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Make sure you can see and be seen on winter roads

Image representing Make sure you can see and be seen on winter roads
29th October 2018 

Image of people wearing reflective gearRoad users across Powys are being urged by the county council to make sure that they can see and also be seen as the nights draw in.

Powys County Council's Road Safety Unit want all road users to 'Be Safe Be Seen' as winter approaches.

The Road Safety Unit are also reminding drivers, motorcyclists and cyclists to check that the lights are working properly on their vehicles while pedestrians and cyclists are urged to wear something bright and reflective, whether walking or cycling to work or school or walking the dog.

Cllr Phyl Davies, Cabinet Member for Road Safety, said: "When the clocks go back, the nights draw in and the weather usually gets worse which means pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists can be particularly vulnerable.

"However, there are a range of simple steps which anyone can take to improve their safety on the road, especially when the visibility or road conditions are poor.

"We all have a responsibility to look after ourselves and each other on the roads throughout the year. However, this is even more important during the winter months when it gets darker earlier and road conditions and visibility can be at their worst. Taking a few simple steps to make sure we can see and be seen is incredibly important and we would like everyone in the borough to make sure they stay safe."

Road collisions increase with the arrival of darker evenings and worsening weather. The effects are greatest for the most vulnerable road users, such as children, the elderly, cyclists and motorcyclists. However, if you travel to work, school or the shops, there are things you can do to help yourself be seen.

In the car

• Regularly check that all lights are working and use them. If you can't be seen properly you are in danger and if any of your lights are not working you are breaking the law.
• Be aware that other road users may not be doing anything to keep themselves visible. Look out for them. Better use of your lights will help you to see and avoid others

Cyclists

• Many incidents involving bicycles during dark nights are due to cyclists wearing dark clothing and not using lights or reflectors. Drivers are looking for lights, so when a cyclist appears with no lights they are hard to see.
• The law requires that at night your bike MUST have white front and red rear lights lit, it must also be fitted with a red rear reflector.
• White front reflectors can also help you to be seen, and spoke reflectors will help other road users and pedestrians to see you from the side.
• Reflective tape and flashing valve caps are also available. Any part that is moving, such as knees and ankles and valves, and is either reflective or illuminated, draws drivers' attention.
• Wearing bright and if possible reflective clothing is good, too, but always assume that the driver has not seen you.

Pedestrians

• If you are walking after dark or in poor visibility, for example on foggy or overcast days, wear something bright and reflective, whether walking to work or school or walking the dog. Hi-vis dog leads, flashing collars and coats are now available for your dog as well.
• Being aware of your surroundings helps, too, so take out earphones, and leave your phone in your pocket.

Motorcyclists

• Ride in a more dominant road position, out from the kerb and more to the middle of the lane. This will help others to see you and give you a better view into side roads and round trees and lamp posts. This will give you and others more time to react if a problem does occur.
• As with other vehicles, a bright shiny bike and bright helmet will improve your chances of being seen. Light or hi-visibility clothing may also help drivers behind to see you.
• Do not use a tinted visor at night as it will make it difficult to see pedestrians and cyclists in dark clothing.

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