One-thousand free, reflective armbands is a good first step, but it’s only the start of any initiative to promote nighttime pedestrian and cyclist safety, says a representative of the Squamish Trails Society (STS).
Doug Morrison, a STS director, says he’s pleased that the District of Squamish (DOS) has come on board with the “Be Bright at Night” initiative, says the armbands — available at several local businesses and at Brennan Park rec centre and municipal hall — are just one of many weapons that should be in people’s nighttime safety arsenals.
“People shouldn’t be lulled into the idea that an armband should not take the place of a full safety vest or active lighting,” Morrison said. “It’s a good start but really, it’s not enough. People shouldn’t think that an armband with dark clothing will do it.
“People who do traffic control on the road wouldn’t dream that armbands would be sufficient and in fact, they dress their whole body to be bright.”
In addition to reflective vests, pedestrians and cyclists should wear reflective clothing, cyclists should have lights mounted on the front and back of their bikes and pets should wear lights and/or reflective gear, organizers said. Most of the above items are inexpensive and available at local businesses.
STS president Bob Brant said taking the above steps could save your life or that of a loved one. Organizers are aiming to take the initiative community-wide in the winter of 2013-’14, he said.
“We are planting the seeds now for a winter-long campaign next year,” Brant said. “We are looking for the support of the community, from retailers to community and sports groups. We hope collectively we can create a culture of proactive awareness around this important safety issue.”
For more on the initiative, visit www.squamishtrails.ca