Be Bright Morning and Night
‘Stay safe in the dark’ is the clear message from Flintshire County Council’s Road Safety team as the winter nights draw in.
With the clocks going back by one hour next weekend, the changes mean the days become shorter and it becomes darker much earlier and children, pedestrians and cyclists become even more vulnerable as they are less visible to motorists.
Parents are reminded that both darker nights and darker mornings mean children are more vulnerable on our roads as they are less visible to motorists. Flintshire County Council urges parents to ensure that their children wear something bright by wearing fluorescent and reflective clothing whilst walking and take extra care when out and about.
Cyclists should also be aware that riding bicycles without the correct lighting is an offence and they should ensure their bike has the correct lights - and that they can be clearly seen by other road users.
Bright fluorescent clothing shows up best during the day, especially in dull or misty weather, by night reflective material is best as it shows up in car headlights, reflective tape can be applied to clothing, school bags and equipment.
Drivers are urged to plan their journeys carefully to factor in the time difference as the mornings and evenings get darker earlier and later and to be aware that travel times may take that bit longer.
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
- 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