BrightenUp campaign for drivers and pedestrians
Sgt. Kevin Benn, traffic and marine manager for the OPP, said the BrightenUp campaign launched Wednesday afternoon in Colborne is to encourage not only pedestrians to be safety conscience on the roads by wearing light and reflective clothing especially at dusk and dark, but for agricultural vehicles to have the proper triangular reflective signage and more lighting. VALERIE MACDONALD/Northumberland Today
Not just pedestrians travelling roadways need to “brighten up” to be safe, but farm vehicles need to do the same thing, OPP Sgt. Kevin Benn said during the Safe Communities Northumberland safety launch Wednesday afternoon in Colborne.
The triangular vehicle signs are one way to do this, but agricultural vehicles also need additional lighting so they are more “visible travelling rural roadways” at dusk and after dark, he said.
“We want to make people safe on the road,” Ministry of Transportation's Melanie Trottier agreed, adding that rural and urban roads are not the same.
Among the ways pedestrians can be more safe is to wait for signals, when they are available, and to “make eye contact with drivers,” Trottier said.
Most pedestrian/vehicle collisions occur when right turns are being made by vehicles,Trottier said, and when vehicle drivers just can't see a person walking or riding.
Light coloured and reflective clothing help to counteract this.
Don Clark, a representative on the committee, said he represented ATV drivers in Northumberland and wanted to remind them to wear bright and reflective clothing so they can be seen. That was the same message that cyclist Bruce Bellaire shared during a post-launch interview.
There is not a lot of reflective material on ATVs, Clark added.
In addition to reflective vests and pants people can wear, there are arm and leg bands, clip on LED flashers and even toques, plus other headgear with flashing lights or reflective parts that can be worn.
Following the media conference, committee members took time to educate people on the downtown sidewalks and those using the crosswalk traversing County Road 2. They gave out educational book markers and reflective tags for children to use on their clothing, book bags, etc.