Pedestrians — including people who travel by foot, wheelchair, stroller, or similar means — and cyclists are among the most vulnerable users of the road. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the next 24 hours, on average, 445 people in the U.S. will be treated in an emergency department for traffic-related pedestrian injuries. In 2012 alone 76,000 people were injured.
Sitka can be dark especially in winter, and many of the bicycle and pedestrian fatalities happen in low visibility. Drivers can only stop or swerve for the people they see so having lights, reflectors and high visibility coats provides a great protective factor.
Thanks to funds from the Rotary Club of Sitka, the Sitka Community Hospital will be raffling off high visibility coats at various locations throughout Sitka:
- The Sitka Public Health Center at 210 Moller Drive,
- Tongass Threads,
- The White Elephant thrift shop (White E),
- The Sitka Public Library,
- The Hames Athletic and Wellness Center,
- Swan Lake Senior Center,
- The Salvation Army Little Store,
- Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School,
- KIFW-AM radio,
- Blatchley Middle School,
- Sitka Community Hospital, and
- On the Sitka Chatters group on Facebook.
Having a coat that covers your whole upper body and can be seen from all sides is one way to be visible and stay seen as you walk the family dog, bike home from work or go for a stroll anywhere near cars. The upgraded Gage high-visibility rain coats, which were purchased at a discounted price from Murray Pacific, have reflective strips built into the jackets.
For more information on the “Be Bright at Night” campaign, contact Sitka Community Hospital Director of Health Promotion Doug Osborne at 747-0373.