This weekend we come to that time of year again when clocks are set back one hour for the return to standard time. This is considered the “good” change by those who enjoy the extra hour of sleep when we fall back and loathe the loss of the hour when clocks leap forward in the spring.
But no amount of shuffling our timepieces is going to inject light into our lives in the coming months, as we slog from fall and into the dim days of winter.
Therefore, it is time for a bit of reflection into how we make our way through these dark times in the company motorists who lack the keen night vision of owls or cats.
A pair of incidents involving NEWS staff on the same morning this week illuminated the public safety ramifications of failing to prepare for after-hours — or before-hours — outings.
In one case, a pedestrian striding with a pair of walking poles avoided disaster in a close encounter with a vehicle when the motorist caught a flash of reflection off one of the walking poles out of the corner of an eye.
In the other, it was a bicyclist in dark clothing — but without a rear reflector on the bike — who loomed in the roadway as another driver passed close by while being dazzled by the headlights of a vehicle going the other way.
This is not one of those rants complaining about cars having to share the road with pedestrians and cyclists.
This is about your own safety while in proximity of thousands of pounds of rolling metal and plastic. Those who commute regularly by bike or on foot should know by now to be equipped with reflectorized accessories and/or bright-coloured outerware.
Those who pop out only occasionally for a stroll or ride must be equally aware of presenting a visible presence, well before vehicles get close enough to create a near-miss or, worst-case, a non-miss situation.
Drivers in the winter will have the additional handicap of approaching headlights, sparkling raindrops or snow and condensation. They have the responsibility for having good-quality wipers and waiting for windshields to defrost completely before hitting the road.
If there is a sidewalk handy, pedestrians should be on it. And for walkers, joggers and cyclists alike, it’s time for a little reflection. Or a lot of it.
— Parksville Qualicum Beach News