Reflective armbands are being given away in Sidney to help keep pedestrians safe when out walking early in the morning or into the evening.
The Town of Sidney and RCMP have teamed up to start a program called Glow As You Go, a safety campaign in the wake of a spate of pedestrian-vehicle collisions in the region this winter. Town councillor Kenny Podmore says he took the initiative to create a preventive program.
“I listened to news about a few pedestrian incidents,” he said, “and thankfully, we have had none recently in Sidney. But we wanted to take the initiative to prevent this here and help local walkers.”
Podmore enlisted the help of Sidney/North Saanich RCMP Staff Sergeant Dennis O’Gorman, who was able to pay for 950 reflective armbands. The items will help walkers be more visible to drivers and add to a sense of safety when out in the dark.
Podmore said it’s up to both pedestrians and drivers to be cautious and aware of each other. In a media release, the town notes ICBC statistics showing an 80 per cent increase in pedestrian-related incidents during the winter months, compared with summer. They recommend walkers and runners wear light-coloured clothing and at night or in bad weather, wear something reflective.
Podmore added his hope is that Sidney’s initiative catches on elsewhere in the region.
“Safety has always been a concern of mine and I campaigned on it in the last election,” he said. “We’re lucky there there haven’t been any big problems here and this is a case of catching it before it happens.”
The town itself, he continued, takes pedestrian safety seriously — from these reflective wristbands to crosswalk design and roundabout safety.
Sidney’s Glow As You Go campaign kicks off on Jan. 17, 11 a.m. at the RCMP detachment. Armbands will be available to the public on Jan. 21 and they are free on a first-come, first-served basis.