We all have some responsibility to ensure we can 'Be Safe and Be Seen'

The ‘Be Safe – Be Seen’ when venturing outdoors campaign has reminded Western Isles residents of taking safety measures, particularly wearing reflective colours when outside.

By John A. MacInnes
Tuesday, 9th February 2021, 11:06 am
Wearing reflective clothing can make all the difference
Wearing reflective clothing can make all the difference

A series of photos have been released to back up some of the campaign’s key messages.

The campaign is aimed at all road users; pedestrians, cyclists, joggers and drivers of all types of vehicles, to highlight the importance of being extra-cautious throughout the dark winter months.

Road safety organisations have said that pedestrians are particularly vulnerable road users.

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This image shows one person wearing reflective panels, while another jogger is in dark clothing

You need to make sure you can be seen clearly in dark conditions and bad weather. Clothes with reflective colours are a good choice, as are reflective materials that will warn any approaching vehicles of your presence.

You can also improve visibility with clip-on reflectors, arm bands and stickers on clothes or bags.

When using a bike make sure that it has lights fitted to the front and rear so other traffic can see you and keep them clean and in good order. Parents wanting to make sure their children are safer on the roads should make sure they can be seen, especially at night and on dark bad weather days by wearing something bright and reflective.

Chief Inspector Ian Graham said: “Within the Western Isles we aim to make best use of the outdoors and to do so safely is key.

Two joggers this time wearing reflective and light-coloured clothing

"To highlight the importance of being visible when out and about on the roads and pavements especially in the evenings and at night we were kindly supported by members of 'Isle Jog' one of the local running groups and HM Coastguard.

"You can see from the photos the importance of wearing the appropriate hi-visibility clothing and / or effective lights dependant on what you are doing.

“The difference in making yourself more visible can be quite dramatic to fellow road users and allows them the opportunity to take sensible precautions when passing you or when you move to pass them.”

Stornoway Councillor Charlie Nicolson also commented: “The Be Safe Be Seen campaign is very important for community safety in our Islands.

"When people are out and about on the pavements or roads, walking, running, cycling or just walking the dog PLEASE wear highly visible clothing and reflective materials to safeguard against any accidents in our community.”

A spokesman for road safety charity BRAKE said: “A spokeswoman said: “No matter how aware a driver is, pedestrians, dog walkers, cyclists and anyone else that will be near or around busy roads must take precautions such as wearing high-visibility clothing.

"Initial results show that if someone is wearing hi-vis clothing, motorist reaction times are cut by 1.3 seconds. At 30mph, that extra 1.3 seconds would equate to a car moving 57ft further down the road, greatly increasing the chance of an accident.

"“The risk is even greater in poor weather and the glare of street and vehicle lights. You may feel safe as long as you can see other vehicles but, if they can’t see you, the danger remains.”