There are no more free armbands for walkers in Sidney, but the man who sparked the campaign to get them on the streets is happy with how the community responded.
Town councillor Kenny Podmore was behind the effort to get the reflective armbands on local pedestrians. And, almost as quickly as he found the armbands to give away, they were gone. In fact, he said it took only two weeks for the 900 items to be snatched up (not to mention another 200 that were given away by the District of North Saanich).
He said the Town and RCMP, who were partners in the effort with ICBC, even found some extra money to buy more. Those vanished just as fast.
Podmore launched the Glow As You Go campaign to make pedestrians more visible on dark streets, sidewalks and crosswalks — as one way to prevent collisions with vehicles. Awareness of the issue was his other goal, as there had been a few pedestrian-vehicle crashes in the Capital region leading up to last month’s launch.
“I think this says there are a lot of people who walk and were perhaps not aware of the dangers,” he said. “It has raised people’s awareness of the issues.”
Thanks to media coverage and social media, the town’s effort attracted the attention of the City of Kamloops. Town executive assistant Paula Kully said she was contacted by a Kamloops city employee, asking about the program. Kully said she was able to share Sidney’s experience and how it became an safety awareness campaign.
Podmore added he didn’t expect how positive the response was from the community. He noted many of the free armbands disappeared prior to the official launch.
Its popularity means Podmore would like to run the program again, but not until after the summer and if he can win the support of the same sponsors.