Westmeath Sports Partnership Supporting New Road Safety Campaign

Be Bright Be Safe Be Seen

Westmeath County Council and Westmeath Sports Partnership, in association with Healthy Ireland Westmeath, are encouraging people to wear something bright and colourful to alert road users to their presence in low light conditions.

The campaign is urging all cyclists, runners, and walkers to show their support by wearing the appropriate reflective gear and lights and to encourage others to follow your lead.

The early months of any year are traditionally a time when more people are exercising outdoors. They may be at the beginning of a new fitness journey, or they may be resuming familiar outdoor exercise routines on their own or as part of a wider group.

Individuals who may set off in daylight don’t realize that they are virtually invisible at dusk, dawn, and at night. Many people believe that since they can see, they can be seen. Unfortunately, motorists have an extremely hard time seeing people in poor lighting conditions. Not only is it dark earlier at this time of year and stays darker for longer, but the weather conditions also add to the problems.

A runner wearing reflective clothing can be seen by a driver using dipped headlights up to 200 meters away, but the same runner only wearing dark clothes could be just 10 meters from the car before the driver sees them.

Wearing bright clothes can make a huge difference to personal safety and to make you or your group more easily visible to motorists or other road users at any time of the day or night.

Colm Smith, Road Safety Officer with Westmeath County Council, is encouraging everyone heading outdoors to support the initiative.

“It’s hoped this campaign will encourage individuals, and especially those in sports clubs or organised running, walking or cycling groups, to get behind the safety message by giving them a unique opportunity to feature in their very own specially designed ‘Be Bright, Be Safe, Be Seen’ poster.”

Coordinator of Westmeath Sports Partnership, Anthony Wheat, is encouraging anyone enjoying the outdoors to get involved in the campaign:

“The Westmeath Sports Partnership is delighted to be supporting this unique road safety campaign. It’s always great to see people out and about exercising at any time of the year, but the winter months do pose additional challenges around visibility. We hope this campaign will result in individuals and groups making a habit of putting on a bright jacket or hat as part of their exercise routine.”

Sarah McManus, Healthy Ireland Westmeath Coordinator:

“We know that being active is great for your physical and mental health, and we hope to see clubs and groups encourage their members and followers to take part in the campaign. We are very excited to support this new peer-to-peer road safety campaign where people out and about can encourage others to light up and enjoy the outdoors more safely.”

The best entries may also be used as by Westmeath County Council in the promotion of road safety.

The deadline for entries is Friday, February 23.

Full terms and conditions are available on Westmeath County Council website: https://www.westmeathcoco.ie/en/ourservices/roadsparkingandtransport/roadsafety/

How to get involved:

  • Westmeath County Council, Westmeath Sports Partnership and Healthy Ireland Westmeath are asking sports clubs, community organisations or physical activity groups to send in a good quality picture of you, or your group, wearing reflective gear, bright colours or lights in support of the ‘Be Bright, Be Safe, Be Seen’ campaign.
  • Send the picture (in jpeg format) along with your club badge or company logo and details of your club to roads@westmeathcoco.ie and we will design a special poster for you, including the image and your logo, which you can then share on social media to show your own support for the campaign.
  • The competition is open to sports clubs, community and other voluntary groups who are registered with Westmeath Public Participation Network.
  • The best entry will win €250 and there will also be the chance to win LED Beanies, LED light clips and reflective flexi armbands.
  • Each individual entry will also be entered into a draw for one of two €50 Mullingar Chamber vouchers.’