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Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Be seen, be safe this winter

As wintry conditions set in, pedestrians, cyclists and motorists are being encouraged to find a way to be seen on local roads.

RACHEAL WILLETT July 2, 2014 8:52am

Moira Shire Councillor Brian Keenan raised concerns last week about the number of early morning and early evening walkers, runners and cyclists using the roadside without wearing reflective clothing.

 “I’ve had several people approach me with stories of near-miss accidents because they’ve been out driving first thing in the morning and come across people on the side of the road who can’t be seen from a distance,” he said.

“With foggy mornings and evenings, it is easy to forget that if you’re out and about walking your dog, running or riding your bike, it can be difficult for motorists to see you.”

Thick fog has settled over Yarrawonga, Mulwala and surrounds on several mornings and evenings in recent weeks.

And with a bleak, wintry weather forecast for the next few weeks, the issue of poor visibility is likely to be ongoing.

Cr Keenan said he appreciated people wanted to be out exercising, even during the cold weather, and often had to use the roadside in areas where there are no footpaths.

“I understand they have to be on the roadside in some areas, but please don’t wear dark clothing that makes it difficult for you to be seen – you’re putting yourself at risk and the motorists at risk,” he said.

“Wear bright clothing, even better reflective clothing, that way you can enjoy your walk and motorists can safely see you.”

Cr Keenan’s concerns were reiterated by Yarrawonga Police Sgt John Higgins.

“Absolutely, reflective clothing is a must if you are going to be out walking, running or riding your bike in the early morning or early evening – any time of year, but particularly during winter,” Sgt Higgins.

“We just want everyone to be safe and if you can be safe if you can be seen by motorists.”

Both Cr Keenan and Sgt Higgins also reminded motorists of their responsibility to be seen while driving.

“Turn your lights on when it’s foggy,” Cr Keenan said. “Even if it is during the day, turn your lights on at this time of year so other motorists and people using the road can see you.

“If we can all use a bit of common sense everyone can be safe and we can stop a serious accident from happening.”

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