Be Bright Shine Your Light
Published: 07 Dec 2018
White Watch from Stevenage Fire Station is starting up a new road safety initiative for vulnerable road users during the dark winter months called ‘Be Bright Shine Your Light’, which is currently being piloted at a school in Stevenage for pupils’ who cycle to school.
Figures show that visibility – or lack of it – is a contributory factor in accidents and near misses all around the county, which is why the fire and rescue service are looking to ensure the safety of cyclists as they are particularly at risk when they are not visible to motorists and pedestrians in the dark.
The initiative is part of a campaign called Cycling Home for Christmas, which is an extension of the Driving Home for Christmas campaign and part of the wider ‘Be Bright, Be Seen’ road safety initiative, all of which are designed to create safety awareness around various road users.
To kickstart the campaign, White Watch at Stevenage Fire Station held an event on Friday 7 December at Marriott’s School in Stevenage, who have agreed to support the campaign.
The school was chosen to pilot the ‘Be Bright Shine Your Light’ initiative as they currently have approximately 115 students that bike to school on a regular basis.
Pupils’ who cycle to school received a set of bike lights at the event, fitted for them by the crew to ensure they appear more visible to other road users.
Terry Hone, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said:
“It’s easy to think that, because you can see the cars clearly, they can see you. A lot of people don’t realise that wearing dark – or even just unreflective – clothes can make you very hard to spot until it’s too late. That’s why we’re urging people to wear reflective clothing and make sure that cyclists have working lights on their bikes when they’re near roads after dark.”
If the campaign proves to be as successful as Stevenage White Watch thinks it will be, ‘Be Bright Shine Your Light’ will be rolled out to other schools in Stevenage and possibly across the county, subject to securing financial backing either by sponsorship or funding.
So far, the Hertfordshire Road Safety Partnership has donated £500 to support the cause, along with Specialist Cars BMW and Mini also donating a further £100 each.
Steve Holton, Area Commander for Prevention, said:
“Be Bright Shine Your Light is a great opportunity to encourage cyclists to take more care when cycling between dusk and dawn, giving other road users the best chance of seeing them early and avoiding an accident.
“It’s important to keep our children safe, so being able to hand out bike lights to children at Marriott’s School was great as it means that more oncoming cars will be able to spot them in the dark, further ensuring their safety.
“If the campaign proves to be a success, we hope to expand the campaign; in the meantime I would like to thank Marriott’s School for their support in agreeing to host the pilot of this campaign, and those who have donated money to raise funds to purchase bike lights for the children.”