Be Safe Be Seen – Advice as the Clocks Go Back
The last weekend in October traditionally marks the end of British Summer Time (BST) and North Wales Police would like to remind pedestrians and road users to take extra care and remain vigilant when out at night as the clocks go back this weekend.
This change in daylight saving time (DST) causes the days to become shorter and darker evenings to appear much earlier. As such, children, pedestrians and cyclists become even more vulnerable as they are less visible to motorists.
For pedestrians, bright or fluorescent clothes show up best by day, especially in dull or misty weather. By night, reflective material is best and shows up better in car headlights (fluorescent clothing doesn’t work after dark). Reflective tape on clothing, school bags and equipment is also a useful way to be seen whilst walking home from school.
Bicycles should be equipped with good lights. It is an offence to cycle at night without a white front light, a red back light and a red reflector at the back. Cyclists should also always wear a helmet and hi visibility clothing.
Casualty figures at this time of year always increase and this year those figures have already started to rise. As the clocks go back over the weekend they are anticipated to increase further as incidents involving pedestrians grow.
Drivers should take extra care in the dark and during bad weather, and be considerate to their own and other road user and pedestrians safety. By ensuring vehicles are in good working order, slowing down if it’s wet or foggy, and considering other motorists, pedestrians and cyclists, drivers can make a real difference in helping to reduce road casualties.
Here are some top tips for road users:
- Make sure all lights are clean, working and adjusted properly
- Ensure the windscreen is clean inside and out
- Use headlights whenever visibility is reduced – for example, at early mornings and at dusk, when it’s raining or in any gloomy conditions. It’ll help others to see you
- Don’t dazzle others with your main beam
- Reduce your speed. You should be able to stop within the distance you can see
- Check the condition of wipers and washers
- Have your brakes and tyres looked at – on wet roads it’s even more vital that brakes are working efficiently and tyre treads are legal
- If your vehicle breaks down, pull off the road as far as possible and switch on the hazard warning lights
- Consider fitting winter tyres during cold weather
- Take extra care to look out for cyclists as they turn at junctions
- Bicycles should be equipped with good lights. It is an offence to cycle at night without a white front light, a red back light and a red reflector at the back
- Cyclists should always wear a helmet
- You should put the lights where they can be easily seen, not hidden behind saddles or framework
- It is a good idea to carry spare batteries and bulbs with you in case they run out when cycling along
- If you see other vehicles using their lights, use yours.
- Take extra care to be seen – bright or fluorescent clothing shows up best in the daytime and reflective clothing is best at night.
- Watch out for car drivers. Remember, there are fewer cyclists on the roads in winter, so drivers may be less aware
- Traffic isn’t the only hazard at night. Watch out for uneven surfaces and potholes, animals, pedestrians in dark clothing and other cyclists without lights. Look for them carefully and give them a wide berth when you see them
- Make sure your reflectors are clean at all times
- You can also make your bike more visible by adding spoke reflectors
- Make sure you can be easily seen at all times, but especially at night, on dark days and in bad weather
- Bright or fluorescent clothes show up best by day, especially in dull or misty weather
- By night, reflective material is best and shows up in car headlights – fluorescent clothing doesn’t work after dark
- Reflective tape can be put on clothing, school bags and equipment
- Cross the road at the safest place possible for example, zebra, pelican, puffin and patrolled crossings
- Use the Green Cross Code: Stop, Look, Listen, Live
- If you are out at night, choose routes that are well-lit by streetlights and cross at well-lit places