MEP Backs 'Be Safe, Be Seen' Road Safety Campaign

06 December 2010

SNP MEP Alyn Smith, an alternate member of the European Parliament's Culture and Education Committee, has today thrown his weight behind RoSPA's road safety campaign encouraging children to wear reflective strips on their jackets and bags to prevent road accidents; following a recent report claiming that up to one in eight Scottish school pupils have been hit by a vehicle while walking to school.

One of the main reasons for accidents is poor visibility. In winter, children are often walking to and from school in the dark and in poor weather conditions. Reflective strips on clothing and bags make cyclists and pedestrians more visible to oncoming drivers and headlights of a vehicle can pick up reflective strips from as far as 500 feet. In order for children to be safe, they must be seen.

Smith said:

"Every day at least 10 children are killed or seriously injured on Scotland's roads. We must ensure that every protective measure is in place to prevent collisions and reflective strips are one way to minimise accidents.

"Road safety is an issue that affects everyone and I want Scotland to lead the way through piloting new road safety ideas and technologies and help save lives across the EU."

Kathleen Braidwood, road safety officer at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents in Scotland, said:

"RoSPA strongly believes that vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians and cyclists, should take steps to make themselves easily seen by motorists, a particularly important message for children and their parents.

"There is, of course, a vital message for drivers and motorcyclists too, who must ensure they keep a proper look-out for vulnerable road users, not least because failing to look properly is among the most frequently-reported factors in accidents on Scotland's roads. They also need to watch their speed, particularly in residential areas and around schools."