be seen be safe

Lo and behold: An American city just focused their “be seen” message on drivers

Avatar by on November 6th, 2017 at 3:53 pm

The lack of people dressed like traffic cones is a nice touch.

I’m sure your inbox and timelines are full of well-meaning organizations urging you to “be safe and be seen” this time of year.

These are important messages, but it’s annoying how they usually focus on vulnerable road users. It makes sense intuitively, but that paternalistic approach fails to address the elephant in the room — or should I say the huge, powerful steel vehicles in our streets.

“Dress up like a traffic cone if you want to survive winter!” these campaigns too often say.

That’s why I was very pleased to see the latest statement from the Portland Bureau of Transportation. “‘Be Seen. Be Safe.’ Traffic safety during the darker days of the year,” the headline reads.

The full text is below. Notice how the focus — first and foremost — is on people who drive cars and trucks (after a solid first sentence that’s generalized to all road users):
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TriMet will hand out free lights and safety gear at ‘Be Seen Be Safe’ event

Avatar by on November 10th, 2015 at 2:46 pm

Be Seen Be Safe event-17

Showing off a pair of high-viz gloves at a TriMet safety event in 2010.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

In what has become something of an annual event to encourage walkers and bikers to be more visible, TriMet is hosting a “Be Seen Be Safe” event tomorrow (11/11).

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