This National School Safety Week, October 17 to 23, the Canada Safety Council encourages young pedestrians and cyclists to dress brightly to be seen.
“As light levels drop, drivers have more difficulty seeing pedestrians and cyclists on the road,” says Jack Smith, president of the Canada Safety Council. “Wearing bright colours and retro-reflective material can help you stay safe while walking and cycling.”
September to November tend to be the worst months of the year for young pedestrians getting hit by motor vehicles. The riskiest time of the day for pedestrians and cyclists to be on the road is in late afternoon, at night, and in dim light conditions when they are less visible to drivers.
Any time a car needs its headlights, visibility can be improved by wearing clothing with retro-reflective markings. Retro-reflective materials bounce light back towards the light source, so they will appear very bright and stand out from the background when headlights shine on them.
Research shows that pedestrians and cyclists wearing retro-reflective materials are more likely to be seen and recognized by drivers. The best place to sport retro-reflective markings is on the arms and legs.
To help kids be bright and be seen, the Canada Safety Council is offering a limited number of retro-reflective crafting kits to interested teachers and children’s group leaders. A retro-reflective craft activity can help launch a wider discussion with youth around pedestrian and cycling safety. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 613-739-1535 to order your kit. Teachers and children’s group leaders’ names will be entered into a contest to win a 3M product gift basket compliments of 3M Canada.
Also, kids can challenge the adults in their lives to a friendly road safety quiz posted on our Elmer the Safety Elephant website at www.elmer.ca.
Pedestrian Safety Tips for Kids
- Be bright: Wear clothing with retro-reflective patches and make sure your bicycle has reflectors and a light.
- Ensure drivers have seen you before you step off the curb by making eye contact.
- Leave the phone alone and turn down the tunes when crossing the street.
- If there is no sidewalk, use the left side of the road facing traffic.
- And of course, look ALL ways before crossing a street, driveway or alley.
About the Canada Safety Council
The Canada Safety Council is an independent, knowledge-based, charitable organization dedicated to the cause of safety. We provide national leadership in safety through information, education and collaboration. We are Canada’s voice and resource for safety.
A total of 10,764 children ages five to 16 were hit and injured by motor vehicles while they were on foot or bike in the five years between 2008 and 2012 (the latest data available). This works out to an average of 2,767 children per year, or approximately eight children per day.
These statistics include 79 young pedestrians who were killed and 37 young cyclists killed in crashes with motor vehicles during the same five year period.
— Transport Canada National Collision Database
For more information, please contact:
Communications/Media Program Coordinator
Canada Safety Council
(613) 739-1535 (ext. 228