If you like running, walking, jogging or cycling you must make sure that you can be seen at night. You must have lights on your bicycle, front and back, and you should wear a reflective, high visibility vest or Sam Brown belt.
Last week, Irish Alice and her husband were leaving their house in the car and had just turned onto the main road. Suddenly Mr Alice swerved across the road several times, narrowly avoiding deep ditches on either side. A cyclist had appeared round the bend of an unlit country road, dressed in dark clothing and with no lights or reflectors of any kind. It was a miracle that no-one was hurt and a tribute to Mr Alice’s driving that he kept on the road.
Similarly, we have had several incidents where we have nearly collided with people jogging or running down country lanes at night, who have been using headphones so they can’t hear the traffic, but wearing no high visibility clothing. I nearly ran over a 15 year old boy from Oundle School who ran straight out of a footpath across a busy A road, causing me to swerve and put my car into the ditch. He didn’t even know it had happened because he had giant earphones on and didn’t hear or see a thing.
In the towns or cities the roads are much better lit, but even there you have to give drivers a fighting chance. If we hit you, it’s automatically OUR fault even if you are behaving like an idiot.
Living in the Midlands, we get masses of cyclists because the terrain is generally quite flat with hilly bits, which is great for cycling and many of them glow in the daylight, let alone the dark. But there are always some who think they’re invincible.
In much the same way, there is a proportion of cyclists who believe that traffic lights and The Highway Code in general don’t apply to them. Then there are the runners who think it’s perfectly alright to run along dark country lanes in the pitch black, with nothing but jogging pants and an iPod Shuffle to protect them.
Please, please, please make yourselves visible to other road users.
Put lights on the front and back of your bicycles as well as reflectors
As the TV ads say, “BE SAFE, BE SEEN”.