Today marks the shortest day of the year and the national awareness campaign ‘Be Safe, Be Seen’ which urges some of the most vulnerable road users to be cautious on the roads.
21 December is officially the shortest day of the year and usually the darkest day, so it’s a good time to talk about some of the safety measures that cyclists can take to make themselves be seen, and also act as a warning to motorists to ensure they are looking out for vulnerable road users.
In rural Lincolnshire not all villages have streetlights and cars can not always see cyclists or pedestrians, especially in the dark and if you’re wearing dark clothing. We thought this would be a great time to share some of the exciting collaboration work we’ve been doing with pupils at The Swineshead St. Marys' Church of England Primary School and local company Bakkavor Pizza, based in Holbeach St Marks.
PC Emma Bavetta, who leads the ‘Be safe, be seen’ project, explained:
“As the nights are getting darker, we have received more and more reports of children riding on their bikes with no lights on. This is especially dangerous in rural villages, such as Swineshead, where there is little street lighting. I really wanted to get out there and explain the importance of being seen when out on bikes so the children in our village can stay safe and we can hopefully prevent any accidents.”
PC Bavetta recently visited Year 5 and Year 6 pupils at the primary school to give them an interactive talk on the project and the pupils took part in a fun quiz to ensure that they understood the information that was being presented to them. Ian Williams, from Bakkavor Pizza, also attended the school as the local company generously donated 80 sets of bike lights for the children.
PC Emma Bavetta said:
“The children were very engaged and asked lots of questions. It was an absolute pleasure to spend this time with them and they were very happy to receive the lights. I wanted to make sure that the lights were of high quality, and they recharge via USB so there is no cost of buying batteries involved. The lights can easily be attached to a bike or even to clothing or backpacks.”
Cyclists have a responsibility to ensure they are lit up, with a white light at the front and a red light at the back of the bike. In addition, cyclists could also choose to wear reflective clothing to maximise their visibility to other road users.