t was a dark and stormy night in Sooke and sometimes not so stormy but dark never the less. We are halfway through winter and the minutes of daylight are added each day but the treacherous manner pedestrians take to walking in the dusk and dark causes me to be concerned for them as I shake my head in disbelief.
Dark coats (some with hoods up), dark pants, dark footwear. Some with headphones on or preoccupied with electronic devices. No effort made to make themselves visible.
The worst scenario, for which I would of been responsible as the driver, was two people dressed as mentioned, not facing oncoming traffic, walking after midnight on a winding pre-Sooke stretch of highway which was hugging a rock wall. They were at the very edge of the gravel portion of the road walking in the fog. I was tempted to stop and alert them of the picture they presented to drivers but there was no safe pullover for me and I did not know if it would be a welcome conversation.
Solutions to increasing visibility can easily be accessed at the local stores in the form of flashlights, arm or leg bands, safety vests, yellow raingear. For the price of a latte, people need (to) think of the worst that could happen and then grab one of these enroute out the door with keys in the other hand. There is no end to the illumination gear for camping, sporting activities and dog walking which can be utilized with some creativity and attached to outdoor clothing to keep hands free if need be.
For the past two years, in October, the Town of Sidney distributes a limited amount of free reflective armbands to residents. How ever this is funded escapes me but is a proactive way to shift peoples thinking with a practical gesture. Sidney is lit up like New York city compared to Sooke at night and geographically is as flat as the Prairies.
The giveaway is a reminder to take responsibility for one’s own safety and not create a potential hazard for drivers. All too often it is the reckless party who is not injured but the party avoiding the collision who experiences the greater loss.