“I know how it is. Everyone tries to show themselves in their own way. But when you are not visible, you may not be able to show your best side “- says Cezary Pazura in a funny video popularizing the reflections. As part of the campaign of the National Day of Life Foundation “Good to see you”, all students of primary schools in Poland will get reflective vests.
In Advent, Aleteia runs the “Turn on the Light” action. At the same time, we approach the lyrics in a variety of ways to the thread of light. This time we focus on the light that appears in traffic. The light that can often save your life.
Cezary Pazura said in the TVP2 program “Question for Breakfast” that he became involved in popularizing the reflective vests, among others because he got to know this problem in childhood. He lived in the small town of Niewiadów, where everyone walked on foot, an unlit road where there was no pavement. One day, his friend, hit by a car, died on such a road. Today, the actor is so sensitive to the issue of road safety that even when his children choose schoolbags for school, they look for those with retro-reflective tapes.
One evening in the 1930s, British Percy Shaw, the owner of a small road company, returned home by car. A cat ran through the dark street, and in the eyes of the animal reflected the spotlight. This led the driver to an idea. Maybe it would install reflective elements on posts near roads? Since then, reflections have saved the lives of millions of people around the world. Those that are placed on road posts are called “cat’s eyes” until now in English.
A man walking an unlit road after dark is visible from just a few dozen meters away. Even if the driver is driving slowly, he has only a few seconds to react, for example, to safely bypass this person, turn or braking. It’s very little. However, when a pedestrian is wearing a clothing with reflective fabric, the driver sees it from a distance of several hundred meters. So wearing reflectors increases the chances of getting to your destination happy.
3 million vests
The National Day of Life Foundation intends to distribute the reflective vests to all students of grades I-VIII in Poland. In total, three million vests. It also sensitizes children and parents to the importance of wearing reflections. As part of the campaign, short animated films for children and adolescents were also created that promote safe and sensible behavior in public space. Teachers can use lesson plans on the subject.
Reflectors are not just vests. You can wear key chains or have reflective elements on your jacket, backpack, hat, bike or scooter. You can even buy a reflective spray that you can spray on, for example, a bike or a jacket.
Police statistics are alarming. In 2017, there were 32 760 road accidents in Poland, in which 2,831 people died. One of the most common types of accidents is “pedestrian overhang” (almost 8,000 in the past year, including almost 3,000 children under 14). 13% of road accidents occurred at pedestrian crossings, where cars hit pedestrians or cyclists who entered the belts without due care.
The problem with the visibility of pedestrians on the roads is the biggest now – in autumn and winter when it is dark for most of the day, and even during the day, visibility is often severely limited.
The authors of the “Good to see you” campaign present a set of tips that will help you stay safe on the road:
7 reflective road councils
- Wear reflective vests or other reflective elements in conditions of insufficient visibility.
- Use a sidewalk or pedestrian road, and if you do not have them, it is from the side of the road. Only if there is no roadside or you can not use it temporarily, you can use the roadway.
- But remember: go as close as possible to the edge and give way to the oncoming car.
- If you are walking on the side of the road, then go the left side of the road – so that you can see the approaching car. If you go with a friend or colleague, go one by one.
- Use the bike path only if there is no sidewalk or roadside. On the bike path, you should give way to a cyclist. This does not apply to disabled people.
- Do not enter the road just before the vehicle. If the oncoming car is driving fast or is close – wait for it to pass.
- Do not cross the road in a forbidden place and remember not to enter the road at a red light.