Hampshire Now - your County Council magazine

Keep safe as darker nights draw in

Monday, 28 October 2013

As darker nights draw in Hampshire County Council's road safety team is reminding all road users to think about being safe and being seen.

The clocks went back by one hour at 2am on Sunday 27 October, marking the start of winter. Children are likely to be walking home in fading light when they return after the school half term holidays and many motorists will be driving home in the dark.

Councillor Seán Woodward, Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment, said: "It is harder for motorists to spot others on the road or pavement in the dark with many accidents happening because drivers do not see cyclists or pedestrians until it is too late.

"Make sure you remain visible to other road users by wearing fluorescent materials during the daylight hours and at dusk and reflective clothing at night. Wearing reflective and bright clothing, badges, belts or bags in the dark will make sure you have a better chance of being seen and staying safe."

Hampshire County Council's road safety team is recommending preparing for the change by taking a few steps to stay as safe as possible on the road over the winter months.

Top tips to keep safe this winter:

  • Wear brighter coloured clothing during the day, and something reflective at night.
  • Drivers should take extra care to look for vulnerable road users.
  • Drivers should watch their speed and be more aware of other road users, as it's more difficult to see pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists as the evenings draw in.
  • Check bicycles to make sure that reflectors are clean, as well as fitting new batteries to lights.

The Department of Transport is running a cycling campaign in October coinciding with the end of British summertime and the clocks going back. The campaign consists of a series of tips, developed to be even-handed and balanced in their approach and to educate both drivers and cyclists about the correct way to drive and ride, and reduce the number of collisions on the road.

They are using the following tips for the campaign:

  • Drivers, look out (for cyclists) when getting out
  • Cyclists, ride a door's width from parked cars
  • Drivers, look out for cyclists at junctions
  • Cyclists, ride central on narrow roads

Government figures show that vehicle and pedestrian accidents usually peak in October and November, coinciding with less daylight and deteriorating weather conditions.

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