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New campaign urges pedestrians and cyclists to Be Bright at Night

By Alan Beresford

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AS the days get shorter a new campaign has been launched encouraging people to dress brightly when travelling in reduced daylight.

Wearing bright or reflective clothing could help save lives.
Wearing bright or reflective clothing could help save lives.

Partners from Road Safety North East Scotland (RSNES) and Getabout have launched a new campaign to encourage people to dress brightly when travelling in reduced daylight over the darker months.

The Be Bright at Night campaign encourages those out walking, cycling, or exercising to wear something light-coloured, bright, fluorescent, or reflective.

The reduced visibility, coupled with more pedestrians visiting the city centre for festive activities, means that the number of pedestrian road safety collisions are at their highest during this period, increasing in November and staying heightened over December and January.

Nestrans chairwoman Councillor Sandra Macdonald.
Nestrans chairwoman Councillor Sandra Macdonald.

Chairwoman of Nestrans, Councillor Sandra Macdonald, said: “A lot of sportswear and children’s school bags come with reflective strips these days but in winter it can be easy to find yourself in a dark outfit.

"Dressing brightly doesn’t mean that you’re expected to be head-to-toe in yellow with reflective stripes. If your winter jacket is dark, consider a brightly coloured hat or bag. You can even get detachable reflective armbands to add to a dark coat.

"Adding something bright in your outfit is a simple way to help other road users to see you.”

The Highway Code notes that reflective materials "can be seen by drivers using headlights up to three times as far away as non-reflective materials".

The Be Bright at Night campaign aligns with Police Scotland’s North East Division’s 'light for dark nights' initiative. The project will see community officers from across the north east on patrol, engaging with cyclists and handing out sets of bike lights provided by Getabout.

As a legal requirement after dark, cyclists should be using a white light on the front of their bike, a red light at the rear, and a red rear reflector.

Drivers should be vigilant for vulnerable road users and making sure they themselves are following measures for poor visibility conditions. This includes slowing down when conditions dictate, fully de-mist and de-ice windows, and making sure their eye tests are up to date.

All road users have a role to play in looking out for their own safety, and the safety of others. A range of winter road safety advice can be found online at getabout.org.uk/wintertravel

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