You would think this would be an obvious safety concern to those involved, but lately it has been quite surprising and dismaying to see so many pedestrians and cyclists walking/pedaling at night in dark/non-reflective clothing. Not only is it harder to see them in dressed in this manner, but add in the dulling of motor vehicle headlights by road salt, less hours of daylight, unlit streets and roadways, and the narrowing of road shoulders due plowed snow and you have a dangerous combination of factors that must be addressed before a tragedy occurs.
The number of people walking/pedaling the roadways here in the Traverse City area in dark gear has been significant enough for both my wife and I to wonder if local communities should consider adopting laws which require the wearing of bright clothing or reflective gear. Public safety officers would be able to ticket those who don’t oblige without good reason. Granted, you can’t fix stupid, but for the sake of the rest of us, perhaps such laws would at least be a step in the right direction and may wake those up who are not thinking through the potential dangers of their choices.
Public safety campaigns via the media, hospitals, law enforcement, schools, community groups, and walking/biking advocacy groups would be another way of spreading the word – one which should be painfully obvious already.
Lastly, for those among us who unfortunately cannot afford to buy bright outerwear or reflective gear, donations of money or clothing to homeless shelters, school,s and community groups would be a great way to reach those most in need of assistance. A little bit can go a long way when parlayed with the gifts from others in the community.
Any other ideas beyond those listed above would be most welcome. Please pass them along.