Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and Emergency Services partners are calling on the public to ‘Keep Safe – Keep Well’ and consider the additional safety measures we all must take throughout the winter months.

A key message of this campaign is to ‘Be Safe – Be Seen’ when venturing outdoors.

The campaign is aimed at all road users; pedestrians, cyclists’ joggers and drivers of all types of vehicles, to highlight the importance of being extra-cautious throughout the winter months.

Pedestrians are particularly vulnerable road users. You need to make sure you can be seen clearly in dark conditions and bad weather. Clothes with reflective colours are a good choice, as are reflective materials that will warn any approaching vehicles of your presence. You can also improve visibility with clip-on reflectors, arm bands and stickers on clothes or bags. When using a bike make sure that it has lights fitted to the front and rear so other traffic can see you. Parents wanting to make sure their children are safer on the roads should make sure they can be seen especially at night and on dark bad weather days by wearing something bright and reflective.

Motorists should check their lights to ensure that they are correctly aligned clean and working. Lights that are not adjusted properly can dazzle other road users, and in turn this may cause an accident. Fog lights must only be used when visibility is seriously reduced.

Cyclists should make themselves visible to other vehicles on the road by wearing fluorescent and reflective clothing. Ensure the lights are working before every journey. It is an offence to cycle at night without a white front light, a red back light and red reflector at the back.

Joggers, too, are vulnerable. It is particularly important that running clubs and individual joggers risk-assess their route and just how visible they are; fluorescent vests and head torches should be regarded as essential kit throughout the winter period.

Be Safe Be Seen - top tips for kids

  • Make sure you can be easily seen, especially at night, on dark days and in bad weather.
  • Bright or fluorescent clothes show up best by day, even in dull or misty weather.
  • In the dark, reflective material is best and shows up in car headlights - remember fluorescent clothing doesn’t work after dark. You can put reflective tape on your coat or school bag to help you to be seen by drivers.
  • It is against the law to cycle at night without a white front light, a red back light and a red reflector at the back, so make sure that your bike is properly equipped and working. And remember always wear a helmet.
  • Cross the road at the safest place possible. Remember to use the Green Cross Code – Stop, Look, Listen and Think.
  • If you’re out at night, choose routes that are well-lit by street lights and cross the road at well-lit places.
  • If there is no pavement and you have to walk on the road, always face the oncoming traffic – this is particularly important in poor light or in the dark.

A few preventative measures could make all the difference, so be prepared: Be safe – be seen!

Please see comprehensive winter guidance at:

https://www.cne-siar.gov.uk/news/2020/december/preparing-for-the-winter-months/

And for those of you who think this all sounds a little obvious…police in the Faroes recently had to issue a release warning of the dangers of climbing the islands' mountains at night, in the winter! 

Image credit: Maria Olsen

Calls to emergency services from concerned individuals about hikers in the mountains during winter are not uncommon, according to the police — in fact so common that the police are now urging hikers to notify them before venturing out into the dark. One tip was received late on Saturday night, when three sources of flashlight beams were spotted in the mountains near Oyndarfjørður. The observation prompted the police to send out a search team to make sure things were under control, which indeed turned out to be the case. The lights did not come from individuals who’d found themselves lost in the mountains, as feared, but rather from a group who had ventured out for a late-night photoshoot, reports website local.fo