Cumbria Road Safety Partnership – a collection of local organisations and agencies working together to reduce accidents and improve safety on Cumbria’s roads – is calling for pedestrians and cyclists to ‘be bright, be seen’ as the darker nights and winter weather approach. In particular, parents and carers are encouraged to ensure their children wear bright and colourful coats when they’re out and about, especially in the dark.
The partnership’s working group, ‘CRASH’ (Casualty Reduction and Safer Highways) is promoting a number of messages through schools and across social media in the run up to winter to help spread the word and ensure that children, pedestrians and cyclists are as visible as possible to drivers.
Edward Burrows, Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service’s Watch Manager for Prevention, said: “Road traffic collisions can be devastating to attend for all the emergency services personnel. All the members of the Cumbria Road Safety Partnership work tirelessly to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured in the county by identifying the causes and types of accidents that happen, and through the delivery of road safety education throughout the year to different age groups and levels of driver experience. One of the ways young people can be more visible to drivers is to wear bright and colourful clothing so that they are as visible as possible.”
Chief Inspector Ben Swinson of Cumbria Police, said: “It is ourselves and the other emergency services who are often the first on the scene to serious road traffic collisions and the results can be devastating.
“So often such collisions are entirely avoidable and are often down to driver error such as driving too fast for the road conditions.
“Dark nights and poor winter weather mean this time of year can be the most dangerous. I would urge all drivers to drive with care and to ensure their vehicles are prepared for the winter. I’d also urge parents and schools to advise their children and pupils to be as visible as possible by wearing something bright and colourful when they’re out.”
Some top tips to be safe and be seen:
- Always wear or carry something bright that will help you to be seen more easily during the day, and especially at night.
- During the day always wear clothes with bright colours. Fluorescent material is even better as it helps you to really stand out and be seen during the day. This material also helps us to be seen in the evening before it is dark.
- Fluorescent material does not work in the dark! Wear something reflective so you can be seen when car headlights are shining. Even a small patch of reflective material can help drivers to see you from very far away.
Things to remember:
Fluorescent material is effective outside during the day because it reacts to the ultraviolet rays in sunlight. It could be a stripe on your jacket, patches on your bag or an armband.
Reflective material works best in the dark because the special surface reflects light (e.g. street lights, car headlights).