City encourages residents to be safe, and be seen
New Westminster, BC – The City of New Westminster would like to encourage all residents to improve their visibility and respect the roads when walking or cycling in the community, particularly during the fall and winter season.
“Wearing HVSA (high-visibility safety apparel) makes you more visible to vehicle drivers in low visibility or darker conditions that come with this season,” said Antonia Reynolds, Transportation Demand Management Coordinator. "A reflector attached to your bag or reflective strips on your clothing can mean the difference between being seen and being hit by a car.”
Reflective clothing should meet CSA (Canadian Safety Association) standards for high-visibility gear to be properly effective. “This means it is intended for use by workers who are subject to low visibility or dark conditions at work” says Reynolds. “Although the reflective strips you might find on your child’s winter jacket are a good start, these do not have the same effectiveness for being seen from further away. Buy some professional-grade reflective tape and stick it to your jackets and bags for added safety.”
The City of New Westminster has purchased an array of high quality reflectors which can be attached to clothing, backpacks or walkers. These can be picked up at the following municipal facilities: City Hall (511 Royal Ave), the New Westminster Police Department (555 Columbia St) and the New Westminster Public Library (716 6th Ave).
Please also remember the following road safety tips:
- Always cross the street at an intersection – jaywalking is illegal.
- Obey all traffic signals at intersections.
- Make eye contact with other road users and wait for cars to stop.
- Assume drivers can’t see you.
- Stop wearing headphones/using your cellphone when crossing a street.
The City of New Westminster continues to work with School District #40, ICBC and the New Westminster Police Department to promote bicycling skills and pedestrian safety at local schools under the ASRTS (Active and Safe Routes to School) program that started in 2009. ASRTS programming is expected to be complete in all New Westminster elementary and middle schools by 2016. The City has also partnered with Translink to implement TravelSmart New Westminster, a joint initiative offering tools and education in the community about the options that are available for reducing the number of car trips people make. To find out more about TravelSmart, please visit www.travelsmart.ca.