Be Bright Be Seen this New Year

With a couple of months worth of dark nights and mornings still ahead of us the Safer Roads Partnership are again reminding people when out walking, cycling or running near the roads to think about whether they can be seen by other road users.

As nights and mornings remain dark it is increasingly more difficult for motorists to see other road users. Pedestrians are being encouraged to think about their presence on the roads and wear high visibility clothing and reflective material and to always use pedestrian crossings where possible. Many people may have received i-pods or MP3 players over Christmas and, although these are tempting to use when running or walking, we are urging people to think about the route they may be taking and to not use this equipment when near roads or crossings. Cyclists should also think about their clothing and ensure their bike is in good working condition and carries front and rear lights.

Nationally road casualty rates increase with the arrival of darker nights and worsening weather conditions, these conditions affect all road users but especially children, the elderly, cyclists and motorcycles. Figures from the Safer Roads Partnership indicate that, over the past 3 years*, 28 people lost their lives in West Mercia and 273 were seriously injured following collisions involving pedestrians or cyclists. This amounts to nearly 17% of the total of overall fatalities and 24% of all serious injuries.

Vicki Bristow, Communications Manager at the Safer Roads Partnership in West Mercia, says:
“Many people have probably made New Years resolutions to get fit, lose weight or get healthier after Christmas. At this time of year this often means more people are out and about running or walking near roads in the dark. We are encouraging people to think about what they are wearing to ensure that they are highly visible to motorists by using reflective or high vis clothes. Motorists are also being urged to look carefully for other road users with the dark mornings and evenings.”

10th January, 2012