Discussion in 'Equipment Questions' started by Ribeirasacra, Oct 4, 2011.

  1. Ribeirasacra

    Ribeirasacra Member

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    I do not know where to add this piece of advice as it covers all of Spain and this in particular Galicia.
    An article was published in the newspaper La Voz de Galicia about a campaign to fine pedestrians who do not wear reflective jackets.
    http://www.lavozdegalicia.es/galicia/2011/10/03/0003_201110G3P4991.htm
    Although this law covers all of Spain; there seems to be more pedestrians killed in Galicia (per head of population) than in any other part of Spain. The nights are now drawing in which makes for a timely to start such a campaign.


    The two points on this law that particularly affect pilgrims are
    · When on a bike and lights are in use, cyclist are required to use reflective clothing.
    · Outside the village, between sunset and sunrise or weather conditions that reduce visibility significantly, all pedestrian, should use reflective jackets.

    If you have support drivers they also need jackets in the vehicles for use when exiting on country roads in all weathers and times of the day.
    all reflective equipment should comply with EN 471, It basically states that the wearer is visible from a minimum distance of 150 metres.

  2. miguel_gp

    miguel_gp Member Donating Member

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    Hi and thanks for the information. My Spanish isn't good enough to interpret :( , is this current law for pedestrians or proposed?

    Regards
    Mig

  3. sulu

    sulu Member

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    This is current law but hasn't been strictly enforced. The Galician police are now being told to enforce it.
    Just something else to carry :( but with sunrise now after 08.00 and getting later and albergues ejecting pilgrims in the dark it seems inevitable that someone will get fined. Up to 80 euros per time. Thanks for the info Ribeirasacra, a timely reminder not to walk in the dark as I start my camino this week!
    Sue

  4. Ribeirasacra

    Ribeirasacra Member

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    Mig yes it is an existing law, and as Sue says it is being reinforced by the police (Guardia Civil).
    You do not want to have a "discussion" with those guys.

  5. Arn

    Arn Moderator Staff Member Donating Member

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    From what I can see, for the month of October...there appears ample light to negate the requirement for the jackets:

    In Portugal Sunrise is 0730 and sun set 1915. Sunlight will decrease about 3 minutes each day. That's about 11 hours of sunlight,

    Here is a link to update:

    http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/a ... html?n=133

    In the North of Spain it's about 1 hour different.

    Still, looks like on the CF, if the albergue ejects you at 0800...you may need a vest.

    Keep checking as the days will get shorter.

    Buen Camino

    Arn

  6. sulu

    sulu Member

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    Another thought! The article says hours of visibility and if lights are needed, this will mean when there is fog as well. This week has been OK but I drove into Santiago twice last week and there was heavy fog both times, it cleared once it got warm but that was well after 9. I think maybe just making a decision not to walk in the dark may not be enough, anyone walking in Spring or Autumn may hit fog. The article specifies older people, those who take a morning constitutional, the Guardia Civil may not target camino roads, I'm trying to recall just how much was on tarmac, outside towns and villages, first thing in the morning, quite a bit as I recall. Guess there is no easy way of finding out where the Guardia Civil will be. Anyone walking now needs to be aware of potential problems.
    Sue

  7. +@^^

    +@^^ Member

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    i was more interested in my personal wellbeing
    rather than complying with the law

    so my back-pack's rain cover electro-orange-luminous with reflective strips was great
    it was used in early morning stats
    in the gloom of rainy days
    and more importantly - when the first gunshot from the hunters sounded
    the luminous cover was whipped out
    to prevent me from being another hunting casualty

  8. miguel_gp

    miguel_gp Member Donating Member

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    So I should re-pack with a reflective vest and a flak jacket :lol:

  9. Ribeirasacra

    Ribeirasacra Member

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    Hunters also wear RJs, They have been known to shoot their buddies too. An RJ just makes you a target that can be spotted further way.
    Now anyone want to purchase ex military tin hats? :D

    Yep bad weather also means you have to wear RJs.


    Taking this to extreme... does this law mean you would have to wear it over your rucksack? If so can you purchase one large enough? or do you have to purchase 2? :twisted:

  10. Rebekah Scott

    Rebekah Scott Well-Known Member Donating Member

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    those jackets are very light and inexpensive. You can get them at the Bazaar Chino (the dime store) in any town for about 3 Euro. They are also required for drivers who pull over along the road -- you must have one in your car all the time or also be subject to fines. They´re "chalecos reflectantes," or so I recall from my Drivers Ed manual..

  11. andy.d

    andy.d Member

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    I'm sure altus are producing a reflective rain cape now

    Andy

  12. Tia Valeria

    Tia Valeria Well-Known Member

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    We had been thinking through safety issues before this thread started. Thanks Ribeirasacra for raising this.
    Our car reflective jackets weigh about 200gms each and are fairly bulky. We had just bought some 'runners reflective and LED strips' to hang off our packs/wrists/sticks. Weight 20gms. In addition we have just ordered Hi-Vis lightweight reflective mesh vests, in 2xxl size. Much bigger than we would normally use. (£1.75+VAT each +P&P) We intend to slit the sides and add tapes to the bottom corners, making them into tabards so that they can fit over the rucksacs as well as ourselves. They should also go on OK when wearing our ponchos. This might take a bit of working out but we'll post a photo when we see how they work out as well as the weight.

  13. falcon269

    falcon269 No commercial interests Donating Member

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    Seeing a reflective vest on the back of most of the driver's seats in cars in Spain, I now understand why. It's the Law. It cannot be too hard to find the vests in Spain. Several packless pilgrims were wearing them for the last 100 km, and it looked like a good idea to me. Perhaps a pack cover will come on the market that will comply with the law, perhaps with velcro straps for the front of the pack along the shoulder straps. Necessity is the mother of invention, all you entrepreneurs! It is my bet that there is more money in such items than operating an albergue. I still need a baguette shaped breathable but waterproof bread bag to hang on the outside of my pack ...

  14. Tia Valeria

    Tia Valeria Well-Known Member

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    Our packs came with silver reflective rain covers. Useful even though not 'legally compliant'. However they are useless in the rain or heavy mist as they are covered by our ponchos, which was why we had already bought the reflective flashing wrist straps. Still thinking round how to adapt the mesh vest to work in all situations - with/without pack and with/without poncho etc.

    The bread... how about a Silsac?? Certainly waterproof and OK if the bread isn't still hot I would think.

  15. Tia Valeria

    Tia Valeria Well-Known Member

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    Looks as though slitting the sides to form a tabard instead of a vest will work. Hem the raw edges and stitch a tape to each corner. These can then tie to stop the tabard flapping. Weight 100gms
    Ours don't appear to have a EN rating stitched on, but we will not be on the Camino when they are likely to be needed, they are an extra precaution. We presume it is winter walkers who are being targeted rather than summer ones who do not plan to walk in the dark.

    Reb/Ribierasacra/Sulu can you post a photo of one so we can see what is legally needed please. There are so many online it is hard to tell which are best. Some have more reflective stripes than others etc.
    Thanks

  16. miguel_gp

    miguel_gp Member Donating Member

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    Don't use the flash though :!:

  17. +@^^

    +@^^ Member

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    the spanish police have got it right
    the camino is about reflection
    and any pilgrim caught not reflecting should be removed forthwith

  18. Rebekah Scott

    Rebekah Scott Well-Known Member Donating Member

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    you can get reflective tape and just stick some strips of that on your poncho or rain coat. Don´t know where to get that in Spain, though -- prolly the ferreteria.

  19. Ribeirasacra

    Ribeirasacra Member

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    Groan......

    A photo appears in the newspaper article. The RJ must have a label on it saying the jacket complies with EN 471.
    Whilst this campaign is being undertaken with some vigour now, you should assume that you may need a RJ at any time of t year. Bad visibility can occur even in summer.

  20. falcon269

    falcon269 No commercial interests Donating Member

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  21. Rebekah Scott

    Rebekah Scott Well-Known Member Donating Member

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  22. dougfitz

    dougfitz Well-Known Member Donating Member

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    EN 471:2003 Level 3 and ANSI/ISEA 107:2010 Level 3 look very similar in terms of the areas of reflective material and requirement to outline the human form. There is always the prospect that there will be some detailed differences in the design requirements that might be a trap, but it appears the US and European standards bodies have much the same views on what is required.

    There is always the issue that manufacturers supplying the US market will not have submitted their design for compliance testing under the European standard, and will not be able label the garment as being compliant, even if does meet the EN 471:2010 requirements.

  23. lynnejohn

    lynnejohn Active Member Donating Member

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    So have I got this correct: it's not enough to just slap reflective tape on the front of your jacket and back of your pack? It has to be an actual vest? And it has to "outline the human form? So would a super large size of the mesh vests that goes over my pack not meet those specs?

    I agree with this requirement, but before I spend the money, I would like to know exactly what I should be buying. I wonder if one of our members who lives in Spain could provide us with any specifics of the law so we know exactly what the requirements are. I can't find anything here. This article:
    http://www.lavozdegalicia.es/galicia/20 ... 3P4991.htm
    does not provide that information.

    Thanks.

  24. Rebekah Scott

    Rebekah Scott Well-Known Member Donating Member

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    I think this is not something to be overly concerned about. This country is full of laws that are only enforced sporadically. Unless you want to ride your bike or walk along the road in the dark, you are fine. Otherwise, just stick some reflective tape on your raincoat and go along your way.
    My hus. and I walk daily in all kinds of weather conditions, we have seen Guardia officers along the way, and they have never said a word about reflective clothing. But then we do not walk along the highway in the dark!

    THis is all academic unless you are a biker. Or you are one of those people who insists on taking his life in his hands.

    Reb.

  25. Ribeirasacra

    Ribeirasacra Member

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    The cost of these jackets is around 3 to 8€ depending on type of shop. I could give a link to the exact law. However it is in Spanish and above all legal talk. Even in English legal talk can be gobbledygook at the best of times.
    If you want to purchase a RJ do not be so concern as to the exact requirements. It would be a very very anal Guardia Civil who would fine you for it not being to the right classification.

    I posted this as as an advisory about a on going campaign. However if this safety campaign flares up and Pilgrims start getting fined left right and centre you will certainly hear about it on this forum.

  26. miguel_gp

    miguel_gp Member Donating Member

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    Sun not rising 'til 8:45 at the moment in Galicia so if you are an early starter then a Reflective Jacket is an essential regardless of the law.

  27. grayland

    grayland Moderator Staff Member Donating Member

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    Interesting thread, as I made a vest to take with me in the Spring. For the second week I found myself walking on roads a little more than normal in 2010 due to a leg injury that made the trail walking pretty painful.
    Even in daylight, I thought that being more visible was something I would like to take care of on my next Camino.

    I found a simple net vest (open on sides) that weighs about 1 oz. I cut the shoulders and put on a couple of cinch strings so I could adjust the size for pack/non pack etc. Very simple but it works.
    I was not aware of this law...just wanted to be a little more comfortable if/when walking on roads.
    There are no compliance labels on it..Just a REI label. I would not worry about the Guardia stopping Pilgrims and inspecting vests.

  28. countrycasita

    countrycasita New Member

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    Yes the mornings certainly much darker by the time we got to Santiago last weekend than they had when we started, and a reflective jacket is good advice - advice which I didn't take because the darkness came as a bit of a surprise. The other thing I wish I had taken is a head torch - cheap and effective for those early starts.
    Incidentally, I had expected the mornings to get darker as our Camino went on and we moved into autumn, but someone pointed out another reason I really hadn't thought about: travelling from St Jean west to Santiago is almost the equivalent of a complete time zone!! In other words, sunrise tomorrow is 8.16 in Pamploma but not till 8.44 in Santiago - half an hour later.

  29. JohnnieWalker

    JohnnieWalker Nunca se camina solo

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    Hola from the Camino Ingles - all early morning walkers - pilgrims (Spanish) and non pilgrims are wearing these - same at dusk.

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