EDITORIAL: Invisibility cloaks can stay at home

Cyclists and pedestrians can help themselves stay safe with a little light or reflectivity

Unlike Harry Potter, who relished becoming invisible to other mortals by wearing a certain piece of clothing, visibility is critical for those of us who share the streets with vehicles, especially at this time of year.

Dark clothing is, and probably always will be, in style. That fact makes it even tougher for drivers to spot people crossing streets or riding along the edge of roadways without lights or flashers.

But visibility is a two-way street. Not only do drivers need to be constantly aware of the presence of other types of road users, those cyclists, runners, walkers, scooter users and skateboarders that drivers encounter also need to respect the fact they may not be easily seen.

We hear experts say when you meet up with a bear in the woods, a good idea is to make yourself seem “big.” In the case of road users not in vehicles, being “big” means being visible, enough so that no question arises about your actions or use of the shared space.

For non-drivers who may have an inflated sense of entitlement for their choice to use alternative transportation, including your feet, think about this: you’ll virtually always lose a head-to-head confrontation with a vehicle.

While the rules of the road are meant to be observed by all parties, there is no substitute for pedestrians and drivers making eye contact at a crosswalk, or, if riding your bike on a main thoroughfare, being aware that the light behind you just changed and traffic will soon be upon you.

Those are common safety practices good for any time of the year, but fall and winter are particularly tricky for visibility.

So why not get yourself a reflective vest, flashing reflector buttons or lights, or reflective cuff strips? Your life is worth more than any pain you might suffer from making a temporary bad fashion statement.

Just Posted

Saanich to potentially host first hydrogen fuel station on Vancouver Island

Station proposed for corner of Quadra Street and McKenzie Avenue

Three children to run Victoria as ‘Mayors’ on Tuesday

Local kids will be honorary mayors for a day

Langford man sentenced to 15 months for child pornography collection

Andre Mollon sentenced for posession of more than 1,000 child pornography images and 70 videos

Victoria Police Department’s K9s help make three arrests

Police Services Dogs Alpha and Zender have had a busy few weeks

Victoria crash threatens shipyard’s schedule for new coast guard ships

Delivery of the vessel was already years overdue

Victoria hosts ‘Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave’

The hockey cave was recently featured on a Netflix special

Inspirational Vancouver Island youngster dies after battle with brain cancer

Kaiden Finley ‘was seriously the strongest 11-year-old’

Indecent caller handed 18-month conditional sentence

Vancouver Island man pleaded guilty to making indecent phone and video calls to women across B.C.

Sources say Trudeau rejected Wilson-Raybould’s conservative pick for high court

Wilson-Raybould said Monday “there was no conflict between the PM and myself”

First Nations public art piece stolen in Nanaimo

Spindle Whorl went missing over the weekend, according to Nanaimo RCMP

Father-son duo at B.C. Children’s Hospital helps new dads fight depression

The pair teamed up to introduce the only known research-based mindfulness workshop for new dads

Mexican restaurant in B.C. told to take down Mexican flag

General manager of Primo’s Mexican Grill in White Rock: ‘I’ve never heard of anything like this’

B.C. NDP moves to provide tax credits, tax cut for LNG Canada

Provincial sales tax break of $596 million repayable after construction

COLUMN: Smart phone too powerful a tool to yank from students’ hands

Rather than ban them from schools, let’s teach kids to harness their phone’s power and use it properly

Most Read